Cross Lutheran parishioners and services help The Shores at Lake Phalen’s residents become part of the congregation
Cross Lutheran Church in Maplewood has teamed with The Shores at Lake Phalen senior living community to provide worship services and pastoral care to its residents. This service may appear to be common, but not so.
“That’s because it’s a true partnership between our congregation and the residents at The Shores,” said Amy Oslund, associate pastor of Cross Lutheran Church. “Our congregation has reached out to our new neighbors at the senior community to form personal relationships as well as to provide the sort of pastoral care that is offered to our parishioners at the church. This simply is not done anywhere else and the results are rewarding.”
When The Shores opened in the fall of 2012, the congregation asked how they could get to know their new neighbors. What began with a small Bible study group held at The Shores has blossomed into a host of services – and relationships -- with the senior community.
“Because many of our senior residents prefer to stay at home instead of leaving the property, we soon asked the church if it could also provide a communion service,” said Anna Outcelt, activities director at The Shores at Lake Phalen. Oslund and colleague Bob Preuss then met with Ebenezer, which manages The Shores, about the possibility of providing further pastoral care. “The idea took off and has quickly expanded, bringing unprecedented services to our residents at The Shores.”
Today, the pastors provide pastoral care that includes weekly worship services and communion, as well Bible studies. The pastors also visit seniors in hospitals and provide memorial services. “It has evolved into a wonderful partnership that I have not seen anywhere else,” said Outcelt.
Oslund and Preuss also spend each Wednesday at The Shores planning, studying and visiting.
“We consider The Shores part of our congregation,’” said Oslund. “We are bringing pastoral services that our parishioners receive to our neighboring seniors.”
The unique relationship was demonstrated earlier this month when a pipe froze at the church. So on short notice, the church held its Sunday service for its congregation at The Shores that included both “communities.”
About The Shores at Lake Phalen
The Shores at Lake Phalen (www.theshoresoflakephalen.com) is managed by Ebenezer Management Services (www.fairviewebenezermemorycare.org). Located in Maplewood, Minn., The Shores offers independent, assisted living and memory care apartments.