The Presbyterian Church of LaPorte spotlights those from our congregation that went on to serve in the ministry in some capacity. This month we contacted Jan Ledford. Her response was as follows:
I just retired as of Oct 1 from 15 years in ministry as the Board-Certified Chaplain at the Llanfair Retirement Community in Cincinnati, OH. We are a continuing care facility of 250 residents in Independent, Assisted Living, Nursing Care, Rehabilitation, and Memory Care. A good-sized congregation with lots of needs! Kept me busy! What I loved there was the wonderful combination of traditional chaplaincy (worship 2X Sunday, 3 Bible Studies, 2 Devotionals, and sick visitation per week) and numerous opportunities for teaching (orientation of new staff, Spirituality and Dementia as part of programs for ministers, outside guests, and staff) and fun teaching and sponsoring speakers on various topics of spirituality. It was a schedule that kept me running.
The first thing I realized when I retired was that I didn't realize how very tired I was!!
At this point I am looking forward to just catching up with family. I've spent a good deal of time with Stephanie and family for the holidays this fall. So nice not to have to rush back to work. This spring I will spend April, May, and June with Katrina and family in Switzerland where they have lived for the past 5 years. I will also be moving to Chesterton in March to live closer to Steph. Will decide what I want to do when I grow up after all the dust settles.
Obviously, The Presbyterian Church of LaPorte played a large role in my decision to leave teaching and go to seminary at the age of 50! All of what happened there and so many people who influenced my growth there over time. Many are gone now, but they were all part of the fabric of our life together. I had a professor who believed that faith formation took place over years - "steeped like tea until we were transformed". I think that was true for me. It goes without saying that Bill Wimberly was a tremendous influence and changed my thinking most over time. I can't think of anything specific other than the fact that I often had 'aha' moments in worship and left with something to think about during the week. He helped me most though with his advice given the last time we met in his office at the church. He was commenting that I had a unique opportunity approaching seminary with life experience rather than right out of undergrad. Because of that 'you need to do what you haven't done' and that if there is an experience or task I don't want to do, 'you must do it.' Interestingly, that changed the whole trajectory of my journey to ministry. I thought I was called to Christian Education. Never in a million years would I have seen myself in ministry to older adults back then. His advice to take on what you are scared of, changed everything.