Report on Redwood Community for Christian Scientists

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Since Redwood Community became a nonprofit in 1997, it has been an important place in the Christian Science community in Santa Rosa, CA.  It was formed through the prayer and demonstration of local church members to address their needs.  It was a demonstration in the spirit of the Biblical verse: “…be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren…” (I Pet 3:8).  In the time it was open, Redwood Community not only took care of 4-5 residents, but also served as a Christian Science nursing resource for the community.

Redwood Community has been closed for the last two years. When they reached out to Fern Lodge to see if we could be of assistance in reopening Redwood Community, we were happy to so, as we recognized that this community resource should continue its activity at this time.  While Fern Lodge will be assuming the administrative duties of Redwood Community, such as payroll and accounting, the two organizations will remain separate legal entities.  Before reopening, it seemed like there was a wonderful opportunity to do some necessary remodeling and reorganization of the building to make nursing easier for our Christian Science nurses.

Around the same time, we were happy to welcome Jane Mercereau to our board, who served as the Administrator of Redwood Community for many years.  Her knowledge of Redwood Community has proved helpful to both the board and staff.  In addition, we are grateful for the work of Jan and Seth Dempsey, who have continued helping out Redwood during its inoperative time.

Our main remodeling to date has been to put in an entirely new and open kitchen space as well as remodeling two bathrooms for greater patient accessibility.  We have also added a bedroom with a bathroom to create an apartment for a live-in Christian Science nurse.  We have also taken the opportunity to freshen up the place with a new coat of paint and new LED light fixtures throughout the building.  For safety, the wooden deck has been reinforced and a new fire alarm system put in place.  Future plans include landscaping and creating a wheelchair accessible ramp into the building.

At this time we already have interest from some Christian Science nurses to work here and some patients to reside here.  We will open as soon as we have enough full-time Christian Science nurses willing to staff this facility.  If you are interested in learning when admission will be available or working or volunteering at this facility, please give Fern Lodge a call at 510-886-2448.


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