Home Equipping Leaders Older Adults Inscriptions that Inspire from the Windows at a Retirement Home

Inscriptions that Inspire from the Windows at a Retirement Home

By Lisa Jean Hoefner

I cherish my tomorrows

The first time I walked into the general-purpose room at the Rose Schnitzer Manor in Portland, Oregon, I was coming for a community orchestra rehearsal, but I sensed immediately the sacredness of the space we were using because of the windows—simple frosted glass windows with these inscriptions:

  • I remember my parents.
  • I worship my God.
  • I teach my history.
  • I respect my friends.
  • I light my candles.
  • I give to my community.
  • I enjoy my memories.
  • I sing my melodies.
  • I cherish my tomorrows.
  • I value my home.
  • I love my children.

How beautiful. How moving. How inspiring within every faith community, and how simply expressed for everyone’s reflection and participation. I have been part of this community group for almost twenty years, and I never cease to be moved to pray when I meditate on each of these inscriptions.

I worship my god

In these inscriptions, I hear the echo of Jude 1: 20-21 (NLT) - “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal live. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.”[1]

I wonder: What would you add to this list of inscriptions? Is there anything you don’t find meaningful in your setting? Why? Are these inscriptions universally true, or are they timebound? Which one or two are the most compelling for you?

I wonder: How could local congregations bring expression to these prompts? Could signs be made? Could a sermon or study series pick up on several of these themes? Could art be shared that would illustrate or nudge more consideration of these actions?

As you move into and through your years of older adulthood, are you taking the time to do the inner work of aging? These simple declarative statements have grounded me each week as I attend my orchestra rehearsal. In a wonderful way, they have provided a checklist to take stock of my life – pre-retirement, active retirement, slowing down, trying not to slow down – all the days of my life so far. My prayer for each of us is to use every opportunity to deepen our spiritual life – we don’t stop growing, changing, stretching for new understandings. These few sentences have nurtured my days thus far, and I wish that for you, too.

[1] Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT), copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Rev. Dr. Lisa Jean Hoefner is the Older Adult Ministries Coordinator for Discipleship Ministries. She has served as a pastor of churches and director of camping ministries in the New York, Susquehanna, Upper New York, Oregon-Idaho, and Cal-Nevada Conferences from 1975 to 2020.

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