Fayetteville Christian Church Cares for Caregivers
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
Nursing homes are fertile ground for volunteer service. Visitors are always welcomed and appreciated. When church and school groups want to brighten the day of seniors who can’t get out and about, they often think of nursing homes in the area. Visiting senior residents is a popular way for anyone with a heart for service to give back to their community.
Others serve nursing home residents every day as a career. It’s their job to take care of those who are no longer able to take care of themselves. From therapists, nurses and CNAs to housekeeping and food service, a variety of staff members serve the needs of nursing home residents 24/7. Many say they have a passion for taking care of older people. Others say it’s their calling and they feel blessed to be a blessing. Selflessness is a common thread.
Not everyone thinks of caring for the caregivers, but a volunteer team at Fayetteville Christian Church did. The team contacted the volunteer coordinator at Christian City and made arrangements to provide a brown bag lunch with homemade chicken salad sandwiches to staff members on all three shifts at Christian City’s Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
“We are overjoyed with the ongoing generosity of Fayetteville Christian Church,” says Connie Hall, Volunteer Coordinator at Christian City. “For the second year in a row, a volunteer team has shown their love for our staff by preparing and delivering lunch,” Hall says.
As the volunteers distributed lunches to staff members, they enjoyed the opportunity to share their mutual appreciation for one another’s service. “It doesn’t take much to bring a smile to someone’s face,” says Helen Thornton, who has served as a church secretary at Fayetteville Christian for almost 40 years.
“Fayetteville Christian Church is a part of Christian City’s founding and historic church tradition,” says Carl Ryden, Chaplain and Chief Spiritual Care Officer at Christian City. “The congregation has supported Christian City from its early days. The church has members serving in all areas of our ministry, from board leadership to staff and volunteers,” Ryden says.
Fayetteville Christian Church leads the campus Sunday afternoon worship service several times each year, and Christian City is one of the missions supported financially by the church, also. Ryden expressed his appreciation to the volunteer group saying, “You are not just meeting a need, but also affirming a ministry.”
Len Romano, Christian City CEO, greeted and thanked the volunteers, saying, “You are helping Christian City extend Christ’s call to love your neighbor. Through your selfless service, you are providing life-changing hope to the seniors and children who live here on our campus.”
Audrey Bates, Christian City board member emeritus, is the last original charter member of Fayetteville Christian Church, which was started in 1971 as the first Independent Christian Church in Fayette County. She served as music director for 22 years. “Christian City has been a part of my life since its beginning in 1965,” Bates says. She helped raise money to build the first children’s cottage and has also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Bates’ family has hosted Christian City children for weekend and holiday visits over the years as well.
During this campus visit to serve lunch to the staff, Bates took the opportunity to visit her former neighbor in Christian City Assisted Living Center. Several of their church members now live at Christian City in active senior patio homes and apartments, while others are in the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers.
The church visits each Sunday to serve communion to the three members who are unable to come to church. Senior pastor of Fayetteville Christian, Andrew Higle, has volunteered his service as Chaplain of the Day at Christian City as well. Many members donate items to Graceland Thrift Store, where profits benefit Christian City Children’s Village education fund.
“We believe in the mission and vision of Christian City, and we want to support the physical care and spiritual care that is provided to residents,” says Minister Higle. “For many years, we have supported the care provided to abused and abandoned children who come to Christian City Children’s Village. And the senior residents need to know that we love and care about them, because that is what Christ has called us to do,” Higle commented.