A Community Respite Ministry for Tuscaloosa
We are so excited to introduce a new ministry (called 'Connect') that will provide fellowship and stimulation for people who have memory loss due to Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinsons or stroke.
Respite was started 10 years ago in Montgomery at First United Methodist Church by Daphne Johnston. See the link below for more information about the program. https://www.respiteforall.org/
Christ Church Member, Katherine Gould, shared this letter about how Respite has impacted her family.
"When I was 7, my dad and I participated in Indian Princesses (not very PC, I know) sponsored by the YMCA. Part of the program was giving each other Indian names. I was Little Turtle because I was so shy. My dad’s name was Forgetful Bear because my entire life we have been searching for his keys and wallet. My dad is a retired psychologist, an incredible pianist, a songwriter, and has always been an extrovert. He is an amazing grandfather—funny, compassionate, and joyful. Unfortunately he started having odd symptoms about 12 years ago and it took almost 10 years before he received a diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy. The signs and symptoms are similar to those of Parkinson’s disease and his mental faculties just aren’t as sharp. It was hard to convince ourselves that something was wrong since he has always been forgetful. This disease has robbed him of his joy. He is so uncomfortable and it consumes his thoughts, unless it’s a Respite day.
Once a week, my mom drops him off at their church and he is greeted by friends from the church and community. They drink coffee and talk football, then start the day at tables where they might play games, challenge their brains with word association or art recognition. After a great lunch, they move to balloon volleyball (not his favorite, but it keeps him moving), do an art project, and then he always gets to be the piano man and lead the group in song. After 4 active hours, my mom picks him up. She has received a much‐needed break and possibly attended a support group. That night my dad has something fun to think about and typically has the best sleep of his week. This love and support he receives from the community each week is such a blessing for all.
This is what we are bringing to Tuscaloosa. It’s not just for Christ Church. It’s for the community and will be housed at Christ Church. We have the space, we have the talented and compassionate people and we have the friends who need our love. So spread the word."
We need you! There are lots of opportunities to help.
Let us know if you want to sign up for the next volunteer training.
SPREAD THE WORD
This is a great resource for caregivers and their loved ones but they need to know the program exists. Promote it at work and with friends and family, and especially to other churches!
Financial donations can be sent to the church marked ‘Connect’ or check out our wish list on Amazon! See links above.
Questions? Please contact Amanda Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org