From the Illinois and Wisconsin District newsletter
Following the news of the sale of the Pinecrest Community, a member of Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren–which is located just down the street from Pinecrest–decided they wanted to do something to support the retirement community’s staff.
The member, who wished to remain anonymous, decided to send a $20 gift card for a local supermarket to every staff member. They asked that the congregation send the cards with a letter of support to the employees, about 150 in all.
Please pray… With gratitude to God for the compassion and caring of Mount Morris Church of the Brethren, and that Pinecrest employees will be blessed by the letter and gifts they have received from the church.
And so, on Nov. 28, a letter signed by pastor Rodney Caldwell, moderator Brenda Nevenhoven, and leadership team chair Dianne Swingel accompanied the gift, beginning: “Thank you for your compassionate service to the residents of Pinecrest Community.”
Noting the history between the denomination and Pinecrest, it continued, “Pinecrest Community has been dear to the heart of our church community for over a century. Although the sale of Pinecrest Community brings a conclusion to our formal relationship, please be assured of our continuing support, concern, and prayers. May God continue to bless the vision that led to the founding of the ‘Brethren Home’ in Mt. Morris in 1893.”
Following is the letter from Mount Morris that accompanied the gift cards for employees at Pinecrest, which Caldwell delivered on behalf of the church:
November 28, 2022
Dear Pinecrest Employee,
Thank you for your compassionate service to the residents of Pinecrest Community. In appreciation for your service please find enclosed a $20 gift card to Sullivan’s Foods. This gift was made possible by a generous donor in response to the announced change in ownership. Please be assured that we in the Church of the Brethren along with many throughout the community continue to offer our support to all Pinecrest Community employees, residents and resident family members.
In 1878 a proposal was made at a gathering of Church of the Brethren leaders that the potential for opening a home to care for widows and orphans should be considered. The concern was motivated by Christian compassion and inspired by scripture: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
Pinecrest Community has been dear to the heart of our church community for over a century. Although the sale of Pinecrest Community brings a conclusion to our formal relationship, please be assured of our continued support, concern and prayers. May God continue to bless the vision that led to the founding of the “Brethren Home” in Mt. Morris in 1893.
Your compassionate care for residents today is an extension of that original vision. Thank you!
Rev. Rodney R. Caldwell, Pastor
Dianne Swingel, Leadership Team Chair
Brenda Nevenhoven, Moderator
— Walt Wiltschek, executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Illinois and Wisconsin District, provided this article to Newsline.
Find more Church of the Brethren news:
- Church of the Brethren study groups are invited to contribute to the Anabaptist Community Bible
- EYN president Joel S. Billi chosen as president of TEKAN ecumenical organization
- EYN Minister’s Council approves ordination of 74 pastors
- This book will change your life
- First GFI grants of the year support agricultural work and education in Africa and New Orleans