Category: News

How Do you Do? -Rev. Burrel McNaught

Therefore encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 15:2

A friend in one of our congregations said his favorite song was Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Jim was such a positive, loving, caring guy, and I expected his “favorite song” to be a hymn. I listened to Armstrong’s rendition, and I understood why it is so appealing. People greet one another with the words, “How do you do?” What they’re really saying, according to the song, is “I love you.”
When we greet one another here at Epworth Villa, we’re not likely to say, “I love you.” It’s just too loaded with romantic and sentimental implications and prone to be misinterpreted. We’d rather use other words. (Choose your own.) I do believe in greeting people and calling them by name when I can remember—or see their name tag. I’m convinced there is no sound more welcome to most folks than the sound of their own name spoken in a loving, caring way.


Soon after we moved to Epworth Villa, over ten years ago, I decided that as much as I loved the facilities, staff, and services provided, what makes Epworth Villa so very special are the people who live here. I still believe that. The people who live here care for each other. It happens every day in so many ways. We can all offer a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and a heartfelt prayer. It makes a difference. Let’s not underestimate the difference we can make in someone else’s life.

Upscale Dining!

Lobster? Um….YES PLEASE!!!!

Redbud Menu

This week the meals served in our fine dining restaurant, the Redbud will be extra special. It’s all about Lobster and Cheesecake! Chef Eddie Hartwick and Dining Services Manager and Chef, Jamie Bannon will provide an exquisite upscale dining experience for residents and their guests in the Redbud Thursday and Friday night. Just take a look at the menu. The Redbud rivals any fine dining restaurant in OKC.

Chef Jamie
Chef Eddie

Also, this month’s resident recipe contest winner is Jean White with her Cheesecake recipe. It will be on the Bistro Buffet on the weekends and served in the Redbud Thursday and Friday nights! And if you have a really sweet tooth, you can take home a piece of John the Baker’s coconut cream pie!

Epworth Villa – Welcome to life your way!

Farewell Baby Swans

This week, five of our newest baby swans have found new homes. Cygnets as they as called can grow to 20 pounds by 4 months. Owen and Phyllis hatched this clutch on May 12th making these babies four months old and very large already. They have had a steady diet provided by their caretaker and employee Marla and have grown rapidly.

With their new caretakers promising a lovely new pond, four of the swans will go to a new home in Tulsa at South Shore Condominiums. At the same time, another male with the tentative name of “Romeo” will be joining “Ruthie” at Quail Creek Country Club here in Oklahoma City.

While we love the cygnets, they grow fast and must leave the nest. As always, #owenandphyllis have been great parents. We are ultimately grateful to Marla for all her love and attention. She is such a blessing and loves these creatures so much. Resident Carolyn Taylor said, “Marla does such a wonderful job with the swans, and is so good to keep us educated about them. It certainly adds so much to our lives and enjoyment!” We are…………#thrivingtogether.

Ripples of Love – by Carolyn Taylor

The Religious Life of Epworth Villa has been richly endowed recently with three very generous contributions by residents and their families to help to enrich the lives of our residents and bring beauty and joy to our chapel and the activities that occur there. These monetary expressions of love will see further ripples in our community and elsewhere.


With the purchase of 45 new choir robes for our wonderful choir that will be cooler and all have working zippers, we may be able to donate the usable robes we have left to a smaller and more needy choir that has no choir robes. Ripple, ripple. With the purchase of a beautiful new grand piano, the present piano can be moved to the Grand Ballroom where it will enhance the many performances that we enjoy there. The current piano in the Ballroom can be moved to the Redbud Room where there is currently no permanent piano to be used for activities in that room. Ripple, ripple.


The new screens already installed in the Chapel will allow viewers at home to see the words to hymns being sung in Vespers, read the words of the Call to Worship, and for uses we haven’t even thought of yet. Two new hand-held microphones will be used for many things. The choir will have access to many more beautiful anthems to learn and share with the community in Vespers as new music is purchased. The new piano will be well cared for because of another special gift.


The Prayer Garden being constructed outside the Chapel with the peacefully flowing fountain, wonderful new plantings, and soon-to-come benches and chairs for you to utilize while enjoying the quiet, would not be possible if not for the love expressed by these donors. Our seasons of worship will also be enhanced with gorgeous new paraments in five colors and outstanding symbols embroidered on them. Perhaps the current paraments we have been using can also be donated to another smaller church. Ripple, ripple.


As donors of this magnitude are not usually identified, we all will be forever grateful to them for their outstanding love of our community and their generous hearts. As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”


Thank you donors, and thanks be to God!

Why Move to an Independent Living Community?

About Epworth Villa

Even though there are plenty of benefits to look forward to when moving to an independent living community, it’s natural to ask why you should leave your house and move somewhere completely new.

You may have raised your family in your current home, or grown close to your neighbors over many years. You may have spent decades shaping the home into exactly what you want it to be.

But now that you’re retired and your kids are moved out, do you need that much space? Have many of your neighborhood friends moved away? Are upkeep and maintenance and lawn care and shoveling becoming too much of a hassle?

This home was wonderful for you as you raised a family or started a career or both. But now that you’ve worked your whole life, you deserve a reward for the benefits of an Independent Living Community.

These Communities Were Built to Please

What comes to mind when people hear the words “Independent Living” can vary from person to person. If you’ve visited some of these communities lately, then you already know that they’re vastly different from what people typically imagine.

For starters, it becomes immediately apparent that today’s modern independent living communities were built to please. From premium amenities like spas and gourmet dining options to the surprising variety of well-designed floor plans available, there’s something to entice just about everyone.

For some, it’s the convenience of living near almost everything they need. If the concept of strolling down the street to pick up a few grocery items for dinner appeals to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that many of today’s independent living communities are designed on a human scale, where residents can choose to walk when they do errands.

That’s not to say everything is within arm’s reach. Most communities offer some form of ride-sharing or pooled transportation options for residents who choose to leave the car at home. Groups often plan trips together for seeing plays and concerts and even travel outings.

Although Independent Living Communities foster independence and self-sufficiency, and people have their own homes with kitchens, there are often gourmet dining options available as well. It’s all about choice, so on those days when you don’t feel like cooking and you’d like to dine with your neighbors, there’s often an option to do so.

Socializing Becomes Easier Than Ever

You may not feel the isolating effects of retirement at the moment, but if you’re like most, you lose a large chunk of your social network once you stop working. Plus, it’s common these days for children to move far away from the homes in which they grew up.

Social amenities and opportunities abound in independent living communities. From movie nights to wine tastings to cultural outings and clubs, there’s a constant stream of opportunities for developing friendships, should you feel the desire. You can also take classes on painting, woodworking, language, and other activities where you’ll meet people with similar interests.

Even if you prefer to keep to yourself, socializing is important. Science says that social isolation can have harmful effects on your health. Wherever you find yourself along the social butterfly spectrum, it’s always a good idea to nurture the relationships in your life. Meaningful interaction can improve health in a number of ways:

  1. Help people manage their stress
  2. Give meaning to people’s lives
  3. May help the functioning of the immune system
  4. Even helps people avoid premature death, according to scientific research

Downsizing Can Be Liberating

There’s no doubt that the house you’ve lived in for decades holds a million memories. It can also take a lot to keep up with all the cleaning and maintenance! Many older Americans find that they have less patience for yardwork after so many years. They’d rather spend their retirement years traveling, socializing, or pursuing hobbies they never had time for when they were working.

Moving to an Independent Living Community means you are free to do those things because many of those daily chores disappear (yardwork is chief among them!).  Smaller floorplans mean less housework, too: less to clean, less to worry about, and less to manage.

You’re Assured an Active Lifestyle

Most adults face the challenge of staying active as they grow older. Like their younger counterparts, older Americans find that motivation is their chief problem, followed by convenience and opportunity. For the younger set, finding time to work out is a challenge. For older adults, it’s typically a matter of opportunity and desire.

Independent Living Communities take care of both of these obstacles. From recreation activities to a fitness center to pedestrian and bicycle-friendly designs, you’re assured an active lifestyle if you want it.

If your marathon days are behind you, maybe it’s time to try something new. Have you ever thought about trying a yoga class? Yoga is perfect for older adults and is growing in popularity in most Independent Living Communities.

It’s Safer

No matter where you live right now, it’s probably not as safe as an Independent Living Community. These communities are developed with safety and security in mind. From the security-minded neighborhood plan to the way the dwellings themselves were built, and even a guarded gate in many, everything has been designed and engineered with safety and security in mind. This also goes for handrails in the bathroom and other safety measures you may need as you get older.

It Might Even Be Cheaper

Maintaining your home is more expensive than you think. Even if your house is paid off, you still have taxes, utilities, potentially a homeowners’ association fee, and many other expenses. As you might imagine, you could easily see a dip in the cost of maintaining your new home in an Independent Living Community. Utility bills are lower and many of the costs of homeownership are either reduced or gone completely when you move to an Independent Living Community.

To Answer Your Question…

Finally, back to the original question of why you should leave your home and move into an Independent Living Community – these are only some of the reasons older adults make the move. The best way for you to get the full picture of how it could benefit your life is to visit a few of these communities and see for yourself. You may find that like others before you have discovered, independent living can mean more peace of mind, more happiness, and even more independence.

Ready to take the next step? Call us today at 405-753-9295

God’s Presence by Resident, Rev. Helen Taylor

I really like what Chaplain Laura did last week with the disciples’ encounters with Jesus and the
Holy Spirit — presence, peace, and power. We’re familiar with Jesus’ greeting, “peace be with you,” and
the wind and fire of Pentecost. Obviously, the Holy Spirit is an important part of our Christian walk, too.
This raises two questions. First, what IS the Holy Spirit? It’s God’s Presence that Jesus WAS. Then
when Jesus left, he promised that God’s Presence would be with us through the Holy Spirit. Second, how
do we experience that? We think of that happening in church, worship, or personal devotional time. Some
of us have even had the blessed experience of the Holy Language of speaking in tongues. That may be
an important part of our discipline. But are there other ways, too?


I think Jesus gave us a clue during his remarkable conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria.
Jesus asked for a drink, offered her Living Water, then asked her to go get her husband and bring
him back. When she said she didn’t have a husband, Jesus agreed and said, “You’ve had five, and the
one you have now isn’t your husband.” Her jaw dropped and she replied, “Oh, I see you are a prophet!
Well, we worship God on this mountain. You say the temple in Jerusalem is the only place where God is.”
“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither
on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… But the hour is coming and is now here when the true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God
is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth’” (John 4:21-24).


Jesus reveals that God’s presence can’t be contained in a physical location. I take that to mean
that God’s loving presence is not just to be found in church or only in what we call worship. I most frequently experience God’s Presence in worship. I’ve even been moved to tears standing in empty worship spaces — cathedrals in Europe with their high vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. God’s presence is strong in Brill Chapel, during Vespers, and in quiet times. God’s presence is strong in my little
home chapel (once a second kitchen).

Rev. Helen Taylor and a cygnet of Owen and Phyllis the Epworth Villa Swans


I’ve also felt God’s Presence powerfully in nature, even as a child, lying down on the warm curve
of concrete covering our storm shelter and looking at the stars. Then there are sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, majestic mountains, Niagara Falls, still lakes, the silence of deep woods, and strong ocean waves. And, of course, God’s Presence and love come to us through people and even through books.


Perhaps these things happen to you, too, but you might not call them God’s Presence. That might
even sound sacrilegious. I confess that this view comes from my own faith and practice of trying to be
open to God’s Presence in every moment. That feeling in my heart of deep awe that often brings tears is
the same in both worship and nature. This is what is in my heart to share here with love.