I’m in the right place by Jane Lepak

When I moved here thirteen months ago, I was seeking help. I was physically ill and spiritually hungry. Brill Chapel was the “outward and visible sign of the inward visible Grace” I was seeking. It is a place where I could go and rest in the quiet; a place to gain strength to face difficult times. Besides the times I have gone there to be alone, I have enjoyed the wonderful programs there like Vespers, Concerts, and Bible Studies. In one of those concerts, the pianist, Gathan Graham, said he felt a need to play a certain song. It was “God Will Take Care of You” — a comforting message telling me I was in the right place.

Because my parents did not go to church, my upbringing was ecumenical — some relatives were Methodist; others Episcopalian. Sometimes I attended with friends and often a synagogue with my Jewish neighbors. I became Catholic 60 years ago. I continue to enjoy, as I was raised, to honor and respect all faiths. I love that there are speakers at Brill Chapel from different faiths. I join friends as we receive Communion from the Catholic Deacon in Brill Chapel weekly and I look forward to when we can again worship together when COVID restrictions are lifted.

By far, the biggest challenge this past year was the loss of my son, Danny. I loved going to vespers and hearing him being prayed for. I have shown him, and the rest of my family, the beautiful windows. After my son died last November 15th, we found a prayer in his kitchen that looked as though he prayed it daily. I want to share —- “The Third Step Prayer” (from the 12 Steps of Recovery.) God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.” May I do Thy will always.

I was blessed to share recovery with him. He told me in Brill Chapel that I had found the right place, and he was accurate . May God rest his precious soul. Go with God – Jane Lepak

Signs: When to consider Assisted Living for your loved one part 2

This is the second installment in a 5 part series-ADL’S (Activities of Daily Living)

Families, Spouses and Caregivers should take note of the following concerning their loved one:

  1. Wearing same or dirty clothing, clothing mismatched or disheveled
  2. Frequent food spills on clothing or in home
  3. Smelling of urine/frequent bathroom mishaps
  4. Not bathing or grooming as frequently
  5. Increased falls, bruising, decreased activity, decreased mobility
  6. Restricting once enjoyed activities due to fear of falling or lack of motivation to participate
  7. Increased difficulty getting in/out of bed or chairs

If you notice that a loved one is experiencing a decrease in their normal activities of daily living at home, it may be time to call Epworth Villa and speak to one of our experts and let us help you with available resources.

Signs: When to consider Assisted Living for your loved one

This is the first installment in a 5 part series-Medical Safety

Families, Spouses and Caregivers should take note of the following concerning their loved one:

  • Taking medications incorrectly, skipping doses, re-ordering, picking up on time, over medicating, not following Dr. orders for duration/frequency
  • New medical diagnosis/chronic conditions-UTI’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s, arthritis, heart issues, COPD, skin tears, wounds
  • Frequent visits to the doctor/missed Dr. visits or neglecting self-care
  • Frequent ER visits
  • Weight loss/decreased nutrition/dehydration
  • Depression, loneliness, self-isolation, decreased socialization
  • Increased number of calls to family with anxiety, forgetfulness, repetitive questions

If you notice that a loved one is experiencing a decrease in their medical safety at home, it may be time to call Epworth Villa and speak to one of our experts and let us help you with available resources.

Memory Care – Hard Decisions

“When our family realized that our mom would one day need the love and support of a Memory Care community, we knew it would be a hard decision to make.

When we walked into Epworth Villa, it immediately looked like home and felt like home for our mom. Every staff member was so warm, so welcoming, and so professional. There was no doubt the decision we made gave us confidence and peace of mind she would be well cared for going forward. We are so grateful to the staff for their dedication to all the residents.” -Lori S.

A tuned piano and an indoor bathroom! by Linda N.

The Anchor Cross is one of the 48 crosses in the stained glass windows of the Brill Chapel.

When asked to write an article, I began to think of all the churches I have been involved in or visited. My first career was teaching history in the High School in Cleburne, Texas. Curtis pastored Lone Wolf Baptist Church while he worked on his Ph.D. at Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. It was a rural church in a farming community. They had a “pounding” for us on our first Sunday after we married! That was a step back in history, I didn’t even know the term. What a blessing as we only had $5.00 left for groceries! I do remember hoping our next church would have a piano in tune and an indoor bathroom!!!

We have visited many beautiful churches throughout the states and other parts of the world: Notre Dame, Chartes, St Paul’s in London, St. Basils in Moscow and even the Haggia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul with our Muslim friends. We were to visit Stanly Rother’s church, St. James Cathedral in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.

All these churches have wonderful memories and histories for me! All have brought forth their purpose to have a place to provide worship and service for me and others who live in their shadows. We each bring our histories with us and each of us have stories to tell. I think the beauty of Brill Chapel helps hold us for this time in our lives. These sacred times when we recall what God has done in our lives and will continue to do for us here. I think that Brill Chapel provides for us the very heartbeat of our community. The beauty of the stained-glass windows recalls the sacred history of our world and gives us a superbly artful place to reflect on the goodness of God in our personal history. What a special place it is! Magnificent cathedrals of the world are reflected right here.

Having grown up by the sea, I am drawn to THE ANCHOR CROSS the Christian Symbol of Hope and Steadfastness depicted as one of the forty-eight in the chapel. Hebrews 6:10. “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… P.S. this most recent chapter in my personal church history – Brill Chapel has an indoor bathroom, an in tune piano, and organ, beautiful stained glass windows, and people who live in HOPE. If you have not read the book on the history of Brill Chapel, please take time to do so in the holder outside the Chaplain’s Office.

Why Epworth? by Nancy Z.

In 2006, our last parent was soon to pass on. Our only child, son John, lived near Oklahoma City with his wife Jamie and their soon-to-be five children. We loved our home in San Diego but wanted to be closer to our family. So, the search began in OKC.

My husband, Bill had some teaching assignments here at our son’s Missionary Training Boot Camp and used his free time to visit the various senior retirement residential communities in the area. When he returned home and we discussed it, there was only one that met our 5-item “want” list. That was Epworth.

High on that list was a dedicated place for worship and a full-time chaplain. Brill Chapel and Epworth’s commitment to a full-time chaplain assured us of the spiritual care we would need at times. The beautiful Chapel with its stain glass windows encouraged meditation and inspiration. As we learned of the programs in the Chapel – Sunday School, Vespers, and other special programs— it became obvious that this was the place for us.

We moved in March, 2007. It was a God-directed move. We have been blessed to be a part of the Brill Chapel program ever since.

Jacob’s Final Chapter by Chaplain Dwight

The character study of Jacob is a fascinating one. The Bible has a wonderful way of presenting all the heroes of the faith—flaws and all. Jacob is, in many ways, the father of Israel (his sons are the heads of the 12 tribes).

Genesis 46-49 Jacob has one last journey….to Egypt. On the way, as in times past, God assures Jacob of His presence and blessing. Israel (Jacob) has the beginnings of a great nation that God promised.

Once in Egypt, Jacob has an emotional reunion with Joseph and a brief but powerful visit with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh asked him his age. I love his answer: “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.”

Jacob refers to his life as a pilgrimage. How appropriate. He never owned any land. He made several “pilgrimages” in his life, I think his perspective echoes the words of the familiar hymn, “This world is not my home; I’m just a passin’ through.” Now to us, 130 years is a long time. Yet Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac 180. So, to Jacob, his time was short. He also sees them as difficult. Later, when blessing Joseph (48:15-16), he has a more optimistic view, that God had been his shepherd all the days of his life.

Jacob finished well. He worshiped, gave testimony to God’s blessing, gave blessings to each of his children, and then breathed his last. May God grant us Jacob’s perspective. We are all on a pilgrimage, with hard times and good, all in God’s care. By God’s grace, let us remain faithful and finish well – however long that may take.

Jacob & Joseph by Chaplain Dwight

I like to joke that fashion sense is not one of my spiritual gifts. Let’s just say that I am indebted to my wife for lots of help in that area. I still have bad memories of a lime green leisure suit paired with a floral shirt. That memory lingered thanks to being featured in a family photo that hung in the hallway for decades.

In our study this week, Jacob gives Joseph a coat of many colors. It was more than a simple gift from a loving father. It was a long-sleeved garment worn by the nobility of the day. It was a symbol of authority and favored position within the family. It marked Joseph as the future leader of the household, even though he was far from the firstborn. He was the firstborn of Rachel, and that was the key distinction that mattered to Jacob.

The coat immediately set Joseph apart from his brothers and exempted him from the menial tasks of farming and shepherding. This fueled the jealousy and hatred the other brothers had for Joseph, leading to his being sold into slavery.

Jacob ended the chapter mourning what he believed was the death of Joseph. He was deceived by his sons, much like he had deceived his father to steal the blessing from Esau. In a sense, he is reaping what he has sown. I hope you have avoided favoritism, and not been caught in its effects. Thank goodness God has loved us with an everlasting love, and He does not show partiality. Show that love to those around you this week