The Rev. Joyce E. Schroer of Paradise United Church of Christ in Louisville, Ohio, shares her time spent with select United Church Homes communities and her Confirmation Class of 2013.
“Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4
What an outstanding experience!
Thank you so much to all the United Church Homes staff that offered us hospitality in our most recent Heritage Trip.
Paradise United Church of Christ Confirmation Class 2013 just returned from a Circle Tour Weekend. Ten of us left immediately afters school last Friday, April 26, 2013 and traveled by van to Fairhaven in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Here we were greeted by Pastor Becky Jones, Chaplain, who led us to the Gathering Place where we enjoyed dinner. She shared with us the history of United Church Homes and spoke eloquently about her call to minister with senior adults.
We were greeted in the hallway by Helen Stalter who had just finished dinner and was returning to her room. She told the kids about her years of teaching math and shared how much she enjoys her apartment at Fairhaven. Following a tour of the community with stops in the chapel, the Fast Track Rehab, and the history wall, we offered our prayers to Fairhaven and Pastor Becky’s ministry. Then we jumped in the van and proceeded to our next destination.
We arrived at the community of Parkvue in Sandusky, Ohio, shortly after dark. Pastor Bill Michaels and his family greeted us. They escorted us to the chapel where we would be sleeping on the floor for the night. Then to the activity room where we would watch TV and in the morning enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet. That evening we gave thanks for a dry, warm place to rest even if the floor was a little hard. The morning sun greeted us and after breakfast we worked on a project for confirmation day. We are making stoles with symbols to represent things we’ve learned and done throughout the year. One symbol also represents the personal gift that we bring to God. Of course every stole includes a home representing our Circle Tour of United Church Homes.
It wasn’t long until we met Penny, the assistant activity director. We helped her transport residents to and from “colorful exercise.” Penny told us that she can usually only get four or five residents to join her but with all the youth present, we had a full room and so many smiles. Quintin enjoyed making the frogs jump on the Octaband. Sydney engaged another woman in deep conversation. Ryan smiled as he wheeled the chairs down the hallway. It was an outstanding experience to see the generations interact and respond to one another. I couldn’t help but think of the Psalm 145 text as we consider the mighty acts of God.
After a discussion in the chapel led by Pastor Bill we prayed for Parkvue and Pastor Bill’s ministry and then jumped in the van for an afternoon of fun. We ate lunch at Chet and Matt’s Pizza then enjoyed the Maui Sand’s Waterpark. In the evening we grabbed a burger at Wendy’s and proceeded to Canal Fulton.
After an ice cream stop at Oser’s Dairy we arrived at Chapel Hill and stayed in a cottage at Kroft Commons. It was so beautiful and the adults so appreciated the beds. The kids of course made due with roll-aways and sofas.
We unpacked and then prepared for worship the next morning. We had eager volunteers to read scripture, offer prayer and share a message titled, “Living Faith.” The chapel was packed with residents and others watched on TV. We talked about some of our activities and what we’ve learned about God, Jesus and the church. We are living our faith and learning from others at the same time.
After worship we met and visited with a member of our congregation Marjorie Jossi who told stories about her years teaching and her involvement in the church. Then we offered our prayers for Chapel Hill and the ministry of Pastor Sandy Hutchinson before returning to Louisville, Ohio.
Thank you so much for providing our meals and for allowing us to get to know about our connection to the wider ministries you provide to others.
Indeed, it was a weekend of sharing and praising God from one generation to the next.
Rev. Joyce E. Schroer
Paradise United Church of Christ
Confirmation Class 2013
Ryan Mong, Quintin, Scheetz, Michelle Damron, Sydney Daniel,
Victoria Tritt, Autumn Folk, Rex and Donna Edwards, and Mark Sigler