Friday, June 8, 2012

Getting to know a placement

I am spending the summer immersed in the Croasdaile Village Retirement Community.  This community is part of the United Methodist Retirement Home network in North Carolina.  The community is home to vibrant people with a spectrum of abilities and interests, including many retired clergypersons.  As a chaplaincy intern, I have the joy of helping to lead worship services on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.  In addition, there are weekly devotions and Bible studies to attend and lead.  As a chaplain, I spend a lot of time visiting with persons who are sick or recovering or transitioning or lonely.
            One of the biggest joys I have shared with the Croasdaile Village community so far has been a liturgical dance during a memorial service for one of residents who had been a dance teacher in her career.  I danced to the song “Lord of the Dance” after a homily that emphasized God as the choreographer and dance master.  The opportunity to share through the gift of dance was unexpected, both for me and for the community.  However, since the memorial service took place, I have had the opportunity to engage with residents on a new level and have gained greater recognition in the community, not just as a dancer, but also as a pastoral presence.  It is exciting to hear affirmations about my call from the community I am serving in this summer.  I hope that others are having positive experiences through their summer placements.


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