Special needs residents enjoy their very own “Night to Shine”

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs. Hope Residence joined the celebration this year at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minn., one of 375 churches around the world hosting 75,000 honored guests on one night — February 10, 2017.

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A gift for the grandma who has everything

Getting a gift for Judy Putz could be a challenge. What’s the perfect thing for a hard worker who is generous with her time and likes to keep busy, a woman of faith for whom church is an important part of life? Her granddaughter, Jenna Putz, knew just the thing.

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Faithful volunteers revive Jesus Cares Ministries program

After years of faithful participation, the Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) program at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bemidji, Minn., was struggling. Attendance had dwindled for the ministry, which reaches out to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and the community.

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Neighbors are nicest at Heritage Homes

Moving to senior living doesn’t mean giving up a sense of community. John and Eileen Bray live at Heritage Homes in Watertown, Wis. They enjoy excellent neighbors, and a calendar dotted with brunches, social calls, cocktail hours and housewarmings.

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Chaplaincy student shares residents joys and disappointments

Alan Hairsine enrolled in the WELS Chaplain Certificate (CCP) course through Martin Luther College to learn how to better communicate the saving message of Christ and be a comforting presence to those who are hurting. As part of his education, Alan is shadowing Pastor Ed Fredrich, chaplain atThe Lutheran Home Belle Plaine Campus.

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Donation gives assisted living residents a sunny spot to sit

On a warm summer evening, breeze blowing and sun setting, Ross Hall likes to be outside. “I can sit out there with my own chair and enjoy the weather,” he said.

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Recalling life's many adventures in memory care close to home

Bad behavior in Barbara Thompson’s house elicited a single raised eyebrow. No yelling, no pleading. A quiet, intent glare was enough to stop the offender.

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For the love of the game, and New Friends

Wisconsin Lutheran College’s baseball team had been rained out before, but this time an overcast sky led to something better. The players had a spring game scheduled with New Friends, a program that connects teens and young adults in high school and college with special needs children and their families.

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Texas vacation is once-in-a-lifetime trip for Hope residents

With help from team members at Hope Residence where he lives, Jim finally got to see Texas last fall after many years of dreaming. Planning for the trip started as a way to help Jim through surgery and recovery earlier in the year.

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Nurse from The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine goes to camp

Jane Glende is a busy nurse, wife and mother who spends her days helping older adults at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. Her work has a predictable rhythm far removed from the lively atmosphere of a camp, but Jane happily pitched in at the Joy in Jesus retreat at Green Lake Bible Camp near Spicer, Minn. The annual camp-style retreats for people with developmental disabilities are hosted by Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) and the WELS Minnesota District Special Ministries.

“I decided to do it because it’s a completely different scope than what we have at the skilled nursing facility,” Jane said.

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