Chaplain’s Corner: CXVI

“The Holy Grail”

With the passing of time a great number of legendary stories have become attached to King Arthur who has been dead for 1500 years and whose very existence has been questioned by numerous medieval scholars.  Today there is a veritable industry of Arthurian lore.  Since 1980 at least 5000 new Arthur-themed books, films, articles and memorabilia have hit the market every year.  You can buy Excaliburgers, Barbie and Ken dressed as Arthur and Guinevere.  Camelot wallpaper, and a cutting edge comic book adventures of the knights of the round table.

Then there’s that most iconic of all Arthurian pursuits, the quest for the Holy Grail.

No consensus has ever emerged as to the Grail’s actual identity.  It is usually imagined to be a cup or a serving dish.  One tradition says Arthur and his knights hoped to find the cup from which the Lord Jesus drank at the Last Supper.  Another declares the Grail to be the vessel that Joseph of Arimathea used to catch the blood of Christ at the foot of the cross.  Dan Brown’s best seller “The Da Vinci Code” proposes that The Holy Grail is a person-a physical descendant of Jesus himself.

Where can The Grail be found?  In Europe, perhaps, or somewhere in the Middle East.  Some say it’s hidden in Britain, right where Joseph of Arimathea left it.  What power is it supposed to have?  One tradition suggests that The Grail can heal all wounds and impart the gift of eternal life.

Scientists speak of The Holy Grail of physics-finding a way to unite quantum mechanics with Einsten’s theory of relativity.  The Holy Grail of cancer research will snuff out every malignancy without suffering.

The Arthurian legacy of The Grail is the quest-the search for something worth finding, something worth understanding-a lifelong pursuit that yields surprises and adventures along the way.  If human beings can agree on anything, it is that the meaning of life matters.

Unsurprisingly, the Bible is not silent on the issue.  Here’s a key text from the Old Testament:  “God says, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.  For the Lord is your Life.”  (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

And here’s a key text from the New Testament:  Jesus said, ”I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)  The meaning of life, according to the Judeo-Christian scriptures is to know love, and to serve the one true God, so that we may know love and serve one another.

Christ-followers believe that there really is a once and future king.  His name is Jesus.  Having come to his people to die for their sins, he will come once again to set the whole world right.  In the meantime, our quest is to know him and make him known.

That’s the true Holy Grail.

 

Faithfully,

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

 

Chaplain’s Corner: CXV

“When God Seems Silent”

The most telling argument against Judeo-Christian understanding of the world is the silence of God.

Prayers go unanswered.  Children get sick and die.  Dictators drag their countries into meaningless wars.  Natural disasters claim thousands of lives.

I recently had lunch with a friend who has had enough.  The last two years of his life

have included a series of brutal disappointments.  “I’m through with God,” he said.  “There is no God.  How can there be a God when so many reckless, painful, and absurd things keep happening, and no God ever intervenes to do anything about it?”

This experience is so common that you would think the Bible would have something

to say about it.  Both Old and New Testaments, in fact have a great deal to say about God’s apparent silence, absence and indifference.  Not only that, but history’s most ferocious critics of Christianity-including Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins and Friedrich Nietzsche-have not been able to come up with anything more edgy than the bitter complaints voiced by some of the Bible’s key characters.

Job, in the throes of suffering, declares, “From the city the dying groan, and the throat of the wounded cry for help.  Yet God pays no attention to their prayer.”  (Job 24:12)  The Psalmist moans, “Why Lord do you hide your face from me?  You have taken from me friend and neighbor-darkness is my closest friend.”  (Psalm 88:14,18)  God’s own Son cries from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46)

How can we reasonably assert that God is not only really there but actually cares about human beings?  Pat answers will never do.

For those with a complacent faith, the problem of pain can seem like a spiritual deal breaker.  But if we become convinced on the other grounds that God is very real indeed-that an exquisitely designed cosmos reveals the work of a creator; that the historical evidence for the resurrection is (in a word) spectacular; and that God can be intimately encountered through our own experiences of miracles, answered prayers, and personal life changes-then it is reasonable to conclude that God best knows how to manage the universe.

Over a year ago we had a patient admitted to Westminster recovering from Covid.  Many in the medical community said this patient would never walk again.  After a year of physical therapy, nursing care and prayers from the whole Muncie community this patient is not only walking but now is driving.  God does in the seeming silence hear our prayers and often (in this patient’s case) allow us to see miracles.

To put it another way, very often, I don’t know why things happen as they do.  But I

know why I trust God-and God knows why.  That does not take the pain away in some cases.  But it draws me into a deeper connection with the God who promised that one day He will wipe away every tear.

 

Faithfully,

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

Chaplain’s Corner: CXIV

“Small Things Matter”

 

The European adventurers who sailed across the Atlantic in the 15th and 16th centuries discovered a new hemisphere.  But on April 24, 1676, Anton von Leeuwenhoek, without leaving home in the Netherlands, discovered a whole new world.

Leeuwenhoek’s innate curiosity went far beyond the fabrics he peddled as a cloth merchant.  One of his hobbies was grinding lenses.  He created the microscope-then a scientific novelty- that could magnify objects 266 times.  He was curious about the tiny things invisible to the naked eye.  He saw tiny creatures swimming in the water under his microscope.  Hundreds and thousands of them.  For the first time in human history, human eyes gazed upon the microscopic universe in which we live, move and have our being.

Within a few years, Leeuwenhoek had identified bacteria, and mold spores, and red blood cells.  A few drops of pond water he learned hosted a microscopic metropolis of strange creatures-‘we beasties” he called them.  Some of his friends thought he had lost his mind.

What do we learn from Leeuwenhoek’s story?  Some of our most important discoveries happen when we aren’t looking for them.  They are serendipities.  That word comes from The Three Princes of Serendip, a Persian folk tale that dates back more than a thousand years.  Three young men experience one happy adventure after another, even though they’re always hoping for something else.

You may be hoping for the healing of a nagging illness and may be in the process of praying and working for that result.  But God surprises you.  You receive the serendipity of faith you never thought you could have.  Or perhaps the gift of courage and patience.  Or maybe even the discovery that your life can still be complete without that healing.

Leeuwenhoek also helped us begin to understand in a way that no one had ever suspected, that small things matter a great deal.  Human beings typically assume that big things deserve big attention.  That was represented in the history of art into the Middle Ages.  If someone was identified as being theologically or morally superior, that character dominated the canvas, all out of proportion to lesser figures.  Suddenly the world awoke to the reality that a great deal of God’s creation cannot even be seen-and those entities may well turn out to be either important allies or serious adversaries.

Jesus had much to say about the dignity of small things.  According to Matthew 13:3, life in God’s kingdom typically begins with something as small as a mustard seed which ultimately grows into a plant where birds can nest.  That means our relationship with God is likely to rise and fall on little steps, little decisions, and little acts of kindness to which one might hardly pay attention.

In a world that has an outsized fascination with big celebrities, big corporate mergers, and big voices, small things make all the difference in the world.  In the memorable words of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “We may not be able to do great things.  But we can all do great things with great love.”

Anton von Leeuwenhoek would be the first to say that small things are a very big deal, indeed.

 

Faithfully,

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

 

Chaplain’s Corner: CXIII

“Routing Our Prayers to the Right Address”

Most of us who work in any form today must use a computer.  Many of the Residents at Westminster Village use their computers on a daily basis as well for a variety of news, email, and finding information on a variety of topics.  51 years ago a man named Ray Tomlinson was messing around working with ARPANET, the predecessor to the internet.  In 1971 a total of 15 computers had been linked to each other.  Ray thought it might be useful one day to send messages between computers.  After about 6 hours tinkering in his spare time Ray was able to send a test message from one computer to another.  BINGO.  Ray Tomlinson is credited with both sending and receiving the world’s first email.

Now he needed a symbol to denote email’s destination.  He was quickly drawn to @.  And just like that, one of the enduring icons of the digital age was born.  Today there are more than 7 billion registered email accounts, which is not bad for a planet with 7.97 billion inhabitants.  Approximately 3 million emails are sent every second.  That’s not to say that most of them are worth reading.  About two-thirds of all emails are spam.

The @ tells us where to direct our correspondence.  If we don’t get the destination right-the address on the other side of the @ symbol will get lost in cyberspace.  Or they will become undeliverable.  A single misspelling is enough to derail the most important email of your life.

What about the messages and prayers we are desperate to share with God?  In his letter to the Romans the apostle Paul says something remarkable.  The Holy Spirit routes all our prayers to the right address.

“God’s Spirit is right alongside, helping us along.  If we don’t know how or what to pray for, it doesn’t matter.  He does our prayer in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  He knows us far better than we know ourselves…and keeps us present before God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

We can scream, groan, laugh, cry, rage or just hang our heads in silence.  We can mess up our words and mess up our theology.  But no matter what we say (or don’t say) the cries of our heart will reach God’s ears.  That’s because the Holy Spirit is God’s sign.  And he always delivers our message to the right address.

 

Faithfully,

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

Chaplain’s Corner: CXII

“Are People Like Hot Dogs?”

 

It’s summertime, the season for hot dogs.  There have always been two great mysteries

surrounding the quintessential American snack:  What are they really made of?

And who actually invented them?  The first mystery has become the stuff of urban

legend—as in why does one never see a stray dog sniffing around an Oscar Mayer plant?

 

The FDA assures us that our worst nightmares have not in fact come true.  “

Wieners” are generally comprised of various cuts of pork, chicken, and turkey, while

“franks” come from the beef side of the market.  There are of course numerous additives-

seasonings, coloring, sodium, fillers and are certain that you, and the like-which is why

hot dogs taste so good.

 

Americans put away more than 20 billion hot dogs a year.  That works out to something

like 70 per person.  If you’ve just done a personal tally and are certain that you couldn’t

have eaten more than a dozen so far this year, it should be dawning on you that some of

your fellow citizens are eating heroic numbers of hot dogs.  The second hot dog mystery-

the one about origins-is a vexing one for historians.  A handful of entrepreneurs claim to

have launched the wiener-and-frank revolution sometime during the past 150 years, and

each candidate has enthusiastic supporters.

 

There’s Antoine Feuchtwanger, for instance, a Bavarian immigrant who sold hot

sausages on the streets of St. Louis in 1880.  He even let customers wear a pair of gloves

so they wouldn’t burn their fingers.  But when a number of customers walked off with

the gloves, his wife suggested serving sausages in a roll.

 

Then there was the enterprising Englishman Harry Stevens.  Sometime before 1920 he

discovered baseball fans really loved eating hot sausage snacks.  He called his creations

Dachshund sandwiches.  Tad Dorgan, the cartoonist for the New York Post couldn’t spell

“dachshund”.  Therefore, he called them “hot dogs.”

This did nothing of course to suppress the rumors of canine constituents, but Stevens

loved the name nonetheless.  Hot dog carts-the 1920 version of food trucks began to

appear near American factories.  When workers hesitated to sample the “mystery meat,”

some of the cart owners dressed their friends in white medical jackets and encouraged

them to eat a hot dog every day within sight of the crowds.  If doctors eat hot dogs they

must be fine.  Right?

 

And so people gradually learned not to worry overly much about hot dog purity.

 

Unfortunately, the same thing seems to have happened with regard to the purity of

human character.  Many people are like hot dogs.  Just enjoy each other.  Do we really

have to worry about what’s inside?  That may be the spirit of our times, but it’s

impossible to overlook that every organized religion is ultimately concerned with some

kind of spiritual purity, mastery or integrity.

 

Religion generally falls into two categories:  those that preach purity as a personal

achievement, and those who preach purity as a gift that God alone can give.  The Way of

Jesus falls into Category 2.  According to Jesus, God never says, “Oh, just sin just a little

bit, and things will work out in the end.”  God asks for utter purity- and then,

incomprehensibly, treats those who trust Jesus for forgiveness as if they had lived up to

that impossible standard.

 

The only response that seems appropriate to such an arrangement is Wow.

 

Although some may even be led to say Hot Dog!

 

Faithfully,

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

 

Chaplain’s Corner: CX

“The Elixir of Life”

 

For more than 4,000 years, on three different continents, many of the smartest people in

the world pursued a dream.  They yearned to turn ordinary junk into treasure.  It was

the dream of alchemy.  Through a combination of research, magic, and laboratory trial-

and-error, alchemists in China, India, the Middle East, and medieval Europe searched

for the mythical “philosopher’s stone”- a substance that could transmute ordinary metals

like lead into an endless supply of precious metals like silver and gold.

 

No one knew exactly what the philosopher’s stone looked like.  It was rumored to be

orange and exceedingly heavy.  When ground it was supposed to yield a fine red powder

that could dissolve in any liquid and withstand the heat of any furnace.

 

Everyone agreed that when they finally found the stone, it would prove to be the

the ultimate key to human joy.

 

The stone was also called “the elixir of life” because it would be able to heal every human

disease and grant immortality.  Common salt crystals would be transmuted into

diamonds, and (interestingly) the stone would somehow generate perfect

representations, or clones of the one who possessed it.

 

The stakes were high.  The rewards unimaginable.  Many of history’s brightest minds

devoted their best years to pursuing the Magnum Opus (“great work”) of finding the

philosopher’s stone.  Sir Isaac Newton-arguably the smartest guy who has ever lived-

spent more time researching alchemy than either physics or optics.  Sir Robert Boyle,

one of Newton’s contemporaries and widely regarded as the father of modern chemistry

was first and foremost an alchemist.

 

Note that the root Chem (a Greek word that connotes “the art of alloying metals”) is at

the heart of both chemistry and alchemy.  Contemporary scientists assure us that the

philosopher’s stone does not exist.  It never did.  There’s no magical “something” that

can change the ordinary into the extraordinary.  But of course, that claim is at the heart

of Christian spirituality.

 

The Apostle Paul insists that those who follow Jesus “are being transformed into his

image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”

(2 Corinthians 3:18).  The Spirit slowly but surely “transmutes” our thoughts, attitudes,

and actions into those who honor God.  What might that look like?

 

You encounter some resident here at Westminster Village that has invaded your space,

seems arrogant and self-serving and maybe said things to others that put you in a bad

light.  When others speak out behind this person’s back you remember Jesus is your

Master.  Strengthened by the Spirit, you choose not to pour abuse on the person and

work toward a relationship with the person that can bring healing.

 

You flip on the TV and that politician you cannot stand is getting more national

exposure.  You can’t even hear the politician’s voice without cringing.  You choose to

pray that God will bless this person and you choose the path of love.

 

You encounter people that always seem to be on the outs-maybe it’s the hygiene or

behavior or even a race different than yours.  Rather than put up walls remember Jesus

calls us to love people the way he loves people.  And so you make an effort to get to know

these people who are different by paying attention to their needs.  We see this in Muncie

today with the immigrants from Afghanistan who have moved into our community,

We can learn much from each other and that is the Christian response.

 

For four millennia, people all over the world cherished the dream of alchemy.  Surely

some kind of exotic chemistry could be found to transform everyday junk into gold.  But

no one ever succeeded.  Except for God.

 

He is the Alchemist who can take whatever junk is in our hearts and minds and through

the grace of his Son, transform it into something eternally beautiful.

 

Faithfully

Ron Naylor, Chaplain

COVID-19 Weekly Chart: July 25, 2022

To: All Residents
From: Mary Jo Crutcher, HFA, President and
Tony Elder, CDM, Food Service Director

RE: Windsor, Jewel Box and Cambridge Dining Rooms

Date: July 27, 2022

Due to issues related to COVID concerns, we are acting in a safe and
secure manner and taking extra precautions in regards to the Windsor,
Jewel Box and Cambridge Dining Rooms.

We began this process this past weekend of Residents receiving all of their
meals to go and will continue to monitor until further notice.

Please turn your menus in at the Hostess Station in the Windsor Dining
Room and pick up your carryout meal there beginning at 7:30 am for
Breakfast, 11:30 am for Lunch and 4:30 p.m. for Dinner. Please try to
stagger your times so everyone doesn’t come down all at once.

Due to the high COVID transmission levels in the state of Indiana and
Delaware County, all un-vaccinated Staff are mandated to test twice
weekly. Westminster Village COVID positivity rates are not on the rise,
however, Staff are acquiring it outside of Westminster, so we are taking
extra precautions to prevent any issues.

We will keep you informed of any further changes. We appreciate your
patience and cooperation during this time.

Thank you.

July 14, 2022

Dear Residents and Families:

If you are following the current COVID virus data trends, you are well aware that positivity
rates are ramping back up in Delaware County and the State.

Due to the increase, our employees will begin twice-weekly testing per regulation. All Visitors
must still complete a COVID Screening Form at the Front Desk upon entry into the building.

Masks are still required to be worn properly by visitors.

Residents, Family and Visitors, we encourage you to utilize infection control practices when
out and about in the building and during outings.

Safety of our Residents and Employees remains of the utmost concern to us as we are sure it
is to you. It is strongly recommended to:

Not visit if you have had any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or have been
exposed to COVID;

  • Visitors must wear their masks properly over their mouth and nose
  • Everyone should be washing their hands often and/or using alcohol based
    hand sanitizerAlert your Nurse if you are ill
  • Test if you have signs or symptoms of COVID.

Many thanks to all of you for your patience, understanding and support during the continued
COVID journey over the past two and a half years—we have all done a great job. As
guidance continues to be updated, we will keep you posted. See wvmuncie.com.

Just a reminder there will be a Staff & Resident Cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday July
15 th in the Legacy Commons Event Hall—Residents please join us for hamburgers and hot
dogs and all the sides. Social Hours will also be on Friday, July 15 th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in
the Event Hall.

Many Blessings to each of you!
From the Administration, Supervisors and Management Team

April 12, 2022

Dear Staff, Residents & Families:

We have had seven (7) new positive COVID-19 Resident cases to report and three (3) new positive Staff.

Per regulations and guidelines from CDC, CMS and the Indiana Department of Health, we will be completing “outbreak testing”, meaning all Staff and Residents, whether vaccinated or not, will be COVID-19 tested this week and every four days for the next 14 days until all tests are negative.  Resident testing will begin immediately.  All Staff whether vaccinated or not must be tested today beginning at 1 p.m. in the Physician’s Office to 6 p.m. and again on Friday, April 15th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Due to outbreak testing, the following guidelines must be put in place:

  • All Staff working in the Health Center must wear an N95 mask and face shields/goggles.
  • Abbey Court in the Health Center is considered a Yellow and Red Zone.
  • Abbey Court will begin negative air pressure to further increase the effectiveness of the Bi-Polar Ionization system already in place in the Health Center.
  • It is highly encouraged that all Residents social distance appropriately and wear your face coverings properly and wash your hands frequently.
  • Visitation will continue but please mask appropriately and wash your hands frequently.

 

We continue to be hands on daily in communicating with the Indiana Department of Health, our ISDH Area Supervisor, the ISDH Infection Control Preventionist and the Delaware County Health Department.  We continue to follow the proper protocol per our Infection Control guidelines.

Please continue to send positive thoughts and prayers as they are greatly appreciated at this time.  Please check our website at www.wvmuncie.com.

Sincerely,

The Administration, Supervisors and Management Staff

 

March 14, 2022

Dear Residents, Families and Employees:

If you are following the current COVID virus data trends, you are well aware that positivity rates continue to decrease! Our county positivity rate is currently at 5.28%. At Westminster Village 99% of Residents are vaccinated, and 72% of Employees are vaccinated.

Effective today, per new regulations, there are new revised COVID Long-Term Care Visitor and Staff Screening Forms that are required to be completed before entering. Forms for Visitors are located at the Front Entrance and after completing take to the Front Desk to receive your Screening Wellness Sticker-temperatures are not currently required for Visitors. Staff will complete the new screening form in the screening room as before and take their own temperature and record on the form. Masks are still required for all.

Safety of our Residents and Employees remains of the utmost concern to us as we are sure it is to you. It is strongly recommended to:

Not visit or report to work with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19;
Wear your mask properly over your mouth and nose; and
Wash your hands often,

Many thanks to all of you for your patience, understanding and support during the COVID journey the past two years. As guidance continues to be updated, we will keep you posted. See wvmuncie.com.

Also, on Tuesday, March 15th, Westminster Village Residents and Staff will be participating in the statewide Tornado Drill at approximately 10:00 a.m. along with a Community wide Gas Leak Drill with the Gaston Fire Department and Gaston EMS. Staff and Residents please listen to the all page intercom announcements for the Mock Drill instructions and follow your emergency procedures.

Many Blessings to each of you!

From the Administration, Supervisors and Management Team

 

 

 

February 1, 2022

Dear Westminster Village Staff, Residents and Families,

Welcome to the month of February 2022. This is a very special month of sharing love, kindness and general caring about others.

Our very special Westminster Team have been working together to prepare for a Winter Storm Wonderland. All departments are preparing ahead of the storm warning to provide safety and security for all. So we want to express our gratefulness and thankfulness to each of you.

Many staff members are making plans to stay at Westminster during the next few days in a great effort to make certain resident cares and needs are met.

Due to the anticipated weather conditions, the Beauty Salons will be closed on Thursday and Friday this week. There will be no Transportation on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, February 4 th , Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be served as carry out/to-go meals during regular meal times.

Once again we extend our Thank You to all and ask that as we go through the next few days you send positive thoughts, say prayers or simply voice your appreciation for our amazing staff. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation during this time.

Many Blessings with great appreciation.

Mary Jo Crutcher, Dustin R. Jones, and the Supervisor Team

January 21, 2022

Dear Westminster Village Residents and Families:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a focus in all of our daily lives. We currently have had 107 Employees test positive since March 2020 and have been required to be off work for 10 days per guidelines. We are thankful that each has been able to recover. We are also very thankful and grateful that all staff have pulled together as a team taking on extra responsibilities to cover for their co-worker while they were recuperating from COVID to ensure that all Residents are taken care of daily. We ask that you please be patient as staff are off recuperating—many departments are working with reduced staffing and are working other departments or areas that they may not be familiar with.

The COVID Positivity Rate in our state and county is still extremely high—31.24%. The new Omicron variant is highly contagious. Please make sure you are wearing your mask properly and washing your hands.

99% of the Residents are vaccinated and 69% of the Employees are vaccinated with an additional 56 employees choosing a medical or religious exemption and getting tested twice weekly.

If an employee becomes positive and has had direct contact with a Resident, we begin “outbreak testing” and test the Resident or department twice in fourteen days. We currently do not have any Resident COVID positive cases.

We are following all Indiana State Department of Health guidelines for infection control and keep in contact with them on a regular basis to stay in full compliance and provide the very best safe care we possibly can.

Thank you for your understanding, patience, thoughts, prayers and anticipated kindness of sharing your appreciation and compliments as our staff work to provide care and services.

Many Blessings with great appreciation.

Mary Jo Crutcher, Dustin R. Jones, and the Supervisor Team

 

 

 

Dear Westminster Village Staff, Residents and Families,

Throughout this holiday season, and as we move into a new year, we wish you the Spirit of Christmas which is Peace, the Blessing of Christmas which is Hope and the Heart of Christmas which is Love. May you enjoy moments of peace amid the difficulties, connections with family and friends and the warmth of memories from holidays past, and wonderful glimpses of the joy and hope.

In the true spirit of the season, we would like to invite all of the Residents and their Essential Caregivers to the Christmas Eve Services at Westminster Village at 6:30 p.m. in the Legacy Commons Event Hall.
At this time we are so honored and blessed by your faith, support and kindness that you have shown Westminster Village for the year and this journey of 2021.

WE THANK YOU AND WISH EACH OF YOU & YOURS

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Mary Jo Crutcher, Supervisors and the Management Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 22, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents and Families:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a focus in all of our daily lives. As you know from our postings, this virus continues to affect some of our residents and staff. We are thankful that each individual has been able to recover. However, the COVID Positivity Rate in our state and county is still high. During this pandemic we have encouraged everyone to:

* Properly wear your mask over your nose and mouth
*  Practice proper hand hygiene
* Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
* Notify a nurse or doctor if you are not feeling well

Per Federal and State guidelines, Visitation is now open and allowed for all Residents with no limits on frequency and length of visits or limitations on number of visitors at all times. Visitors must visit in the Resident room only and continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and complete a health screening at the Front Desk. Please do not visit if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling ill.

We are so very thankful that you have chosen to share your life’s journey with Westminster Village.  As we enter into this holiday season with grateful hearts, it is so important that we remember those Staff members who give so generously of their talents, care and love for humanity and the Residents we serve.

This is a season of reflection of the challenges and joys we have experienced as well as the blessings that are yet to be discovered. On behalf of our Administration and Supervisory Team, thank you for celebrating the peaceful warm, happy feelings of this beautiful season of thankfulness. We wish you a
Safe and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Mary Jo Crutcher, Dustin R. Jones, and the Supervisor Team

 

 

September 15, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents, Families and Staff,

Due to the Delaware County COVID Positivity rate increasing to nearly 16%, the following recommendations and guidelines will become effective on Thursday, 9-16-2021, in an effort to protect each Resident entrusted to our care and our loyal Staff.

Visitation Hours

  • Recommended Visitation will be: 8:00 am to 11:00 am, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm seven days a week.  However, other times will be accommodated as needed.
  • All visitors must enter through the Main entrance and be screened and receive a wellness sticker.
  • We ask that you not visit if you have any signs or symptoms of illness, or have had contact with anyone that is ill.
  • All visitors over the age of two and the Resident must properly wear a mask covering your mouth and nose at all times during the visit. We do ask that visitors bring your own mask.
  • All visitors must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet during the visit.
  • All visitors must hand wash or utilize alcohol-based hand rub upon visit.
  • All visits must be in the resident’s apartment or room only. No common areas.
  • Traveling throughout the building must be directly from the main entrance to the resident’s apartment or room. We ask that you maintain to the right of the hallways when entering and exiting the building.
  • All visitors must utilize the main elevators during visitation times. We ask that residents and staff, if able, use alternate elevators during visitation times.
  • Window visits and outdoor visitations are still available and recommended.
  • This does not apply for Compassionate Care visits or for the Essential Care Givers.

Dining Rooms

  • Dining Room seating will be set to accommodate social distancing while eating as recommended by the CMS guidelines.
  • Couples residing in the same apartment may sit together.
  • The dining rooms will be environmentally cleaned before and after meal service.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at the entrance to each dining room. Please sanitize your hands upon entering and exiting the dining room.
  • Masks will be required to be worn while not eating, i.e. upon entering and exiting the dining room.

Activities

  • All Activities require everyone to properly wear a mask, hand sanitize before and after each event or activity and socially distance 6 feet apart.
  • The Fitness Center and Therapy Gym, including group and individual exercise will require everyone to properly wear a mask and socially distance 6 feet apart.
  • Indoor singing or shouting should be avoided.
  • Bus excursions to the Civic or other events are still permissible, however masks will be required to be worn properly and sanitize your hands upon returning.
  • If Residents choose to play cards or games with others in close contact (less than 6 feet apart) please understand the increased risk of getting COVID you are incurring. Please wear your mask properly and use proper hand hygiene.

Common Areas Including Lounges and Hallways

  • All Residents, Visitors and Staff must properly wear a mask at all times while in common areas.

Beauty Salon

  • It is recommended to only have one (1) Resident at a time. All must properly wear a mask.  Social distance in the Salon if more than one Resident is present.

Transportation and Medical Appointments

  • Please wear a mask to and from each appointment and use hand sanitizer upon return.

 Excursions Greater than 24 hours

  • Please take proper precautions while away—masking, hand sanitizing and socially distancing.
  • Upon return, Residents will need to be screened at the Front Desk with temperature taken.
  • Residents will need to self-monitor for symptoms of illness and alert Nursing as needed.

Village Meeting Room

  • Due to the limited space in the Village Meeting Room, at the present time social gatherings for meetings or parties are not recommended due to CDC’s Core Principles of Infection Control.

 

Essential Family Caregivers

  • We encourage Residents to complete their applications for this program. Contact Marketing or Social Services with questions about the Essential Caregiver Program.
  • Un-Vaccinated approved Essential Family Caregivers currently are required to COVID test twice weekly.
  • Must screen upon entry and wear the wellness sticker, wear a mask and your badge while in the building.
  • Essential Family Caregivers are not permitted to eat in the Dining Rooms but can assist or provide support for their family member/Resident.

As always, our goal is to serve and protect the Residents and Staff.  Please note that we may cease visitation if a new facility-onset COVID-19 positive Resident or Staff case is confirmed.  Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

The Administration, Supervisors and Managers

 

September 9, 2021

Dear Residents, Families and Employees:

If you are following the current COVID virus data trends, you are well aware that positivity rates continue to climb at a rapid pace.  Our county positivity rate has more than doubled in the last 30 days—today the CDC reports over a 15% County Positivity Rate.  Data also indicates that only about 47% of Delaware County residents are fully vaccinated.  At Westminster Village 98% of Residents are vaccinated, and 55% of Employees are vaccinated.

This is an alert to everyone that we still need to protect ourselves at all times from this COVID virus.  From a safety standpoint please be aware that for many of us, our first vaccine was administered back in January – eight months ago.  Vaccination does not 100% guarantee immunity from COVID and that over time the vaccine will actually wane in its effectiveness.  We are aware of several individuals that had previously received their vaccine, have now tested positive for the virus.  Do not allow the fact that you may have been vaccinated to give you a false sense of immunity from this dreaded virus.  We still have to do all we can to protect ourselves and those around us.

We do strongly encourage all residents, employees and visitors to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible.  Evidence shows that this still is the best way to protect yourself from being seriously ill and needing hospitalization if you are infected by COVID.

Safety of our residents, families and employees remains of the utmost concern to us as we are sure it is to you. It is strongly recommended to:

  • Wear your mask properly over your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands often
  • Distance from others appropriately at least 6 feet apart

We have been informed by the Indiana Department of Health that new guidance will be issued soon.  We will provide you with an update as soon as we review and understand the requirements of this guidance.

Boosters of the vaccines are expected to be available by the end of September.  We anticipate that we will host a booster vaccine clinic at Westminster Village for all residents and employees.

Many thanks to all of you for your patience, understanding and support during this most unusual time in our lives.

From the Administration, Supervisors and Management Team

 

 

August 12, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents and Families,

In the past four weeks, Indiana has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant, which spreads equal to or more than twice as easily from one person to another compared with earlier strains. There has been a 112% increase in positive COVID-19 cases this week. As of today, the Delaware County positivity rate is 8.75% per the CDC website.

The new guidelines from the Indiana Department of Health are as follows that will directly impact all Residents, Staff, and Visitors:

• Masks are mandatory for everyone in all areas of Westminster Village whether you are COVID Vaccinated or not when the positivity rates are over 5%. Visitors, please bring your own mask if possible.

• Indoor singing activities are now prohibited. Music is allowed, with no singing. No visitors will be permitted at any activities at this time.

• Please do not visit if you are ill, show any signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to anyone that’s been ill.

• Residents and Staff should properly wear a mask over their mouth and nose in public indoor settings and while attending any community events not at Westminster Village (i.e. church, excursions, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.) when the positivity rates are over 5%.

• Everyone must continue to be diligent in washing their hands often and social distancing as appropriate.

Our goal is to continue to do our very best to keep our Residents and Staff safe all while following all of the guidelines for long-term care from the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health. Thank you for your cooperation. See wvmuncie.com for further updates.

Administration, Supervisors, and the Management Team

 

 

July 30, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents and Families,

We are expecting new guidelines from the Indiana Department of Health next week based on an increase in positive COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. On June 28th the Delaware County positivity rate was 2.4% and as of July 29th it is now 7.9%.

To update you on some upcoming changes and guidelines from the Indiana Department of Health in our continuing efforts to help protect Residents and Staff from this virus, the following guidelines are highly encouraged with more information to follow next week:

• Mask use is highly recommended for all Visitors in all areas of Westminster Village whether you are COVID Vaccinated or not even while visiting in a Resident’s Room. Please bring your own mask if possible.

• Please do not visit if you are ill, show any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to anyone that’s been ill.

• Residents are encouraged and we recommend that masks are worn whether you are COVID Vaccinated or not.

• Residents and Staff are also highly encouraged to wear a mask while attending any community events or indoor venues not at Westminster Village (i.e. church, excursions, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.).

• Everyone must continue to be cautious, wear your mask over your mouth and nose, wash your hands often and social distance as appropriate.

Our goal is to continue to do our very best to keep our Residents and Staff safe all while following all of the guidelines for long term care from the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health. Thank you for your cooperation. See wvmuncie.com for further updates.

Administration, Supervisors and the Management Team

 

July 23, 2021

 

Dear Westminster Village Residents and Families,

Coronavirus infections are on the rise again in the United States, especially the Delta Variant.

To update you on our continuing efforts to help protect the Residents and Staff from this virus, the following guidelines are still in place:

• Un-vaccinated Staff are still required per regulations to COVID test weekly.

• All Staff are still required per regulations to complete a health screening with temperature checks daily. All Visitors are still required to complete a health screening daily.

• We are highly recommending that all Staff be vaccinated. A financial incentive is in place to reach a 65% or greater vaccination goal by 9-30-2021. Staff COVID-19 vaccination rate is 50% and Residents are 98%.

• All Staff are still required per regulations to wear a mask while on duty.

• All Residents and Visitors must continue to wear a mask in common areas and
hallways.

• Everyone must continue to be cautious and mask up in large indoor venues,
socially distancing and continuing to wash your hands diligently.

• High traffic areas are environmentally cleaned more frequently throughout the day following the proper protocol per our Infection Control guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation to ensure that Westminster Village is a safe place to work and for the Residents to call home. See wvmuncie.com for further updates.

Administration, Supervisors and the Management Team

June 30, 2021

Dear Residents, Staff, Families and Visitors:

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has released new guidance regarding the Health Screening/Temperature Taking process, Beauty Salons, Entertainment with Singing and Masks.

  1. Health Screening/Temperature Taking Process:
    • Vaccinated Residents: Do not need to be screened with temperatures daily unless they are exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 then it is required three (3) times per day assessment for COVID-19.  Residents also do not need to be re-screened if you have the left Westminster Village property and returned the same day.
    • Un-Vaccinated Residents: Will require once daily assessments for COVID-19.
    • All Employees: Will need to complete the Health Screening Form with Temperature checks upon arrival to work.  Staff does not need to be re-screened if you have the left the Westminster property and returned the same day.
    • Visitors: Will need to complete the Health Screening Form and receive a wellness sticker but temperature checks are not required.  Re-entering the facility within the same calendar day does not require you to be re-screened.
  1. Beauty Salons – the Westminster Village Beauty Salons are now permitted to have two or more Vaccinated Residents at a time but masks are still recommended.
  1. Entertainment with Singing – IDOH is now permitting singing entertainment, however, everyone must wear a mask including the entertainment due to the risk of droplets in the air.
  1. Eye Protection – Fully Vaccinated Staff may choose to not wear eye protection in green/yellow zones irrespective of the county positivity rate.  Employees must wear eye protection when assisting any symptomatic or positive COVID-19 Residents in the red/yellow zone.
  1. Masks – Fully Vaccinated Staff can unmask during one-on-one Resident care with fully vaccinated Residents unless undergoing aerosol generating procedures.  Masks must be kept on if visitors are present or if other un-vaccinated Staff enter the room. Masks must still be worn at all times by Residents, Staff and Visitors in hallways and common areas.   
  2. Water Fountains and Hydration Stations – Are now permitted.
  3.  Guest Meals – Are now permitted for carryout only. Regular guest meal pricing applies.
  4. Overnight Guests – Are now permitted to stay in the Resident’s apartment per the policy of up to 14 consecutive days.

As always, our goal is to protect the residents and staff from this virus.  These guidelines are in place to protect each resident entrusted to our care.  We anticipate everyone’s patience, cooperation and respect as we continue our Back on Track guidance.  Please see wvmuncie.com for more information.

We wish you a sparkling 4th of July weekend filled with pride and honor.  Please stay safe and  God Bless America!

Administration, Supervisors and the Management Team

June 15, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents, Families and Staff,

Wonderful News! The CDC and Indiana Department of Health have updated their guidance on Dining Rooms and Group Activities for COVID-19 Vaccinated Residents. The following will be Westminster Village’s guidelines:

DINING: Dining rooms in Residential and Assisted Living will open back up to normal meal times-no social distancing required for all Vaccinated Residents during meal times beginning today at lunch. All Residents must still wear masks to and from the Dining Room and in common areas and can remove them once you are seated. No Guests in the Dining Room or Guest Meals will be permitted at this time.

ACTIVITIES: In-house Group activities will resume this week with no social distancing required for all Vaccinated Residents. No visitors during activities will be permitted at this time. The first big event planned is BINGO on Wednesday, June 23rd at 2:00 p.m. Please see your weekly Activity Calendar and listen for announcements for other dates and times of activities. Group Outings will be only for select ticketed events and the outside 4th of July Fireworks at Minnetrista. Please see the sign-up sheets in the Transportation office for more information. We will notify you in advance if an event will require you to wear a mask.

Un-Vaccinated Residents are still required to wear a mask at all times when not in your apartment and social distance at least six feet from others when in common areas, the dining room or when attending activities.

Thank you again for your continued support and cooperation as we get back to a new normal.

Administration, Supervisors and the Management Team

 

June 10, 2021

Dear Residents, Families and Employees:

Great News! Beginning immediately, Indoor Visitation hours will be increased under Indiana Department of Health guidelines. Westminster Village has set forth the following guidelines:

• Visitation will be held at any time – there are no scheduled hours any longer.
• Residents may have any number of visitors at a time – there are no limits on visitors any longer.
• Lengths of visits are no longer limited.
• Visits are allowed in the Green Zone areas only. No visits in the Red or Yellow Zone on CooperVista will be permitted.
• All visitors must continue to enter through the Main entrance and complete a health screening form and get your temperature checked. We ask that you not visit if you have any signs or symptoms of illness, or have had contact with anyone that is ill. Visitation may be declined if it is observed that the visitation could pose an infection control threat to the community.
• All visitors over the age of two must properly wear a mask in common areas at all times during the visit. We do ask that visitors bring your own mask.
• All visitors must hand wash or utilize alcohol-based hand rub upon visit.
• All visits must be in the resident’s apartment or room only. No common areas.
• At this time, Activities and Dining services are limited to Residents only. Future information will be forthcoming.
Please see the attached Indiana Department of Health Visitation Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities handout.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation as we transition back to re-opening and a new normal. It is our continued goal to serve and protect the residents and staff. Visit www.wvmuncie.com for further updates as needed.

The Administration, Supervisors and Management Staff

 

May 28, 2021

Dear Westminster Village Residents, Families and Staff,

We want to take this opportunity to share that for the last several weeks our Dietary team has been designing a re-opening strategy to welcome residents back into the Dining Rooms for Dinner.  Please know that our priority continues to be the safety of residents and employees so we are taking a cautious approach. Our re-opening plans are consistent with the guidelines established by CDC, CMS and ISDH.

Opening the Residential and Assisted Living Dining Rooms is one step on our journey to move toward a new normal.  Breakfast and Lunch in the Dining Rooms have been going well for the past several months.  On June 2nd, Dinner will begin in the Dining Rooms as follows: (it is also Birthday Dinner)

  • Windsor and Jewel Box Dining Rooms –

  1st Seating at 4:30 pm and 2nd Seating at 6:00 p.m.

  • Assisted Living and Essex Dinner in the Dining Rooms at 4:30 p.m.
  • Health Center Dining rooms will begin at a later date

It is important that we highlight three things about this reopening:

  1. Changes to Dining Spaces
  • Limited capacity in order to properly social distance.
  • Spacing of tables and chairs so proper social distancing can be practiced. No one is to be seated closer than six feet apart. The only exception will be for couples who reside in the same apartment.
  • Placemats will be used, but no tablecloths.
  • Items will not be shared such as salt & pepper shakers.
  • Residents who are on a one meal a day plan may add additional meals, however no guest meals will be permitted at this time.
  1. Increased Sanitation and Safety

The Dietary team has always been mindful about cleaning, however, COVID-19 has forced many to implement new practices and more frequent cleaning.

  • The dining rooms will be environmentally cleaned before, during and after each meal service.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at the entrance to each dining room.
  • Masks will be required to be worn while not eating, i.e. upon entering and exiting the dining room.
  • Resident temperature and symptoms screening will continue prior to entering the Dining Room.
  • Dietary staff will be required to wear a mask and eye protection during the meal service.
  • A weekly menu packet will continue to be provided and you are encouraged to bring down the completed menu to the dining room. Additional menus may be picked up at the hostess podium if needed.
  1. Flexibility

The meal carryout will continue to be available to those who still wish to eat in their apartment.  You may pick up your carryout meal at the hostess podium in the Windsor Dining Room beginning at 8:00 am for Breakfast, 12:00 pm for

Lunch and 5:00 p.m. for Dinner.

Small group activities, such as exercise and the Next-to-New Shoppe will also continue per the schedule.

Everyone at Westminster Village extends their gratitude for your support and understanding in following all guidelines as we thoughtfully approach the re-opening of our dining venues.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend as it is the day to remember with gratitude and pride all those who served and died for our country and freedom.  May your day be filled with memories and peace.  God Bless America!

Administration, Supervisors and the Management Team

 

WESTMINSTER VILLAGE VISITORS

June 1st, 2021

If COVID-19 Vaccinated you:

  • May remove your mask when in the Resident’s room or apartment if the Resident is fully vaccinated.
  • May have close contact if Resident is fully vaccinated.
  • Need to be screened when entering the building and if you have left the premises.
  • Need to social distance from others when in halls and common areas.
  • Need to wear a mask in hallways and common areas of Westminster Village.
  • Must continue to wash your hands frequently.
  • Should be commended for doing your part in protecting your loved ones and getting back to a new normal. Thank you!

If Un-Vaccinated you:

  • Need to be screened when entering the building and if you have left the premises.
  • Must wear a mask at all times while at Westminster Village, especially in Resident’s room or apartment.
  • Need to social distance from others at all times.
  • Must continue to wash your hands frequently.
  • Still can get vaccinated soon at any walk in clinic to help protect your loved ones and the Residents we serve to help get back to a new normal.

Chaplain’s Corner: CIX

“If You Could Live Forever”

 

If you could live forever, would you want to?  That question was posed to Miss Alabama

in the Miss USA competition in 1984,  She replied, “I would not live forever, because we

should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live

forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.”  Heather’s

interesting answer notwithstanding, the question of immortality has troubled and

fascinated humanity since ancient times.

 

According to Greek mythology, the Goddess Eos fell in love with Tithonus, a mortal from

the city of Troy.  She pleaded with Zeus to grant him the gift of immortality.  Zeus

complied.  But Eos had neglected to specify one small detail–that Tithonus should

remain forever young.  Instead he became older and decrepit with every passing year.

 

Billions of dollars are currently being invested by major companies in longevity

research.  “Immortalists” are convinced that science will one day solve the riddles of

aging.  The majority of scientists, however, remain skeptical.

 

Like it or not, at least for the foreseeable future, every human life has an expiration

date.  We are not immortal.

 

That leaves us grappling with that other ancient question:  Is there life beyond the

grave?  Some of the smartest people in the world have come up with different answers to

that question.  The late professor Armand Nicholi Jr, taught a course at Harvard for 35

years that contrasted two of the 20th century’s most brilliant minds.  He summarized his

observations in “The Question of God:  C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God,

Love, Sex and the Meaning of Life.”

 

Nicholi’s closing chapter on the subject of death is illuminating.  Sigmund Freud, the

father of psychoanalysis and a lifelong atheist was dismayed by the fact that one day he

would die.   Birthdays were occasions of despair.  Throughout his life he fatalistically

parted company with others by saying, “Goodbye, you may never see me again.”  In

September 1939, as cancer ravaged his body, he arranged for his physician to give him

an overdose of morphine so he could exit the world on his own terms.

 

For the first half of his life, C.S. Lewis was also an atheist.  It can safely be said that his

conversion to Christianity at age 31 transformed his perspective on everything.  That

included death.  “There are better things ahead of us than anything we leave behind,”

he wrote toward the end of his life.  He actually enjoyed the process of aging.  “Autumn

is the best season,” he insisted, and saw the physical decline not as the final chapter of

his life’s story, but as a prelude to personal renewal.  The death of his wife Joy was a

shattering experience.  He acknowledged that it jolted the foundations of his faith.  But

as his own death approached a few years later, he felt both peace and anticipation.  He

calmly told his brother, “I have done all I was sent into the world to do.”

 

The news of Lewis’s death was pushed to the back pages of the world’s newspapers

because it happened on November 22, 1963, the same day JFK was assassinated.

 

Nicholi notes that Christians have always had ambivalent feelings about the end of

life.  Death and loss are clearly Plan B in God’s world–the result of things going very

wrong.  But death itself, specifically the death of God’s Son, became the very means by

which God rescued us.  We are not going to live in this world forever.  Death, however,

does not get the last word.  Therefore one of the Holy Spirit’s primary jobs is to prepare

us to face death without fear.

 

People commonly speak of passing into death as if we were fumbling into an abyss where

everything will be lost.  That was Sigmund Freud’s lifelong fear.  But it’s more accurate

from a biblical perspective to say that we go through death into something wonderful.

We leave the small corner of God’s neighborhood so we can relocate into a vast

hemisphere of divine real estate.

 

Jesus assures his followers that we are heading for a reunion like no other welcoming

party.  No wonder the Bible’s most oft-repeated command is, “Don’t be Afraid.”

 

Life can be tough.  And death can seem so deadly.  But because of the One who put death

out of commission on the cross, all shall be well at life’s end.

 

Faithfully, Ron Naylor, Chaplain

 

Chaplain’s Corner: CVII

“The Power of the Personal”

It matters when we see someone’s face. A few years ago, Jonathan Taylor, an Israeli
Physician was conducting a fascinating experiment. With their consent, he took photos
of 300 men and women who were coming in for CT scans. He attached the photos to the
images that were submitted to radiologists. The radiologists-who knew nothing of
Turner’s plan-reported that they felt an increased sense of empathy toward these
patients, and a desire to be especially meticulous.

Author Daniel Pink points out that radiologists often sit alone. Their work of reading
X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs is incredibly important. But it can also feel impersonal.
Pink writes, “One of the measures of an outstanding radiologists is the ability to discover
“incidental findings,” physical concerns…that are incidental to the issue really under
consideration.”

The radiologists who examined the images of Turner’s 300 selected patients—the ones
whose pictures accompanied their scans–reported a remarkable number of incidental
findings.

Three months later Turner selected 81 of the scans in which an incidental health issue
had been reported. He resubmitted them to the same group of radiologists-who didn’t
know they were repeats-but this time without the pictures. The outcome was
startling. The second time 80% of the incidental findings went unreported.

Turner was quick to point out that nothing is going to replace sound scientific and
technological processes. But “the power of the personal” cannot be ignored. His
patients are human beings, not just physiological case studies.

It matters when we see someone’s face.

In Old Testament times, what did it mean to receive God’s blessing? Aaron, the high
Priest extended his hands over the people of Israel and said, “The Lord bless you and
keep you, the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn
His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

The ultimate privilege of being one of God’s people was knowing that God was turning
His face in my direction–that the King of the Osmos would want to know me personally,
and consequently let me know something of Him.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul provides a foretaste of life in the next world.
“For now we see in a glass darkly,” he writes in I Corinthians 13:12. Glass mirrors had
not yet been invented. The only way to catch a blurry glimpse of one’s own reflection was
to gaze into the still water or a highly polished metallic surface. “But then (that is in the
next world) face to face.” On the other side of death, in other words, we shall see and be
seen as we really are–and that will somehow include the face of God.

Paul concludes, “Now, I know in part but then I will know fully just as I also have been
fully known.” Questions will be answered. Secrets will be laid bare. We will know and
be known as never before.

But what about today? What can we do right now to experience more of the
Personal? The next time you’re in a crowd or in traffic or sitting in a crowded arena,
remember that you are surrounded by real persons–individuals who have friends,
families, fears, joys and concerns. Consider pausing and offering a prayer for the
people behind those faces that you see just for a moment. And there’s something we can
always pray for someone, even if we know next to nothing about what they are facing
today.

Lord, bless this person with your peace. The Holy Spirit will fill in the rest.

Faithfully,
Ron Naylor, Chaplain

Chaplain’s Corner: CVI

“Grace Wins”

In 1849 a young Russian named Fyodor Dostoevsky was arrested and imprisoned. He was
charged with being part of a group that read books that appeared to be critical of Czar
Nicholas I. After waiting eight months in a festering jail, Dostoevsky and his fellow
criminals were led out three days before Christmas into the night. They were horrified
to hear they had been sentenced to death. There would be no trial and no possibility of
appeal.

And no opportunity even to prepare for the last moments of life.

The men were led to stakes. A clerk recited Romans 6:23 to each prisoner, “The
wages of sin is death,” and held out a cross to be kissed. Drums rolled. The
execution squad raised their rifles. The commander lifted his sword and shouted,
“Ready…aim…”

And then at the last moment a messenger appeared, carrying word from the Czar
himself. He would mercifully commute their sentences to 10 imprisonment. They were
spared!

One of the prisoners suffered a mental breakdown from which he recovered. Another
sank to his knees and wept aloud, blessing the Czar. Dostoevsky, who wasn’t yet 30
years old, experienced what can only be described as a resurrection. One moment he
was resigned to his own tragic and meaningless death. The next moment he was alive
as never before.

Dostoevsky and his fellow prisoners were shackled and sent on a dreadful 18 day
journey to Siberia. He never received a letter from his family during this time.

All the ingredients had come together for despair. Or bitterness. Or vengeful
obsession. But somehow Dostoevsky emerged from his ordeal overwhelmed by the
sheer joy of being alive. He had virtually memorized the only book he had been allowed
to read while in prison: the New Testament.

He went on to become perhaps the greatest novelist of all time. Crime and Punishment.
The Idiot. The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov are turbulent, multi-layered
dramas exploring the meaning of life and the stark reality of suffering in a fallen world.

But they all have the same bottom line: Grace Wins.

He never got over the wonder of having one more day to experience life as God’s
child. God willing, none of us will have to face an execution squad this week. But here
is a prayer to help us realize like Dostoevsky the depths of amazing grace.

“Lord help me seize this day- this day that is a gift from you. Open my hands and my heart to receive whatever you have prepared for me. Help me rejoice in the fact that I am alive right now and that by your grace I can live for you…one day at a time. In the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen.”

Faithfully,
Ron Naylor, Chaplain