The Epworth Experience

Family Member Chris Griffith

Chris Griffith is the adult son of Sandy Ross, one of Epworth Villa’s newer residents who is a key part of our community already. We spoke with Chris recently about Epworth Villa, his experience with our community, and much more. Here is a recap of that conversation.

How has your experience with Epworth Villa been so far?
Really great! Mom is always telling me how happy she is to be there, how happy she is that they made the decision to move. Her husband had a few more reservations but has really come around and is enjoying it as well. And for me and my family, it’s been a huge relief honestly. It’s so helpful to know mom’s happy, she has friends literally next door, and if she ever needs help there are great people around in an instant.

How was the move itself?
The people at Epworth were fantastic. They really just helped the entire process go smoothly. From Kevin Clark in sales, to the team that came and helped go over my mom’s things and plan out the apartment, really everyone involved was just great.

What do you feel has been the biggest benefit for your mom?
Like many of us she didn’t always admit when she needed some help, so this has made that process easier since she doesn’t have to deal with maintenance and things like that. With her failing eyesight and some other things, she really didn’t get out like she used to and she’s someone who needs social interaction.

So being at Epworth makes it so easy to see her friends and meet new friends. She can meet for coffee or lunch or just to chat without worrying about driving or anything like that. It’s changed her life for sure because it’s allowed her to be her usual, outgoing self and not be limited by her health.

Just one of many Epworth experiences.

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Spontaneous Prayer – by Jimette McLean

Thank you, Jesus! Lord, forgive me. Bless those in Ukraine. Help me, God. These four prayers are spontaneous utterances that I have spoken in the past week. They are examples of four types of prayers that I encouraged Confirmands to use in their prayer journals: thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and petition. The truth is, these short, spontaneous prayers are much more my style than the longer conversation or meditative style of prayer that some prefer.

“Thank you, Jesus” may come in response to something as simple as the elevator being on my floor when I’m in a hurry or when I get a phone call from a long-time friend. “Lord, forgive me” is appropriate more frequently than I actually pray it but comes when I have thought unkind thoughts about someone, for example.

Prayers of intercession come maybe while watching the news, or hearing about someone’s illness, or even when seeing a homeless person while driving. There are many opportunities to lift up a quick prayer for someone. Just saying a name is enough — God knows the needs more than I do!

And finally, petition: prayers for myself are much needed — particularly praying for patience. I recognize the value in the longer, more thoughtful conversations with God — I read the Upper Room every day as well as a Lenten devotional, and each evening I write five things for which I am thankful. But still, for me, the admonishment to “continue instant in prayer” is best acted out spontaneously. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Kindness as a Spiritual Value – by Gene Spillman

Kindness is part of Lenten discipline. Spiritual values became important to me when I began looking for a way that I could discipline myself and begin practicing the deepest spiritual values of the Christian faith.

It was not long until I discovered Galatians 5:22-23. It is titled the “Fruits of the Spirit.” “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” (NRSV)

I began to look at these nine gifts one by one. What I found in my study of kindness is a closeness to God. Consider with me, Kindness — being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Kindness is a very personal habit and characteristic that makes one attractive to others as a friend. As we cultivate this characteristic, we find persons are attracted to us; however, kindness is more than just making friends. Kindness includes the above characteristics.

How do we be friendly? The Golden Rule might help! “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Think of the way you act when out and about in the community and in the community at large. Is road rage a reaction? Or, do you step back and give someone else your place in line if it would be of help to someone? Are you pleasant to the checkout person – the stocker?

Feel the presence of God when you share kindness in your life. In this season of Lent, will you continue to develop in your life the discipline of kindness and all of the other “Fruits of the Spirit?”