Peggy Young is spirituality and aging minister at The Groves in Independence.

Peggy Young is spirituality and aging minister at The Groves in Independence.

1 As spiritual and aging minister, what’s a typical day like for you?

I lead a 15-minute devotional each morning. I try to let the Holy Spirit guide me in creating an atmosphere where residents can feel God’s presence and “hear” Him speaking to them. Then I lead or assist with at least one other activity almost every day. So I spend a portion of each day planning for the upcoming activities such as Bible study class, worship services, support groups and friendship circles, which are a combination of inspiring stories and music residents will remember. In addition, I train and supervise our volunteer chaplains as well as make my own one-on-one visits with residents.

2 What’s your background, and what led you to this position?

The Groves is owned by Community of Christ, and I have been active in volunteer service within that church all my life.  When my husband, Leonard, was preparing for full-time ministry in the church, I attended with him all the classes he took at the St. Paul School of Theology and our own Temple School. The responsibilities that most prepared me for this position would be volunteer work at nursing homes, teaching church school classes, directing workshops, preaching and serving as a congregational pastor. Every time this position at The Groves was open, my husband encouraged me to apply, but it never seemed like the right time to me – until the last time. I felt the Holy Spirit was directing me here and here I am!
3 What are the biggest day-to-day challenges?

I spend a great deal of time preparing for the activities I lead so between that and actually conducting the activities, it’s a challenge to spend as much one-on-one time with residents as I would like to. The biggest challenge is preparing and revising new materials for chaplain training and tracking everything that’s going on.
4 The Groves has an annual Spiritual Renewal Week. When is that coming up, and what’s involved?

Spiritual Renewal Week is the biggest event of the year for me and is usually the last week of September/first week of October. This year it will run from Monday, Oct. 4 through Friday, Oct. 8. I work with a planning committee. which has already begun its preparation for this year’s event. Each morning begins with a hymn sing and devotions led each day by a minister from a different denomination in the Independence community. Our guest minister this year will be David Brock. He is the presiding evangelist for the Community of Christ denomination and will teach the class that fills the rest of each morning. Visitors from the community are invited to attend, and they may purchase lunch tickets for a buffet lunch we provide. A program follows lunch. In the past we’ve had choral groups, historical dramas (in full costume), and a Renaissance Festival presentation (in full costume). Participants may then choose between a craft class or a movie.
5 What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

My mantra is “how can I help,” so when a resident tells me that my visit or some other area of my ministry has blessed them, that is the greatest reward of all.