Chaplain's Message - March 2021 Newsletter
Lenten Morning Prayer
God, our liberator,
Free us from the chains of selfishness
And the false idols of materialism.
Move us to show regard for the lowly,
Advocate for the voiceless,
And rescue victims from their oppressors.
Remove the grind of poverty
by opening our hearts and minds to your Gospel message to love our neighbor.
Awaken our desires with the gifts of your Spirit,
so your justice may be fulfilled.
In Christ, we make this prayer.
~William Purcell, ’86, ’92 MDiv, Notre Dame University Center for Social Concerns
As we draw close to the Spiritual simplicity and humility of Lent, I am reminded of this Scripture:
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me” from Matthew 25.
It is clear to see our work as frontline caregivers in this text from the Gospel. This is the heart of our mission to love our neighbors and care for our community with dignity, compassion, and respect. The Lenten prayer (above) comes from the campus of Notre Dame University where staff and students published a book of prayers through the Office of Campus Ministry
in 2010. The work of a Chaplain, whether in a care facility, campus or prison, is to be a Spiritual and Moral presence through difficult times. One of the tools of the trade is keeping our Liturgical traditions; remembering to mind the cycle of the church year. These annual cycles help keep us grounded in rituals that remind us that God is with us—past, present, and future—even through challenging times. And prayer is the binding thread that sews the seemingly separate events and people together.
There are times in our caregiving when providing foo, drink, hospitality, clothing, and visitation is the most visceral way to show our love to one another. And there are other times, when the physical presence is not possible, when prayer is the MOST we can do. Throughout the pandemic, we have not always been together in physical ways providing food, drink, hospitality, clothing and visitation and in those difficult times of distanced relations our best offering is the gift of prayer.
Friends and family, continue to pray for our residents. As we gain access to vaccination and navigate our next phases of community, pray for advocacy for the voiceless, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, invitation to the stranger, clothing to the needy, care for the sick and visitation. In Christ, we make this prayer.
Racquel R. Ray, MDiv
The American Baptist Church of Rhode Island is offering weekly Lenten Devotionals on-line. Subscribe to the weekly email at Elder Care Ministries http://eldercare.abcori.org/lenten-resources.html
Age Friendly Rhode Island is offering a Virtual Community Center! The site is loaded with activities for seniors that are safe and socially distant. Engage online at Age-Friendly Rhode Island | Ways to support Rhode Islanders as they age (agefriendlyri.org)
In Person Activities
Fireside Chats with the Chaplain. Thursdays 2-4, Chaplain’s Office. Come sit by the ‘fire’ and have a chat. Warm beverages provided! (excluding Thursday March 25th due to Memorial Service)
Bible Study. Fridays 2-3, Chapel. A wonderful way to wind down the week. This is a casual conversation about scripture and how it impacts us. Books provided. All denominations and biblical knowledge levels welcome!
Communion Service. Sundays 3:15pm in Nursing Center, 4pm in the Chapel. Ecumenical service is welcoming to all denominations. Service includes prayer, scripture, short homily. Covid-safe individually wrapped, sterile, single use, Communion elements are distributed with safety protocols in place.
Memorial Service. Thursday March 25, 10am Chapel, 2pm Nursing Center. Join Chaplain and Staff as we remember those we have lost over the past few months. Also available via Zoom. firstname.lastname@example.org