Sunday, June 14, 2009

Procession in the nursing home

Today I accompanied a parishioner on a visit to a local nursing facility to assist with the "Protestant Worship Service" (part of me cringes, 'cause we Episcopalians are Catholic, too!).

Conducting a worship service for a nursing home is a challenge, I can tell. Making a service appeal firstly to a broad group of people is hard; Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians have different worship styles. And secondly, making a service meaningful to people who, to say it kindly, aren't in the greatest shape physically or mentally and still challenge and encourage them with the Gospel is hard, too. I'm glad to see so many make the effort to include all our brothers and sisters in Christ in the worship of the church.

I don't have some surprising or startling insight to share, though. There's just an image I thought I'd share.

After the service, we helped wheel the nursing home residents to the dining room for dinner. As we slowly took people one by one, the pianist kept playing. I'd hear faint notes of a hymn down the hallway as I escorted someone to dinner. The music didn't stop until everyone had been taken down to the dining room.

The image was like that of a procession out- everyone was parading out of the chapel to go do the work given to them, even if they were being taken in a wheelchair. The grace was apparent- even if for just half an hour, Christ was really present and Christ was being taken out into the world.

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