The Spiritual Side of Senior Living
SILVER SPRING, MD—Residents of senior living communities socialize together, dine together and learn together each and every day. But many of them also worship together.
What has been a great source of inspiration to me in seven years in this industry is observing how these folks of different faiths and religions are able to respect each other’s freedom of worship. I often think the world could take heed from their example.
Here’s one story from Riderwood.
The Village Protestant Church of Riderwood retirement community celebrated ten years of weekly worship in the Chapel Sunday, June 1.
The congregation held a special 11 a.m. service in the Riderwood Chapel followed by a reception at 3 p.m. that combined fellowship and nostalgia.
Don Hawkins, a former College Park resident who moved to Riderwood in 2003, serves on the Village Protestant Church Council and the Church Life Committee.
“The spiritual element is an important aspect of retirement, and Riderwood provides residents of all faiths the opportunity to worship,” noted Mr. Hawkins. “We are blessed with a beautiful Chapel that has been our spiritual home for ten years.”
Residents of Riderwood come from many faiths and many have or are still attending their local churches. Over 250 residents belong to the Village Protestant Church on either a regular or associate membership basis.
The Village Protestant Church was originally known as the Riderwood Village Church. The first services, starting in 2001, were held twice a month through the support of guest ministers. In 2004, on Palm Sunday, the first regular Sunday service was held in the newly constructed Riderwood Chapel.
In 2004, the congregation selected the Reverend Louis Woods to serve as the pastor. Since then, he has provided consistent pastoral care to residents and their families.
Support of mission programs, in this country and internationally, continues to be a major outreach program of the Village Protestant Church. Approximately $50,000 has been donated by the congregation during each annual mission outreach.
The Village Protestant Church also boasts a choir of over 20 members, and, in 2011, the church became a fully incorporated entity with a 501(C)3 corporation status.