This newsletter we had the opportunity to hear from and about staff members across Fern Lodge. Read on to hear their inside perspectives of Fern Lodge.
by Robin Barben
Walking into the breakfast kitchen one day, I noticed loving notes to Hilda from the patients all over the side of the fridge, each one expressing their gratitude for the love she puts into making breakfast a special time for them. There were hearts and flowers drawn on them, each one a piece of the breakfast tray liner torn off with ragged edges, like the morning experience of that day was so powerful as to elicit an immediate thanks. I have long noticed the breakfast nook as a place where the patients come and talk easily with each other and feel comfortable in knowing that they can ask for whatever they need and their needs will be immediately met. It’s most definitely a dear expression of home.
Asking Hilda what she brings to Fern Lodge that expresses home, she said, “Family. I see everyone here as my family. It’s my second home and sometimes I feel that I am more the mother here than I am at home.”
From the outside this sense of family is easy to spot, but it’s more than the wonderful breakfast she prepares each day. She keeps a motherly eye out for what is needed, whether is a refill on juice, some conversation, a ride to their room, or familial support. Every day she is very aware of any needs and takes steps to make sure Love is felt is numerous ways. I am always in awe at how much she has learned about each patient’s life experience and how she respects and honors each one.
Hilda explained how important it was to her to interact with the patients during her whole shift, not just when she placed the meal down at the table, and that she tries to be aware of their needs through the day.
In the end, she said that one of the things that motivates her to be so attentive each and every day is the Bible passage “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” As such, it is so important to her that every day she strives to “treat people like I hope I will be treated.”
Consoleteur Makengo on his Summer Internship at Fern Lodge
During the summer of 2023, I pursued a paid internship to cover my academic fees. As a Religious Studies major at Principia, I aimed to intern in a company offering professional and spiritual growth. I believed that Fern Lodge would meet my needs.
The experience matched my expectations, even as I encountered challenges. Thankfully, with the help of others, I gradually overcame them. I loved the fact that the class incorporated spiritual teachings from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The practice sessions helped me develop patience, gain spiritual insight, and improve my time management, communication skills, teamwork abilities.
I was impressed by the Christian Science nurses’ close attention to supporting patients’ reliance on Christian Science for healing, which, to me, sets them apart from medical nursing. Christian Science nursing should be an integral part of every Christian’s daily life, encompassing acts of compassion and love towards others, continuous prayer, and recognizing the perfection in others as God created them. These principles are embraced by everyone at Fern Lodge, creating a comforting and welcoming atmosphere. I am striving to do the same. I would love to learn more about Christian Science nursing if given the opportunity again.
Heart of All my Blessings:
A Conversation with a Board Member
Our Fern Lodge board is passionate about the facility and the work that we do. They are always endeavoring to make the best decisions and take the best direction for Fern Lodge and its staff and occupants. We talked with board member Margaret Pereira about why her involvement with Fern Lodge is so important to her.
Fern Lodge: Why do you support Fern Lodge?
Margaret Pereira: When I was in college, I experienced first-hand the loving, healing support of a Christian Science nurse in what has become a milestone healing for me. When I was recently asked if I’d be interested in serving on the Fern Lodge Board, I jumped at the opportunity to support such a worthwhile organization!
FL: What does Fern Lodge stand for in your mind?
MP: In a course on the History of Christian Science Nursing taught by Fern Lodge administrator, Brad Stock, our weekly assignment is to read and think about various articles from the Christian Science periodicals that pertain to Christian Science nursing. In one article, the author drew parallels between the definition of church (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 583) and the definition of a Christian Science nursing facility. I’m loving bearing witness to Fern Lodge as the active embodiment of church, including accomplishing its mission of healing and rousing from material beliefs.
FL: As we enter the holiday season, what is one thing you find yourself grateful for?
MP: I’m grateful for many, many things, but at the heart of all my blessings is God.
Check out our full newsletter for more articles and photos at https://fernlodge.org/newsletter-archives/!