“Rise & Shine” is a series of articles highlighting current ways West Church members are “shining brightly” for Christ on the North Shore. The Holy Spirit enables believers of all ages to share the gospel in varied and creative ways. The groups and individuals featured in “Rise & Shine” have responded to the Spirit’s prompting and serve as encouragement and motivation for us to “go and do likewise!”
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
West Church Nursing Home Ministries
Nursing Home 2
West Church’s local nursing home ministry extends back decades. Former Minister of Visitation Bill Delaney led the monthly rotation to several facilities on the North Shore. After Bill’s passing away in 2009, the outreach torch was picked up by local businessman and member of the Gideons International George Trainor of West Church, along with fellow Gideons, Jack Delpero and Bob Harris (recently retired from the nursing home ministry), as well as Dot & Jack O’Malley and Donna Greus. The faithful group currently visits Brookdale Danvers (1st Thursday, 3-4 pm), Rosewood Nursing and Rehab Center (2nd Tuesday, 2-3 pm) and Sunrise at Gardner Park (3rd Tuesday, 2-3 pm).
Many residents and occasionally a staff member gather in the common room for the meetings which always begin with an acapella hymn-sing. Long-time volunteer Bob Harris observed, “We have our regulars. They look forward to our coming.” Group participation for some may be difficult due to hearing or memory loss, but most stay engaged. Bob remarked, “One guy knew the hymns and sang along even though he admitted never having been to church!”
Singing is followed by a 30 minute Bible lesson covering topics such as men/women of the Bible, and currently, battles of the Bible, emphasizing God’s power to overcome the “Foe".
Over the years, special connections have been made and gospel seeds planted. A staff worker shared with George how her faith had been impacted by his sermons. A Jewish resident confessed, “I heard what you said and I believe every word of it!” Dot enjoyed the enthusiastic participation of an elderly, retired Gordon College professor. “He felt like he was at church and knew all the hymns by heart!”
George hopes to welcome new volunteers soon to the West Church nursing home outreach. “Offering to the lonely a simple ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in Jesus’ name is so powerful. I’d also love to have someone take prayer requests from the residents and follow-up each month during our visits.” For more information about participating in this outreach, contact George Trainor or the Community Outreach Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.