Nursing Home Ministry
National Nursing Home Ministry Leaders Meeting
Note: Below is a letter from Bill Goodrich of God Cares Ministry in regard to the
I am sending this overview of our fellowship meeting held in Jupiter FL
January 31 - February 2, 2003. Thirty people from twenty-two ministries located in
US and Canada were invited to this first time ever event. Because of a short
notice, prior commitments or sickness, only half of those invited were able to
come. However, seventeen people from eleven different ministries were able to join
us. We all had a great time of prayer fellowship and sharing our hopes for the
future of nursing home ministry.
I thought this chronicle might be the best way to give everyone an overview of the
weekend. We met at noon on Friday at Courtyard Gardens, an assisted living
facility where we spent the majority of our meeting time and ate excellent meals
prepared by their chef. As we opened the conference, I (Bill) led us in prayer and
invited others to pray that God would guide and direct us as He saw fit and that
His will would be done during our time together. After everyone prayed, we each
took time to give an overview of our ministry's history and purpose. It was very
interesting and humbling to hear what God is doing and how He is doing it.
After dinner we adjourned for the day and a few of us met back at the hotel to
watch video clips from three of the ministries. On Saturday we had a nice
continental breakfast at the hotel. It was great to see that most of the people in
the little breakfast area were from the fellowship and were all talking and
smiling ear to ear. What a testimony that must have been for the other guests to
see this joy so early in the morning.
At 9:00 AM we headed back to Courtyard Gardens for a wonderful time of prayer. We
began with a few songs led by Terry and Glenda Mason. Tom McCormick led a
devotional and guided prayer time that the Lord deeply and richly blessed. In
fact, we had to force ourselves to stop because the chef was waiting to serve us.
After lunch I gave a brief overview of the ministries and individuals that were
not able to attend. Most of these sent letters or called me to encourage our
effort and express their regrets. We hope to have them join us for our next
We spent the rest of the afternoon in open discussion about what each of us would
like to see happen through this fellowship. Several good ideas were discussed.
We also talked about giving our fellowship a name and purpose statement. Just
before dinner, we decided to break for personal prayer to discern more clearly a
direction in the matter of officially organizing. After dinner, we re-addressed
the issue and at this time we agreed not to develop beyond the fact that we are
simply a fellowship of Christ-centered Nursing Home Ministry Leaders that:
- Have a deep love and concern for all people living in long-term care centers
- Have a ministry focus beyond our own church
- Have a need and desire to support each other in prayer, communication and fellowship
- Will make it a priority to meet again this year
One concept that was brought out during this time was that we recognized all of us
are doing an important work in our own backyards. We need to allow our ministries
and influence to expand until all of our backyards meet, and no resident is
I was elected to coordinate another fellowship between August and October.
Jerry Johnson and Dave Compton will share this responsibility with me.
On Sunday morning, we gathered at Courtyard Gardens and held a worship service
with some of the residents. Jerry Johnson led us in singing, Larry Wasserman gave
a teaching and a few others participated in prayer. It was a blessing to serve
together. After the service, most of the group had to return home. The remainder
met for lunch and further fellowship at a nearby restaurant.
I asked everyone who attended to send me comments regarding the weekend. Since
everyone had very encouraging words, I thought it would he good to share them
along with a brief introduction to their ministries:
- Chapter & Verse Ministry - Directed by Jerry & Dar Johnson: Chapter and Verse
recruits, equips, assists and networks with care facility volunteers within the
community of believers. Their primary regional focus is the Hampton Roads, Virginia
area. E-mail: jerry@ChapterandVerse.org
"Had a wonderful time of fellowship all around It was very edifying and moving to
listen to others express their feelings in the midst of the same types of
victories and struggles that we experience here at Chapter & Verse. There was much
discussion... as to exactly how to go about defining and organizing ourselves, but
we took the all-important first step by getting together and that's what counts!
- Faithful Friends Nursing Home Ministry Directed by Larry Wasserman: Faithful
Friends assists Florida-based nursing home ministries in start-up and development.
They also provide support and encouragement to countless nursing home volunteers
through their comprehensive web site. www.faithfulfriends.org. E-mail:
"It was a great time of meeting others involved in nursing home ministry and for
having the opportunity for mutual prayer and praise. I hope in future meetings we
can spend more time on sharing the blessings and challenges of the ministry."
- God Cares Ministry - Directed by Bill Goodrich: God Cares Ministry recruits,
trains and supports volunteers from churches who will establish a care team that
adopts a nursing home in their community. Their primary regional focus is
northeast Ohio. E-mail: info@GodCaresMinistry.com
"The weekend was like a retreat. I went with hope and left with joy. The Lord has
begun to knit our hearts together. I trust that He has begun a good work in us and
will take us beyond our imagination. As we share each other's burdens in prayer,
fellowship and communication, we will see the Kingdom of God advance in every
care-center. What a privilege we have!"
- Love Your Neighbor Ministries - Directed by David Compton: Love Your Neighbor
reach out through the church to share the Gospel message to those in Hospitals,
long term care homes, and private homes through home health care. Their chaplains
and volunteers are reaching out in the states of CA, OR & WA.
I and my wife Teri thoroughly enjoyed the time we shared with the nursing home
leaders in Florida. We have always desired to share in this kind of fellowship and
wondered if it would ever be possible. We went away refreshed with a renewed sense
of purpose and direction. We have had a 'felt need" for years to unite with other
like-minded church and parachurch ministries. We sensed through this gathering
that there is a great potential for networking, sharing resources and mutually
supporting one another. We are looking forward to meeting again within the next
six months and having many other groups join us. Thank you for this wonderful
opportunity to drink deep at His Oasis."
- Marvin & Sally Jenne - Direct a nursing home ministry out of their church,
Good Shepherd Methodist in West Palm Beach, FL. Their vision is to train and equip
Christians to minister to all the nursing homes in the West Palm Beach, FL area.
"We were surely blessed this past weekend and are excited about the future."
- Outreach for Christ to the Nursing Home - Directed by Doug Lee: OCNC is
developing, training and inspiring volunteers teams from churches to share the
gospel of Jesus in care centers. Their primary regional focus is Detroit, MI.
"Our weekend together in Florida was very powerful. It was a blessing to come
together with brothers and sisters in Christ with the same passion. Personally for
me our time of prayer on Saturday morning was the best of what was a wonderful
weekend. The bonding that took place as we shared our hearts and tears was truly
inspiring. I can't wait for us all to come together again."
Senior Adult Ministries and Special People - Directed by Sharon Henning: SAMSP is
an outreach of Phoenix First Assembly. They have several programs to provide
spiritual care to 50 nursing homes in the Phoenix, Arizona area. They bus
approximately 100 residents to the church for weekly Sunday services.
They also provide training to those interested in nursing home ministry.
"Wow!!!! Hearts connected! I look forward to more! Wouldn't it be incredible in
our lifetime to see every Nursing Home in America and all over the world receive
visits and ministry? We serve a mighty God and He gives us all we need."
- Seniors' Evangelism Explosion - Directed by Larry and Nancy Piedt, Seniors EE
seeks to provide for churches currently involved with their evangelism program
with an additional training module to minister and present the gospel to seniors
in care-centers. EE has an international focus. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
"The fellowshipping with other believers serving in various nursing home
ministries was such a blessing. It was great to see how God has placed all of us
in this special avenue serving the Lord while loving and ministering to these
precious people. The weekend was inspiring and challenging to begin establishing
common ground for all of us to help each other through networking, prayer future
vision and continued fellowships.
- Sharing Jesus Ministries - Directed by Rev. Terrance Wilson: Sharing Jesus
Ministry helps nursing home ministries by setting them up with a basic web site
to present their ministry on the Internet. Terrance is also ministering in various
nursing homes in the southwest FL area. E-mail: email@example.com
- Terry & Glenda Mason - Direct a nursing home ministry out of their church,
Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, OK. Their vision is to train and equip
Christians to minister to all the nursing homes in the Tulsa OK area.
"Glenda and I felt the weekend was outstanding. It was great to finally put a
face with the names of people we have heard about. We were honored to participate."
- Tom McCormick - For years, Tom directed a nursing home ministry in the
Philadelphia, PA area. His training of area churches and experience working with
them led him to write a book, Nursing Home Ministry, A Manual", (now out of print).
Tom is currently working with Bill Goodrich to write another such book. Tom is
currently living in Toronto, Ontario where he ministers in nursing homes and is
establishing a network of nursing home missionaries. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I was humbled and challenged to meet my brothers and sisters working in Nursing
Home Ministries in many locations. We have a Big God and He is calling us all to
press into His love more and more, and to press on in obedience... I liked very
much the image of all of us developing and expanding the work in our own
backyards until our backyards meet and the whole continent is covered."
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Faithful Friends Nursing Home Ministry
Larry & Sandy Wasserman
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