Published July 10, 2014
Some years ago at the meeting of the Association of Baptist Ministers to the Aging I was seated at a table with people from all across America. Seeing my name tag a fellow participant asked, “How do you describe a Baptist Village?” Of course I replied that Baptist Village Retirement Communities is a ministry of housing and health care to senior adults. I told him “The Village” is really a unique place. Now most of us would call any village unique. After all a village is a clustered settlement or community. Generally a village is larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town. Villages usually have their unique character and people. This character and people is what makes a village unique.
What is unique about “The Village”? The faith foundation is unique. Baptist Village is a faith-based community. Of course, no one is required to be a Christian or a Baptist to become a resident of Baptist Village, but if they choose to come here they will be surrounded by faith. They will hear the carillons chime a hymn every day. They will walk the campus and see the distinctive shape of the Mitchell Chapel. They may well run into a church visitation team. Baptist Village is unique in that it is a place of faith.
Baptist Village is unique because of caring. It is because Georgia Baptists cared about senior adults that “The Village” was established in the first place. It is because the Georgia Baptist Convention cares that it encourages churches and individuals to make a Senior Adult Ministries Day Offering on July 20. I observe caring being expressed daily in the hands and arms of nurses, nursing assistants, and many others. Baptist Village is unique in that it is a place of caring.
Baptist Village is unique because of community. A village is a clustered community. Those who are residents of “The Village” are gathered from all over the nation. Some residents come from the coast, some come from the mountains, but all are gathered together and have created a sense of community and even family. They become friends, even extended family. Baptist Village is unique in that it is a community.
Baptist Village is unique because of the residents that make up “The Village.” If there is one thing I have learned about senior adults it is that they are all unique! They come from different backgrounds and life experiences. All have a story to tell and if you will give them the time they will gladly tell their story. They are truly unique. Baptist Village is unique in that it is full of unique people.
Baptist Village is unique because of the individuals who find fulfilment in ministry, i.e., our staff. The staff of Baptist Village is made up of men and women who have hearts for ministry. They care about residents. They care about doing a good job. They are the hands and arms that reach out to stabilize an unsteady soul and calm a frightened spirit. Baptist Village is unique in that our staff chooses to care.
Yes, “The Village” is unique because of faith, caring, community, and people. On Sunday July 20 you will have the opportunity to join a unique ministry by making a gift to the Senior Adult Ministries Day Offering. There are lots of worthwhile places you could make a gift but I am convinced none will be more unique than “The Village.” I ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift to Baptist Village.
► You may send your gifts to either: Delos L. Sharpton, President/CEO, Baptist Village Retirement Communities, 2650 Carswell Avenue, Waycross, GA 31503 or Dr. J. Robert White, Executive Director/CEO, Georgia Baptist Convention, 6405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097-4092
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