When we hear the word Mission Field, what do you think? If you are like me, I think of foreign places, hot weather and serving a small community of Christians. A mission field that has been overlooked is in our neighborhoods, namely the senior living facilities, especially nursing homes.
In accordance with the five marks of mission, in my presentation I will explain, demonstrate, discuss, invite and empower the laity or perhaps a whole church community to envision establishing a ministry to a local nursing home facility. This ministry would build unity across faith traditions, gather Christians to worship and celebrate God together, share personal life journeys with God, create a spiritual support network for residents—in essence to plant a mini-church in these places of vulnerability, scarcity and fear. This ministry tries to meet ritual and spiritual needs as these individuals face their final journey to God in a place separate from the lives they have built and the families and friends that they shared their lives with as they live in a foreign place as orphans and widows. God journeys with us not only when we have the freedom to move around the world but also when we are limited and poor and restricted. Our need for experiencing God in a community does not diminish when we can no longer get ourselves to a pew. I want to present on how to establish this ministry in your neighborhood. I have been serving nursing facilities as a lay minister for over 30 years. Currently I have built churches, St. Paul’s Church at Paul’s House in Chicago and Holy Generations Church at Generations of Regency in Niles. I offer a weekly prayer service with blessed Eucharist, communion to the bed-bound residents and bible study group. I am a retired high school teacher and God has called me to this ministry. I want to share the richness of this service and to encourage others to join me.
Peggy Taylor, Church of Our Savior, Chicago