Easter message from Pastoral Care
9th April 2020
Each year we Australians celebrate Easter in Autumn, which is such a season of transformation. Presently we see transformation in nature in the beautiful autumn leaves and also in current events of the world around us.
At the moment, we are all living in unprecedented, challenging and turbulent times. Our normal activities and ways of life look very different in many ways to our "usual".
The landscape of what we know and what is familiar is changing every day. This can cause people much distress in financial, emotional, social and physical ways. We are all together in this experience, but how we interpret the experience and how it affects each of us is very different.
Easter is almost upon us and in 2020 is going to be celebrated in a very different way from previous Easters. There probably wont be larger family gatherings and Easter egg hunts; people aren't able to go to Church and our greetings to each other will possibly be made using some form of electronic media.
It will feel very strange and very different.
"The customs we associate with these times will also look different. We will be using our minds and creativity in order to make some new "normal" this year."
In our Residential Aged Care Facilities, at this time of limited access, local Churches are not able to come and give their normal Easter messages and services, however, they are still able to come at critical end of life times to give anointing and blessings to a resident if this is appropriate for them.
It is wonderful to see media being used so well and widely available as Holy Week services are televised which enables people to have that point of connection with their faith if they choose.
"Our Pastoral Care Team have been busy using resources made available by local faith communities, prayers that can be printed and distributed as needed, dates that services will be televised, or are available on YouTube, Hymn DVD's and other interesting virtual on line points of connection that bring peace, harmony and calm.
Art galleries, zoos', museums, guided meditations are all providing opportunities for on line connection during these times.
It is hard for our residents and their families, who will not be able to spend time together, or go out if they wish. Thank goodness we have the use of technology; phones, Skype and face time to connect with each other.
The Pastoral Care Team is offering 1:1 Guided Meditations for residents and staff as a way to reduce and alleviate stress and agitation at this time. We also continue to provide our calm, gentle Pastoral presence at our facilities.
Our Lifestyle Community Engagement staff are working hard to offer residents ways to connect through activities including 1:1 room visits/manicures, word games, letter writing, kiosk trolley, drawing and coloring, coffee club, card games, reading, word search, armchair travel, Easter quiz and Easter raffles; all while using appropriate social distancing measures of course.
"For the individual Easter looks very different to each of us. For some it is about connection with family, friends, faith, nature, or just a wonderful time to enjoy some well earned rest and relaxation.
Children and adults enjoy that special time of eating hot cross buns and brightly colored foil wrapped Easter eggs. It is interesting to note that throughout history, at critical times and events, people have often turned to faith as a way to process what is going on around them and for support.
We see Churches filling up with people as faith often grows in times of crisis providing opportunity for revival and renewal.
While the world we live in is large, for the time being, our day to day world is considerably smaller and many of us are living in some form of isolation. History also tells us, that this will pass, for nothing stays the same forever.
Whatever your Easter looks like, may you find time to do whatever it is you enjoy and what gives you a sense of connection and peace.
We are all in this together and there is value in shared life experience. May we each look after ourselves both physically and mentally, we know we can't pour from an empty cup.
Wishing you all peace, blessings and to be kept safe,
Erin Clark on behalf of the Pastoral Care Team