Focus on Faith – Words of Hope in a Virtual World

On Sunday, November 1, the Spiritual Life team at UMRC’s Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) campus will host its annual All Saints Memorial service at 3:00pm EST. This service has become a faithful tradition of comfort and celebration in remembrance of those CRC residents who have passed away. This year’s virtual service will be livestreamed and will honor those who have passed away since May 2020. Click here for a link to the livestream service.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UMRC’s Spiritual Life team has taken advantage of technology in a variety of ways to ensure that residents, team members, and families receive words of comfort and reassurance.

“The pandemic has shaped our lives in so many unexpected ways, including the ways we share our faith with each other,” says Rev. Dr. Julie J. Kilmer, Director of Spiritual Life at UMRC’s Chelsea campus. “More than ever, it is so important to find creative ways to be in fellowship with each other and to lift each other up.”

The Spiritual Life team has provided words of hope via daily phone messages available to residents, families, and team members. Virtual worship services at CRC’s Dancey Chapel are offered every Sunday for residents over their campus TV channel. The chaplains also provide support through Facetime when personal visits with appropriate social distancing are not possible. In addition, small groups of less than ten are gathering now across the CRC campus such as Meditation & Music, and worship opportunities at Towsley Village, Glazier Commons, and Kresge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

On May 14, the Spiritual Life team offered “A Time of Remembrance,” a virtual memorial service to honor residents who passed away in 2020, but whose families were unable to gather for funeral services because of COVID-19. More than 80 families watched the livestreamed service, in addition to hundreds of residents who watched via the campus TV channel.

Kathy Gauger, volunteer chaplain and Prairie Cottages resident, says, “At such a difficult time for the world, the service was so beautifully done and spirit-filled… It is such a blessing to live and minister within a community that strives to be Christ-centered.”