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Spiritual Care

May 2020 Celebration of Life Service POSTPONED

May 4, 2020

Dear family and friends of our residents,

One of our most tender customs at the Lutheran Care Center is an occasional CELEBRATION OF LIFE.  From time to time our residents gather in our chapel, to remember their neighbors and friends who have passed away from us.  Family members of the recently deceased often find strength in joining in this observance, sharing a tear as we grieve together, sharing a smile as we remember things that made each one unique and precious to us.

Earlier this year we had planned a CELEBRATION OF LIFE for this coming Friday, to remember those who died in January, February, or March.  This date is simply not possible for such an event.  In order to protect our residents in this time of pandemic, all gatherings in our chapel have been suspended, as are all other meetings anywhere except in small groups on each resident's home unit, and face-to-face visits from family and friends are restricted, as you know.  Thankfully, these infection prevention practices, as stringent as they are, have effectively limited exposure among these vulnerable ones, who rely on our strict vigilance to keep them safe.

Grieving and remembering together are vital to our humanity, our faith, and our love for one another.  As soon as we can prudently resume gatherings of residents and their eager visitors, we will reschedule this event.  I cannot guess exactly when that might be, but the CELEBRATION OF LIFE will be delayed, not forgotten. 

Chaplain Kelly-Ray Meritt  +

Director of Pastoral Care


At Lutheran Care Center, we believe that every person is a child of God, and every person, regardless of age, disability, or stage of life, is entitled to experience life’s hopes, joys, and opportunities for care and growth. We seek to provide spiritual and emotional support for residents and their family members in a variety of ways.


Gatherings and Services

In our first-floor Chapel, Eucharistic Worship Services are held every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.  While they are offered in the Lutheran tradition, we are also mindful of the ecumenical nature of our household, and all are welcome.

Roman Catholic Mass, led by The Rev. John J. Backes and his spiritual care team from St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in Pleasant Valley, is offered on Wednesdays at 2p.m. A staff Chaplain is present in the building four days a week, and a Rabbi is available on an on-call basis. Parish Clergy of all our residents are warmly welcomed and encouraged to visit. We ask that visiting clergy sign in at the Clergy Visitation Binder provided at the reception desk.

Ecumenical services are scheduled on Ash Wednesday and Thanksgiving in partnership with the clergy, deacons, and choirs of St. John’s Lutheran Church and First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Pastoral Care and Spiritual Counseling are available to our residents, their family members, and our staff through the Spiritual Care Team.  The Chapel is always open for meditation and reflection, Scripture Study and prayer times are regularly offered to support the exploration of faith, and personal growth. There is also a weekly Choir session on Tuesday afternoons, open to all who would like to share some uplifting music.


End of Life Observances

The special nature of our household offers an opportunity for us all to prepare for and honor the end of life. When a member of our household dies, we offer “Code Angel” - an opportunity for a brief gathering of staff and residents in the foyer to share a moment of silence as our loved one leaves the building.

On a quarterly basis, a “Celebration of Life” service is offered for residents, family members and friends of those members of our household who have died. It is an important time to come together to honor our loved ones, share memories, and support one another. 

The Pastoral Care team is always available to residents and family members to offer support in the area of palliative care, end-of-life decisions, and bereavement.


Special Opportunities

Our goal, as spiritual caregivers, is to meet the needs of our residents with compassion and creativity. In the past, we have created special events – services or rituals – that allowed a resident to re-affirm baptismal vows, or to study the Lutheran Catechism and receive Confirmation. We have also instituted a “Cane and Able” service to offer blessings on Mobility Assistance Devices for all our residents.

Members of our Pastoral Care team also help train new staff members in order to promote LCC’s values and vision, and consultation is provided to all departments on religious and ethical matters.



You may reach our pastoral care office at 845-235-8211 or by email:

Rev. Kelly-Ray Meritt, Director of Pastoral Care/Chaplain at

A message from one of our Founding Visionaries, Nancy Graf Peters.