On Monday, March 1, one of our cooks came into my office with a plate of cookies and offered me one. That’s not unusual, our cooks take good care of everyone at Fern Lodge all the time. What was unusual was that this was a fortune cookie, I could tell by how it was folded. It was the best fortune cookie I ever ate, fresh, light and tasty. And of course, since it was a fortune cookie, it had a fortune inside. I was really pleased to see that it read, “Perfect love casts out fear,” that much loved verse from 1 John. That was such a reassuring gesture. Instead of some thoughtless “fortune” based on wishful thinking or an empty statement about an imaginary future, all who opened their cookies found timeless truths that comfort, help and heal. This precious incident is another example of the Christian love that characterizes the Fern Lodge staff. In future editions of the Fern Lodge Focus we will give you a chance to meet some of these dear friends.
In this Focus you will read about the trip to South America that Sharon Strong, Carlos Ley and I took in January. We were invited to speak about Christian Science nursing and education in Argentina and Brazil. It was a delightful and fruitful trip for all of us, and we look forward to on-going, cooperative relationships with Christian Scientists in both countries as we work together to establish Christian Science nursing education there.
We have some news of progress to share with you. After many years of apologizing to visitors for the difficulty they have when they come to Fern Lodge for the first time, we finally are looking forward to correcting the situation. It was sad that some visitors would come and find that our parking lot was completely full, leaving them to park in the dirt beside the road or a block or more away. Once in the parking, lot visitors would have to search around the buildings to find the Fern Lodge entrance so they could visit a dear family member or friend who had come to us for Christian Science nursing care. And then when they found, or were directed to, the nursing wing, they had to stand in the hall to wait while their loved one prepared for a visit. Gratefully, that all will change soon.
Our first priority will be to provide a new staff parking lot to ensure that visitors always will find parking available near the entrance to the facility. Then, we will change the entrance to the Christian Science nursing building. Please take a look at pages 4 & 5 for a description and an architect’s rendition of the plan for a gracious new entrance, reception desk, and waiting area for the Fern Lodge Christian Science nursing building. We hope to have this two-phase project finished and ready for use by the fall of this year, and we will be deeply grateful for each donation we receive to enable us to complete this project.
I’m sure you will be inspired, as was the Fern Lodge staff, by the helpful thoughts Nancy Stiner, C.S. shared at a recent Fern Lodge meeting. Take a look at pages 6 & 7 and see fresh ways to think about listening for God’s voice, and overcoming fatigue and the supposed limitations of time.
Fern Lodge has been given a generous donation that we hope will enable us to begin a benevolence endowment fund. We have discussed this idea for years, but in the past we have needed all the funds we had on hand to maintain the daily operation of Fern Lodge and provide for the benevolence needs of those we have served. Very soon we will share more information about this important program and let you know how you can be a part of it.
Thank you for your support of Christian Science nursing and its practice at Fern Lodge.
With gratitude and affection