When I came to New Garden Friends Meeting, I was given a list of thirty-five people who needed pastoral visits on a regular basis. On the other hand, there was no list for staff contact information, the names of who had keys to the office, or meeting policies for safety or personnel. And no one could remember the last time the meetinghouse had a deep clean.
We are an aging meeting, and one that has an influx of retired people who move into Friends Homes. That presents both gifts and challenges for the meeting. It is wonderful to have the time and energy of newly retired people! And that demographic has its own health concerns.
In light of this, I want to lift up the work of Deborah Suess. As our part-time Visitation Pastor, Deborah visits fifteen or more people in the NGFM community each month, in Friends Homes, at home, and in hospitals. Over the past month, she has also visited five Friends in hospice care. She is working with two families to plan memorials and will lead those services.
In a meeting with a sizable elderly population, this is necessary work. But it may not be visible to everyone. I hope you will join me in thanking Deborah for all she brings to NGFM in this role.
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