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Help welcome new chaplain Rev. Rick Russell

For the past several weeks, Rev. Rick Russell has been making his way through Lawrence Presbyterian Manor to introduce himself as the community’s new chaplain.

“I’ve been going room to room and apartment to apartment and getting to know them and their needs,” Rick said. “My approach is to come alongside folks, to share with them about God’s love and care for them. Meeting them where they are, whether they have been involved in the church setting for many years, or not. I want to meet people where they are and provide the best support emotionally and spiritually.”

Along the way, he’s not only had the chance to introduce himself, but has also enjoyed hearing others’ stories.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few dozen folks already,” Rick said. “That’s one thing I enjoy about the ministry - I get to hear the life and story of an individual. I never tire of hearing those stories. It helps me understand the person better, and how to best interact with them and provide support for them.”

The chaplain says understanding residents’ need is important in helping them maintain their best health in all areas of life. It’s a lesson he learned and took to heart during his more than 20-year career serving as a chaplain in hospice care.

“Body, mind, and spirit all intertwine,” Rick said. “That’s one thing I enjoy about being involved in hospice for so many years. And here it’s evident that the chaplain, social worker, and everyone works together to provide the best care.”

Due to his previous work, Rev. Rick has spent a lot of time in communities like Lawrence Presbyterian Manor so, in some ways his new role doesn’t seem so new at all.

“Well, this was something that I really felt called to,” Rick said. “Interestingly, it prepared me for this position. Probably 60 percent or more of hospice patients are in long term care, skilled nursing, or assisted living communities. I spent a lot of time in places like Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, a lot of time in bible study, doing memorial services, and helping to assist in activities with various groups.”

When Rev. Rick isn’t walking the halls of LPM, he especially enjoys fishing, and spending time with his family - including his wife of nearly 40 years, two children, and four grandchildren.

Help us welcome Rev. Rick Russell to the Lawrence Presbyterian Manor family!

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