A new woman joined us this morning…a very frail woman. She wept through most of the service and sang as much as she could, tears running down her little cheeks. When the service was over, she told us how much this meant to her. She felt as if she was in "church," sharing the prayers and songs she had known as a child.
This ministry began one year ago, and it has grown in attendees and in those of us ministering. A deacon leads the service and provides the healing sacrament of Eucharist for the people. At the handshake of peace ministers and residents share that peace with one another. I can't possibly explain in words how they respond, smiling, some weeping, all so grateful that church has been brought to them, thanking us when it is WE who are graced by ministering to them.
Music is provided at the services (live music). Guitar and flute bring the music to life. One of the residents was a professional pianist, and she often plays with us. It brings her great joy to be able to use her gift, sharing it so freely. In the early days of this ministry the attendees didn't sing, most barely responded. In one year the change is AMAZING. People who never spoke are now singing. Their smiles light up the room, and it is evident that they feel JOY…and they feel LOVED.
It is humbling to be able to minister to these lovely souls….to see the changes in them….to know we are providing a few moments of JOY and PEACE in their week, bringing light into the darkness. Truly it is we who are graced.