St. Luke's Chapel during this year's Ash Wednesday service.
When the organ at St. Luke’s Chapel lifted its voice on Ash Wednesday, it raised goosebumps for those who had missed both the organ’s music and the interdenominational services in the sacred space.
Lent, always a season of rebirth, was doubly one for St. Luke’s Chapel this year, with its first service in years happening on Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season.
Again a place for community, among worshipers
For Stephanie Holcomb, director of fund development at Episcopal Church Home, the Ash Wednesday service was her first experience in the chapel, which had been closed while construction crews transformed the ECH campus to fulfill the vision of its new Master Plan.
“There is something about just walking through the threshold, and the atmosphere changes completely because of a sense of peace,” Holcomb said. “It’s a sense of upliftment. I don’t even know how to describe it other than this sense of peace is washing over you.”
Holcomb said the sermon by the Chaplain, The Rev. Lisa Tolliver, reflected on not trying to do gigantic things for God during Lent but instead making more incremental changes that stay with you well after Easter.
People from across the campus gather
“Being in there with the residents, it’s exciting,” Holcomb said. “You see the excitement, and you see the sense of joy on people’s faces because you’re there, being able to worship together as a community.”
It’s a place where independent-living residents from the ECH Dudley Square patio homes gather alongside ECH team members and with residents of the Morton House skilled nursing and memory care household and Lyndon House Personal Care apartments. People from the outer community also attend services.
“It’s bringing everybody in from across the whole campus together at the same time,” Holcomb said.
St. Luke's Chapel on Ash Wednesday.
Another gathering place: The Shoppe
Meanwhile, residents and team members in recent months have been enjoying shopping and chatting at another fun place: The Shoppe, in the atrium of Morton House. It opened with the new name in 2022.
The shop is open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the general time of team members’ lunch period.
“We sell all kinds of things in the gift shop,” said Carolyn Heymann, who volunteers as co-manager of The Shoppe, along with Wendy Hoback. “We have sundries that the residents may need, such as combs, brushes, Kleenexes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo.”
For various holidays, “we try to have a holiday display of some sort, and little knick-knacks, or gifts they can buy for their family or friends. And we also have a wonderful assortment of greeting cards.”
Those are very popular, said Heymann, who goes on shopping outings with Hovack to find items for The Shoppe that residents will enjoy.
ECH residents and team members have been enjoying shopping and chatting at The Shoppe in the atrium of Morton House, which opened in 2022.
There are also candy and snacks, jewelry, crystal and other glassware, puzzles, booklets containing sudoku puzzles or crosswords, and coloring books with crayons.
The Shoppe is completely run by volunteers, under the oversight of the Woman’s Board, which donates store proceeds to ECH in ways the board determines.
Becky Burns, administrative manager at ECH, said The Shoppe is great for residents and team members to meet and browse.
The Shoppe has brought “great positive energy and spirit, Burns said. “They’re off of the rotunda, and that’s the central part of our Morton House building, and there’s the Grille 75, there’s the beauty shop, there’s the gift shop,” Burns said. “It’s kind of a little mall area.”
The gift store that preceded The Shoppe had extended hours because there were numerous volunteers. As more volunteers join, the hours can be extended. People interested in volunteering at The Shoppe can contact Burns at 502-736-8054.
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ECH held a ribbon-cutting for The Shoppe in 2022.
The Master Plan nears completion
Other parts of the campus have come along, too. Among them:
- The lovely Dudley Square patio homes are nearing completion and being claimed quickly. Of 25 Dudley Square III patio homes, only three, plus the model, are left.
- Lyndon House, the Personal care household at Episcopal Church Home, is now open and accepting residents to the new, beautiful living spaces at the premier retirement community.
- Morton House, one of the earliest areas transformed by the Master Plan, was completely renovated. Its skilled-nursing wing, now known as the Clingman neighborhood, now has 13 apartments for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and 13 apartments for those with physical challenges. The other side of Morton House, now known as Marmion, has 26 apartments dedicated to memory care.