Christmas Spirit
Season's Greetings 
from  California Lutheran Homes and
Sunny View Centers for Spirituality and Aging
Practice Resting

In the course of this year I wrote and disseminated a piece on the "Top Ten Spiritual Practices for Aging."  As I've given presentations on these practices the one that sometimes elicits twitters is, "Practice Resting."  After one presentation one of the audience members (who volunteers seven days a week) told me that she was going to wait until the next life to practice resting.  She's an extreme example, but most of us resist resting--even when we're exhausted.  It's as if we think we'll lose our place in the world and lose our identity if we stop working or stop being productive, even if we've retired.  


For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the darkness of December and the Christian season of Advent do offer some invitations to pause, reflect and rest. The discipline of Advent waiting and preparation invites us to make space in our lives and hearts for the Christ child who came at Christmas and whose coming again we still await.  We are invited to light candles, to sing, to pray and in these actions experience rest. 


 When we arrive at Christmas we see Christ in the manger, with Mary and Joseph attentively present with him.  Sometimes we sing Christmas lullabies to this child--lullabies that place him in Mary's arms being rocked and protected.  Here again we are invited to rest, to let go of our need to be the active, productive one. Rather we are invited to rest in God's love for us--love that is present both in our doing and our being.


So my prayer for you this Advent and Christmas is that you can sing, celebrate, create and rest.  And from that place of rest may you support the ongoing spiritual journey of the elders you serve.


Coming in 2014

There is one more opportunity to attend this workshop in Pasadena on January 22.  If you work in programming  with older adults in a retirement community, assisted living, long term care, senior center, adult day center or in a congregation this workshop is for you.  We hope that you will be inspired and encouraged in the important work that you do. Participants in the workshop in November had the following to say: 

"It was full of very helpful information to begin implementing at our Senior Center."

"I love it.  I feel supported, encouraged and inspired after today!"

"Having brought two people, I hope to begin a conversation about more intentionality of our ministry."

"Excellent!  Thank you for your thoughtful presentation." 

For more information and to register use the link below.


 A Communication, Connection & Care Experiential Workshop

Through presentation, experiential exercises, discussion, and reflection, Jade Angelica, founder of Healing Moments,  provides caregivers (family, lay and professional) with the opportunity to learn and practice creative, effective methods for communicating and connecting with and caring for persons with Alzheimer's and dementia.  Using techniques from improvisational theater this workshop is designed to creatively Jade A headshotbreathe life into the communication process in order to enhance quality of life and reduce caregiver stress. 

Rev. Dr. Angelica's program, Healing Moments was awarded a "Best Practices" award by NICA (National Interfaith Council on Aging) in 2010.  She is a Unitarian Universalist minister, who provides long distance spiritual direction to those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers, and has a book, Where Two Worlds Touch,  in publication (coming this month) about her journey caring for her mother who suffered from Alzheimer's.

For more information and to register use these links.

Parting Thoughts
The Center's Facebook page needs only two more likes to get to the magic number of 100.  Please gift us with a like, by using the link below in "Staying Connected."

And for an experience of rest in the midst of your busyness I invite you to watch and listen to "Still, Still, Still."

Listen to it here.

Many, many blessings!

Nancy Gordon, Director
California Lutheran Homes and Sunny View Centers for Spirituality and Aging


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Nancy Gordon, Director
CLH and Sunny View Centers for Spirituality and Aging
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