Easter is a time of renewal, of new beginnings and resurrection. During Holy Week we will share stories from around the Diocese of how the surprising hope of Easter has impacted people’s lives.
Our first story comes from one of our deacons that works as a chaplain in aged care. She’s responsible for the spiritual care for the people in this particular facility and holds a worship service once a week. This service extends to about an hour, has extended communion, and a lot of singing.
The singing in particular is the key point of this story. They belt out around 5 hymns during this service, and according to our chaplain, ‘We’re old and may not be the best at it, but that’s part of the charm. You don’t have to pretend to be anything but what you are’.
They sing with love, with affection, and enjoyment. And it created an environment so warm that one particular lady, who was living in this aged care facility, decided to see what it was all about.
She had no religious background. No past experience in attending a church service. But she would hear the singing, see people chatting and laughing. So she came to a service.
And that’s how it began. She started to come along every now and then, to enjoy the singing and the atmosphere. But soon she started to sing too; started to come earlier, more often.
Soon she was one of the first at the door when the service began every week. And eventually, after a few months had passed of her joining the community, she took communion.
‘She would always take a blessing when we offered communion. And I remember the day very vividly when she reached out her hands instead. It was like God had reached out and touched the community.’ – Chaplain
Sadly though, she didn’t attend the next service. After she had become such a regular, our deacon was worried and went to visit her, and found her bedridden. A few days later, she passed away.
However, she passed away with someone praying at her bedside. And with the love and acceptance of an entire community behind her. It was a short journey of only a few months, and we can’t know what goes on within someone’s mind. But regardless, I like to think that her journey with our community made her last moments happy ones.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” – John 11:25