Sunday, February 18, 2007

Church at the Nursing Home

Diane's father is married to a lady who is elderly. Due to failing health she was recently moved into a nursing home. Charlie (Diane's dad) did his best to care for her at home for as long as he could, but eventually he just had to have more help. So now he splits his time between taking care of the house and visiting her in the nursing home.

Today we went to the church service in the nursing home because Diane wanted to go to be with her dad. So off we went.

When we arrived, there was a service already in progress. A "large" man was doing his best to sing along with a tape while the wheelchair bound sat around listening. If you've ever seen one of these services it is quite amusing because you're never sure who exactly is paying attention and who isn't. Some will sing along while others seem to be off in their own world. I always get suspicious that some of the poor people were "parked" there by the staff so they (meaning the staff) could sneak in a freebie break. Anyway, the guy was singing along and saying encouraging things. We didn't see Charlie or the Mrs. in the crowd so we went down to her room. Nope not there either. Bed all messed up. The rapture? No. Too many people around and Diane is still here - so that's not possible. So off to the nurses desk where we were then directed to the other end of the hall.

Once we got there we found a small chapel with a dozen or so people sitting around in chairs singing a hymn accapella style. The young man leading looked like he would rather be anywhere else but there. We found Charlie and the Mrs. there, so we took our seats beside them, were handed hymnals and joined in the singing. The small group sang really well. I was impressed at first...then I figured it out. This group was comprised of people all from the church that Charlie and his Mrs. attended. Most of them had known her for more years than I've been alive. They were there having a service for her. I thought that was pretty cool - pretty dedicated friends. And the good singing? They're all from the C of C, so that explains that!

So the singing went on with the uninterested worship leader for a bit, then an older fellow walked in and took over. I found out later he had served as an leader or a preacher or something in church work. He led lots of hymns. We sang some I hadn't sang in years and I liked that. I didn't like that we ALWAYS did the 1st, 2nd and last verse of every song - talk about a trip back to your childhood!

The service consisted of a prayer, bunches of hymns and communion for Charlie and the Mrs. Once we were done - and I don't know who decided that. It just kind of happened like some secret signal was given or something - anyway, once we were done we were welcomed by everyone and then they all rushed off to go to "real" church.

All in all it was a nice service and I'm glad we went. I wouldn't want to go every week, but I'm glad Diane was there with her dad and the Mrs. I know it made them happy.

We were done by 10 a.m. which was nice. As we're visiting churches we're both finding we tend to like the getting done earlier option as opposed to the "late" service. When we go to the earlier services they seem to stay more on schedule than later ones do. I don't know why that is, but it is a trend we've noticed.

Today as we were getting in the car after eating lunch with friends I looked at the clock and noted that we would have still been in church had we gone to the late service at the home place. It was nice to be done with lunch and heading off to tackle the day at that point rather than to be doing so an hour later...or more.



Anonymous said...


A great post... While by most American standards, it is the Mega church that gets all the credit and glory... what you and Dianne and those people did for "Charlie and the Mrs." is what the church does.

Jesus was there. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am also."

It is nice to be free enough to do ministry like that... Good use of your time. And I am sure it meant everything to "Charlie and the Mrs."

Good post.


Owasso Bob said...

Thanks for the note and for staying up with us! It has been nice to be able to see and do ministry differently...

Talk to you soon.