Honoring Souls, Celebrating Lives, Building Community
Francis of Assisi explained a ‘ministry of presence’ well when he said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
For more than 125 years, Episcopal Homes has fostered meaning, purpose and connectedness among the elders who call this community home. For our residents, who are Catholic, Presbyterian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, as well as Episcopalian, our ministry of presence:
- honors contributions, past and present;
- encourages exploration of peace and joy, pain and sorrow, life and death; and
- guides the search for meaning and purpose through a myriad of late-life transitions.
For the 1,400 elders we serve, ministry of presence doesn’t just happen. It is rooted in our tradition, culture, governance and budget. It flourishes through the time, expertise and love of gifted staff, including three full-time, interfaith professional chaplains, as well as volunteer clergy and leaders from area faith communities, trained lay ministers and community volunteers.
Gatherings and Offerings Include:
- Liturgy and worship services
- One-to-one spiritual listening
- Rites of transition
- Healing touch therapy
- Contemplative Prayer
- Prayer, book, Bible studies and discussion groups
- Music ministry
Story of Impact
Beautiful friendship blossoms through lay ministry partnership
When Gwen was looking for ways to serve Christ at her new church, St. John the Evangelist in St. Paul, her associate rector suggested she participate in the Community of Hope lay ministry program. She had no idea then that this experience would lead her to a life-impacting new friendship.
During the initial Communities of Hope training, Gwen was paired with Ginny Parrish, a longtime, active parishioner at St. John’s who resides at Episcopal Homes’ Garden’s nursing home. Gwen and Ginny hit it off right away. Together they share a love for music, family ties to the state of Iowa and a deep love for their faith. They began meeting for coffee and enjoyed discussing current happenings at their shared parish.
It didn’t take long for Gwen to find herself feeling like she was more of a friend than the volunteer companion that was so simply described in her lay ministry training. She felt a special connection to Ginny and knew she wanted to continue to be there for her. Gwen took Ginny to doctor’s appointments and to activities on Episcopal Homes’ campus. Gwen knows Ginny gets homesick for Sacramento and for family members who lived further away so she found ways to stay busy.
“We had many activities we enjoyed together. One of my favorite moments came during Holy Week, when we sat together listening to hymns in her room. It was beautiful and we didn’t even need to say much to each other. It was like being in church together, forming a very special connection,” says Gwen. “We were fortunate to have each other. I do not consider myself a volunteer. I am her friend,” she adds.
Ginny was thankful to have a friend like Gwen. When they couldn’t get together, they would text each other often. Ginny, who passed away on July 23, 2019, at the age of 93, once said of their friendship, “Gwen is the type of person that once you get to know her, you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. She’s a giving person. She’s a good person and she means the world to me. I am so thankful for her.”In memory of Ginny Parrish, who passed away on July 23, 2019, at the age of 93.
Our wellbeing programming offers a variety of physical, emotional and spiritual engagement opportunities. Follow these links to learn more:
Wellbeing programming is funded entirely by the generosity of donors to Episcopal Homes Foundation.
Contact the Spiritual Life Team:
Spiritual Life General Line
The Rev. Phil Rose, Director of Spiritual Life
The Rev. Jennifer Allred, Chaplain
Leah Welch, Chaplain & Spiritual Life Coordinator
Lisa Nilles, Chaplain
Interested in living on our Campus? We’d love to show you around. Contact us for a tour or more information on our assisted living in Minneapolis!