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Clark’s Unique Approach to Spiritual Care

Spiritual life is an important pillar of the Clark community which welcomes people of all walks of life and faith backgrounds. Led by a team of diverse clergy, the goal of spiritual care at Clark is to create a caring, faith-centered environment where the spiritual needs of the community are met and nurtured. This initiative allows our residents and staff to connect with their spirituality and faith while also improving their overall quality of life.

What is Spiritual Care at Clark

Spiritual care assists residents in getting in touch with their spirituality, soul, feelings and religious connections while also facilitating conversations and discussions. There can be a lot of fear and loneliness when it comes to aging, loss, and grief. Spiritual care can provide support for Clark residents when they need it most.

Clark provides residents many opportunities for spiritual growth and engagement. Our resident-led Spiritual Life Committee helps with weekly chapel services and Sunday afternoon worship, as well as Bible Studies, prayer groups, monthly special presentations, and seasonal celebrations, such as a “Live Nativity” at Christmastime.

The Clark Spiritual Care Team

Clark’s Spiritual Care Team consists of five chaplains who serve under the supervision of the lead minister at Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church, a church dedicated to inclusivity and interfaith cooperation. The clergy come from diverse backgrounds including Protestant (United Methodist Ministers) and Catholic Faiths as well as lay people.

At the beginning of each week, the chaplains meet with their supervisor to discuss upcoming assignments and concerns for specific residents. The goal is to ensure any resident who needs or desires spiritual care receives attention and support.

In addition to supporting the residents with all of their spiritual activities, the chaplains develop spiritual programming throughout the year including:

  • Film discussions
  • Meditation sessions
  • Writing groups
  • Advent and Lenten courses of study
  • Seasonal experiences, such as a participatory “Stations of the Cross” program for the Easter season.

A weekly “Prayer and Praise” service is also provided for each care unit on the Franklin campus. Sunday afternoon worship is offered to the Memory Care residents at Keller Lake. Mass is offered on both campuses several times a week.

Meeting the Spiritual Needs of the Clark Community

The chaplains on the Spiritual Care Team spend the bulk of their time developing relationships with residents and staff at Clark. The team practices “a ministry of presence” by listening, noting and responding to residents’ needs and concerns. Each of the chaplains is also responsible for a specific day of the week, when they are “on call” to address any spiritual needs that might arise. Informal drop-in times are always available for residents to stop by “just to chat”. Residents and staff of all faiths and even those of no religious persuasion are encouraged to use the chaplains’ services.

Spiritual Engagement Opportunities for Staff

Last year a virtual prayer-time break specifically for staff was instituted on Monday afternoons. After a gathering prayer by one of the chaplains, participants were able to share their issues aloud or sit in meditative silence. This has been a beneficial way for staff who wish to participate to begin their work week. There is also a new prayer room on our Franklin campus that can be used by staff and residents.

The Importance of Spiritual Care

Spiritual care provides a space where Clark residents can feel seen and heard, no matter what it is they are going through. We honor and celebrate the role spirituality plays in the lives of our residents which is why it is such an important aspect of life at Clark.

Talk with a Clark Senior Living Advisor

If you think your loved one could benefit from being part of Clark’s community, contact our senior living advisors at marketing@clarkretirement.org or 616-278-6520 or fill out the form below to schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your loved one’s situation and see if Clark is the right fit for your loved one.

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