Spiritual Care – and Making Great Friends

December 24, 2020

Our Brighton aged care home usually hosts regular chapel services. However, as COVID-19 restrictions arrived, our local clergy were no longer able to pay their regular visits.

Recognising the need for spiritual care for our residents, Lifestyle Officer Genevieve stepped in with a new plan to meet this growing need – a ‘Bible Study Group’.

“I feel spiritual care, no matter your belief system, is really important for mental, emotional and spiritual health. With our ministers away, some residents were really feeling there was something missing in their lives,” says Genevieve.

To cover the needs of as many residents as possible, the group was formed around Bible texts rather than a set denomination.

December Group 5 Low Res SELECT

Pictured above, clockwise from left: Charles. Val, Genevieve, Marj and Barb taking part in the study.

“We wanted to keep it non-denominational so anyone and everyone would feel comfortable attending, even if they don’t have a faith of their own – everyone is welcome,” says Genevieve.

“Not all residents who attend have a faith, but they express their enjoyment of discussing the history and moral sayings of the Bible.”

The gift of sharing

The activity comprises many of the elements of a church service but aims to take a more personal and individualised approach, shares Genevieve.

“We start with a Hymn nominated by the residents, complete with music and lyrics, then we have our reading and discussion. Everyone takes a turn reading and they are encouraged to participate and share their thoughts and answer questions,” she says.

Sharing thoughts and feelings leads to prayer and some very special moments.

“We, as a group, have had some really touching moments when people have felt comfortable to open their hearts and share about their own personal struggles and victories, about their families, and about their lives.”

“Sharing with each other also leads to residents putting prayer requests forward, and we all pray together. It is a very interactive session.”

Gratitude for all

Learning more about residents’ stories has been a real highlight, says Genevieve.

“It has truly been an honour to host these studies over the last few months. I’m incredibly grateful to make a difference and be a part of their lives.”

Attendees are also thankful and express their gratitude each week.

“Every week residents say how grateful and blessed they are to have the care and support of staff at Mayflower, and that they are able to attend the study group,” says Genevieve.

Brighton resident Marj could not agree more. “We are so lucky to be living at Mayflower, and for all the staff who take such great care of us,” says Marj.

Barb, another regular attendee, is also grateful for the group. “I’m so grateful we can meet and share the Bible together,” says Barb. “Thank you very much.”

Bible Study Group 2 Smaller

Pictured above: To assist others to be able to attend, the group is periodically moved to level 3 Hyde House. Pictured here is Marj, Eddie and Pam taking part.