Focus on Faith – Elisabeth Seymour, Staff Chaplain, Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) Assisted Living
Becoming a pastor hadn’t been Elisabeth Seymour’s plan but, when this teacher felt the calling, she says with a laugh, “I made a deal with God: ‘If you’ll provide me with the time and resources, then I’ll do it.’”
Not long after beginning seminary, Elisabeth was invited to fill in on a Sunday as a substitute pastor at CRC. “After learning about CRC’s history, I thought, ‘how much prayer and hope was given over the years in this community.’ There is a sacredness in this space and a closeness with God.”
Elisabeth hadn’t considered working at a retirement community, but there was a vacancy on the CRC Spiritual Life team, and she applied and was hired. Still, she needed to finish seminary.
Elisabeth applied for and was awarded a UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation Scholarship, part of the Team Member Support Services Fund. “This scholarship is so incredible. I feel so supported in my work, that Brio Living Services team members are cared about and that our hopes and dreams mean something. That is so unique. I get to honor my commitment to Brio and gain greater academic knowledge, while also taking what I’m learning and putting it into practice. To have that side by side is incredible.”
This mom of two, whose husband is a hospice nurse, balances working during the day and taking online classes at home at night. She is midway through her program to finish her Master’s degree in divinity.
“Spiritual life is so important,” says Elisabeth. “When we are spiritually healthy, we can be mentally and physically healthy. It’s not just a spiritual band-aid; our spiritual life team gets to build deep relationships with our residents, their families, and our team members. It’s wonderful for Brio to honor that. All the pieces of me are valued and useful here, and I love being part of this community. I’m a better person because of the people I’ve met here.”