Taken from Polly Henderson’s Article in the September 2014 Beacon…
If you happen to visit Bethlehem on a Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm, I can guarantee that shortly after you walk through the door you will hear raucous laughter. Thursdays are “Gathering” days and we are having a joyous time of learning, laughing, sharing, eating, creating, enjoying music, eating some more, exercising, making friends and laughing some more!
The Gathering is a program of caregiving for people in the early to mid stages of dementia. Bethlehem is one of many churches in the metro area that collaborate with Lyngblomsten’s Home-and-Community-Based Services to provide a day of activities for people dealing with dementia. More importantly, it provides five hours of respite for their caregivers. It was the fact my mom has Alzheimer’s that truly led me to become a volunteer. She began her journey nearly twelve years ago. My sister lives with her in her home in Colorado so I am extremely aware of the difficulties and struggles of full-time caregiving. It is very hard for me to be so far away. My mom is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s so her world is basically what is right in front of her at the moment. Being part of the Gathering has not only allowed me to help the participants and their family members, but I also feel a closer connection to my mom and my sister. I am learning a great deal about myself and the capacity we all have to show love and care for each other. I feel so blessed to be a part of this congregation and the ministry of the Gathering.
Volunteer with the Gathering! Thursdays, 10 am -3 pm. The schedule can be flexible to work with your available dates.
New! Memory Loss Caregiver Support Group. 1st Thursdays of every month at 10 am. Open to the community.
Contact Julie McChesney, 612.312.3365, with any questions.