New Beginnings

We are now well into 2022 and settling into what we are certainly anticipating will be a better year than 2021! For many, the start of a new year is a time to look forward, consider the possibilities that lie ahead, and make a resolution about things you would like to change. Sometimes these New Year’s resolutions are small tweaks you’d like to make to improve some aspect of your life. Other times, they are monumental shifts that you want or need to implement. There are a few key areas that might be worth adding to your list.

Share your time, talents, and treasure

We all have unique ways we can contribute to the betterment of the world around us, and the new year is the perfect time to start. Plus, several studies have found both physical and mental health benefits for seniors who volunteer with causes they care about.

There are near-countless ways to give of yourself to worthy groups and many of them are available through CareCorps here on campus. As we begin to restart many of our community outreach programs, tutoring at our local elementary and high schools, animal shelters, food pantries, blood drives, and community centers — just to name a few — are always looking for committed volunteers.

Not sure where you’d like to offer your time, talents, and treasure? Didi Cruz, CareCorps Volunteer Coordinator (x18526) is a great resource start your search.

Try something new

Want to learn to play the guitar? Take dance lessons? Start watercolor painting? Go hang gliding? Learn Italian? This is your year to resolve to try something new! And many of those opportunities are available through our LifeLong Learning program.

Focus on wellness

No matter your age, this is a perennial favorite when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. But the truth is: it’s always a good time to refocus on healthier lifestyle choices.

Maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds, exercise more often, or eat more healthfully. Perhaps you’ve been putting off that trip to the doctor or a preventative healthcare screening. Or it could be that you need to work on lowering your stress level or confronting your anxiety. Whatever wellness area you’ve been neglecting, commit to making a healthy improvement in 2022. It could improve your quality of life or even lengthen your life!

When was the last time you reviewed your personal legal documents including your power of attorney/healthcare proxy, advance directives, and will? For some, it may have been decades since these important documents were created, and a lot may have changed in that time.

Advance directives, sometimes called a living will, are documents that can help guide healthcare decisions made by doctors and loved ones should you no longer be able to voice your wishes for yourself.

If you need to change or update anything on your advance directives, it is best to complete a whole new document and give an updated version to your healthcare providers, attorney-in-fact (from your power of attorney), and other loved ones.

A will allows you to pass along your assets (tangible or monetary) to specific people or organizations after your death. Depending on your particular situation, wills can be very simple or very complex, but regardless, it is wise to review your will periodically to ensure it still reflects your wishes. Always work with an attorney should changes need to be made to a will.

Speaking of monumental shifts, this will also be a year of significant change for me. After six of the best and most meaningful years of my life serving the senior living community at Beatitudes Campus, as well as much prayer and deliberation, I am honored to have accepted the CEO position of another organization. Although I will be physically leaving next month my regard and admiration for this tremendous campus of residents and staff will never leave me. I hold the time spent here and the mission, vision and values that I have been able to enjoy, help refine and live as very dear. I am so happy to see all the progress that has been made and look forward to the completion of the redevelopment program.

I thank the board of directors, Michelle Just, President & CEO and all my colleagues for the opportunity to work with them as well as my cherished teams in Marketing, Sales, Outreach and Assisted Living. And my sincere thanks for all the many kindnesses that you have extended to me and for the many lifelong friendships that I will always treasure!

Thoughts on Resolutions

I’m not one of those people that is big on making New Year’s resolutions, however, this year I thought that perhaps I’d set some goals for myself for 2022. Reports indicate that well over half of all resolutions fail, and in the interest of being more successful I’ve done a little research and come up with a list of tips and tricks to make sure my resolutions (and maybe yours too!) pan out.

Pick the right goal-I’m not going to be Miss America by the end of 2022, that’s not a reasonable goal, so be sure to pick a goal that is reasonable and manageable for you. If your goal is based on something that society or someone else is telling you to change you’re not going to be successful. Be sure to choose a goal that is important to you.

Make a plan-it’s great to have goals, but how are you going to achieve them? Try to make a list of steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal. Allow for any hurdles that may crop up, they’re inevitable, and unforeseen challenges are the number one destroyer of New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t expect perfection-I’m not perfect, and I need to allow myself the grace to fail. However, failure doesn’t need to be permanent. If you fail at one of your goals, think of it as a temporary setback. Trying to cut sugar, but lost all willpower and had a cupcake this afternoon? Forgive yourself, but don’t quit! Start new tomorrow! Success is still success whether it’s your first try or twentieth.

Celebrate smaller successes-break your goal down into smaller pieces, so you can check off your successes as you achieve them. Maybe your goal is to walk around the perimeter of campus every day. That’s a long walk, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t pull it off every day, but make an effort, maybe only walk to the end of your building hall and back, but celebrate it!

Gather your people-Don’t feel like you need to do it alone, bring a friend along! We tend to have greater success when working as a part of a group or with a trusted friend. This gives you someone to cheer your on when you need it, and to listen when you need a kind ear.

Most of all remember, be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not achieving everything all at once. As for me, I’ve got a pageant to get ready for, see you all in 2022!

Looking Forward to 2019

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were filled with love and joy. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all of you for making Beatitudes Campus the wonderful, spirit-filled community it is. Your warmth and compassion for each other is inspiring. Your wisdom has taught me so much about living life to its fullest. You have blessed me with the lifelong gift of your friendship. Thank you!

Now that 2019 is upon us, many of us have resolved to change some of our “bad” habits and replace them with “good” habits. How did the tradition of New Year’s resolution even start? Some 4,000 years ago, the Babylonians rang in their new year by making promises to the gods in hopes they would earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to return borrowed items and get out of debt. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus. During the Middle Ages, knights would renew their vows to chivalry and uphold the values of knighthood by placing their hand on a live or roasted peacock.

Things have come a long way since then! Modern new year’s resolutions became “a thing” in the 19th century. The first recorded use of the phrase “new year resolution” appeared in a Boston newspaper in 1813.

The tradition of making resolutions at the beginning of the year certainly can put a lot of stress on us – especially if we don’t keep them. Every year, in some way or another, I resolve to be a better person, get healthier, work less, save the world, become smarter, be more philanthropic, become more spiritual, engage more in the world around me – whew – what a tall order! And what a lot of pressure! By the end of the year, I usually haven’t fulfilled all of my resolutions in the way I imagined I would in January. Sometimes life doesn’t quite go the way I planned it to go. But by bending with the winds of change, I adapt to changing circumstances. But even then, that sometimes means I don’t accomplish my New Year’s resolutions. What if I could just lighten up a bit and allow myself to live each moment of every day fully – rather than pressuring myself and forcing change and feeling bad when the change doesn’t happen?

So, this year, my “un-resolution” is to resolve to get out of my own way and trust that the better version of me will come through when it’s ready to do so. I am hoping that taking time off from forcing change through new year’s resolutions will open new doors of discovery for me. And I’m excited! 2019 is going to be the best year yet – a year of incredible growth and evolution!

May the new year add a new beauty and freshness in your hearts.*

A Future Not Our Own

Oscar A. Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, in El Salvador, was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived. He had always been close to his people, preached a prophetic gospel, denouncing the injustice in his country and supporting the development of popular and mass organizations. He became the voice of the Salvadoran people when all other channels of expression had been crushed by the repression.  A prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw for a celebration of departed priests that continues to be used on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero.  I think it is a powerful prayer as we start a new year.  It reminds us that we plant the seeds of future promise but our vision is limited and we cannot do everything but we can do something.

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction

of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of

saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one

day will grow. We water the seeds already planted

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of

liberation in realizing this.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,

a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s

grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the

difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not

messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

In 2018, may we be about planting seeds and laying foundations trusting that the Lord’s grace will enter and do the rest.

When to Get on the Wait List

Someone stopped me in the Bistro the other day and told me he often uses the articles that I have been putting in the Roadrunner to share with friends who are considering a move to Beatitudes Campus. That was a much appreciated compliment and it occurred to me today (New Year’s..) one of those reflective times when I am thinking of a lot of plans for 2018) that it might be worthwhile for all of you to have a bit of a tool to use when speaking to family or friends about their potential move to our Life Plan Community.

That’s really one of the best points – “Life Plan.” When you made the decision to live at Beatitudes, you did yourself the favor of taking one of the most important steps in planning for your “senior” years. If your friend or a loved one is considering their senior living options, they likely have begun doing research on retirement communities. With all of the choices available, it can be a lot to take in so the decision process can take some time, depending on the situation. Some senior living decisions are needs-based and move much quicker, while others are more preference-based and can take months or even years.

The timing conundrum

Ideally, one should not wait until the day they need to move to begin planning. If for no other reason, this can be problematic because of the very subject I am addressing here—there could be a wait list for the living setting you prefer. But one of the challenges of planning ahead for long term care housing needs is that it can be hard to foresee exactly when you will need it. It could happen slowly with the natural aging process or the progression of a degenerative disease, or it can occur quickly with an illness or injury. So it is advisable to get on the waiting list if you are looking at the Beatitudes for yourself or a family member; this way, when the time comes and your house sells or situation changes, you will hopefully be near the top of the list and, most importantly, you will be able to enjoy the many, many benefits of independent living on the campus while you can.

We are taking reservations right now for the new patio homes that we’ve announced and will begin “pre-sales” (deposits) in mid-February. Our priority program has reached 56 members with 47 who have paid their initial placeholder deposit for a chance at one of our 34 patio homes. One of the additional benefits that has also occurred during the last few months as we have presented the opportunity to hundreds of interested prospects has been that some are deciding to move into our present residences rather than wait! If your friends or family are eyeing a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also known as a Life Plan Community) another consideration is that many communities require new residents be able to “walk in,” that is, they must be relatively able-bodied when they first move to the community. In fact, many Life Plan Communities have a very active base of residents such as we do who live independently today, but want to be someplace where care is available to them on-site when needed. Most Life Plan Communities maintain an assisted living and/or health care center in addition to offering independent living such as  Beatitudes Campus. We are blessed to have such highly rated licensed care options here for eventual needs as well as supplemental care options (Beatitudes Home Health and Beatitudes at Home) to extend independence.

How waiting lists work

Many Life Plan Communities have wait lists—yet, these lists are not necessarily just for assisted living or skilled nursing. When applicable, wait lists are often also associated with an independent living residence. When adding your name to a  wait list, you’ll typically specify which type of unit you desire, e.g., a patio home, one or two-bedroom apartment, etc. When a resident in your desired unit type moves out (often because their needs have progressed and they are transferring into the on-site assisted living or healthcare facility) then the unit becomes available to you.

Once you’re on the wait list, retirement communities may offer a variety of perks to future residents—maybe unlimited use of their pool and exercise facility, or access to other community events and activities. We have begun our L.A.F.F. (Lifestyle, Activities, Fun and Friendship) Club to facilitate that very type of relationship to the campus. In fact, a growing number of Life Plan Communities are beginning to call their wait list a “membership” just like ours. I would encourage residents-to-be to take advantage of this benefit as it allows you to begin the process of assimilating into the community and meeting future neighbors, even before you live there. We do have some club members who have not put their names on the wait list, but many do so in order to have good familiarity with the campus when the time is right.

It is also good to be aware that some communities will have an internal waiting list such as we do. If you find yourself in a situation where you need (or want) to move into the community and your preferred unit is not available—forcing you to settle for your second or third choice–you can go ahead and move in but stay on the internal list and wait for your desired unit-type to open up. Existing residents will typically get priority over non-residents, so you may be able to get your preference more quickly. Adding your name to the waiting list is one of the ways you can plan for your future. This step can give you and your loved ones a level of security, knowing that you will be well-cared for in the future.

Remember that, as a Beatitudes resident, if you refer a prospect who becomes a priority program member, you’ll earn $100. If that prospect does sign a residency contract and move into Central Park or a Patio Home, you’ll receive a $1,000 bonus after they have lived on campus for four months. Your second successful referral is worth $1250 and the third earns $1500 – that’s a possibility of $3750 a year! The only requirements are that the prospect is not already in our marketing database and that you do register the name with the sales staff prior to their initial tour.

These are indeed exciting times here and we are equally as excited to see all of the progress being made!

The Gate of the Year

As the clamor of the holiday season has faded once more into hopefully happy memories of light and joy, we turn now and look to the future, as we step into the New Year of 2018.

There are many special days for us individually which cause us to pause and reflect on what has happened in our lives and what may be yet to come, but as we hang our new calendars on our walls and try to remember to write 2018 in our check books, we have a chance to collectively contemplate as we celebrate.

Looking back over 2017 we can remember both times of celebration and times of sadness and difficulty. Thinking firstly of celebrations, 2017 marked 500 years since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, with events demonstrating unity within the Christian family of faith, while recognizing the contributions of Martin Luther and his fellow reformers. 2017 was also the year during which global measles deaths dropped below 100,000 for the first time – an 84% fall since 2000, and while after starting the season with odds at 15/1, the Houston Astros won the World Series for the first time.

Unfortunately, as well as being able to reflect joyfully on these and many other events, many of us will also be reflecting on how our lives have been touched by sadness this year on a personal level and on a global scale. During 2017 conflicts in the Middle-East continued to add to the largest humanitarian and refugee crisis since WW2, and the people around the world mourned together for the loss of lives in the Las Vegas mass-shooting and as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

As we step in to 2018 we may ponder to ourselves what news the next twelve months will bring both in our own lives and in the wider world. Amid our wonder and our apprehension, perhaps we should greet 2018 with the words of this poem by M. L. Haskins in our hearts and minds;

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.’ So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

May our New Year bring us closer to God, who walks beside us on our pilgrimage of life, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914

Over a century later, the story of the Christmas truce of 1914 has been remembered as a testament to the power of hope and humanity in a truly dark hour of history.  I share the story with you as written by Naina Bajekal in TIME magazine on December 24, 2014.

On a crisp, clear morning 100 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives. But what actually happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1914 — and did they really play soccer on the battlefield? Pope Benedict XV, who took office that September, had originally called for a Christmas truce, an idea that was officially rejected. Yet it seems the sheer misery of daily life in the cold, wet, dull trenches was enough to motivate troops to initiate the truce on their own — which means that it’s hard to pin down exactly what happened. A huge range of differing oral accounts, diary entries and letters home from those who took part make it virtually impossible to speak of a “typical” Christmas truce as it took place across the Western front. To this day historians continue to disagree over the specifics: no one knows where it began or how it spread, or if, by some curious festive magic, it broke out simultaneously across the trenches. Nevertheless, some two-thirds of troops — about 100,000 people — are believed to have participated in the legendary truce.

Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”, as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled, in a document later rounded up by the New York Times. Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Brigade described it in even greater detail:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing—two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches.

The phenomenon took different forms across the Western front. One account mentions a British soldier having his hair cut by his pre-war German barber; another talks of a pig-roast. Several mention impromptu kick-abouts with makeshift soccer balls, although, contrary to popular legend, it seems unlikely that there were any organized matches. The truce was widespread but not universal. Evidence suggests that in many places firing continued — and in at least two a truce was attempted but soldiers attempting to fraternize were shot by opposing forces.  And of course, it was only ever a truce, not peace. Hostilities returned, in some places later that day and in others not until after New Year’s Day. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,” one veteran from the Fifth Batallion the Black Watch, Alfred Anderson, later recalled to The Observer. “It was a short peace in a terrible war.” As the Great War resumed, it wreaked such destruction and devastation that soldiers became hardened to the brutality of the war. While there were occasional moments of peace throughout the rest of World War I, they never again came on the scale of the Christmas truce in 1914. To mark the centenary back in 2014, Prince William unveiled a memorial on Dec. 12: a metal frame representing a soccer ball, with two hands clasped inside it, and a week later, inspired by the events of the truce, the British and German army soccer teams played a friendly match. And though the Christmas Truce may have been a one-off in the conflict, the fact that it remains so widely commemorated speaks to the fact that at its heart it symbolizes a very human desire for peace, no matter how fleeting.

Grit and Determination

On Super Bowl Sunday recently, I was watching the pre-game ceremonies, enjoying some of the tremendous promotion and frankly, “hype.” It’s rather astonishing that over $400 million has been spent by companies on Super Bowl ads and that $14.1 billion will be spend by Americans on Super Bowl related activities. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching a good football game and the ultimate in that genre is today. By the time you read this, the outcome will have come and gone, but as of this moment, it’s still up in the air. What I do know is that it all seems very important. Companies from Skittles to Buick to Mr. Clean to Budweiser (with a nod to the ghost of “Spuds” McKenzie) are banking much of their upcoming year of sales on today. And that is, of course, pretty significant—but it’s pretty rarified air for most of us.

In the world in which generally most of us are living, we seek a day to day value to that daily living. We’re not in the Super Bowl, but we’re certainly running a race toward what may be the real question. I was reading recently about an event held every other year in which athletes aged 50 and older, from all around the country, gather in a new city for the National Senior Games. Athletes compete at state competitions in events including golf, swimming and track and field for a chance to ultimately strut their stuff in a national competition. It’s not the Super Bowl—but it’s probably more relevant to many of us.

Recently, luxury fitness chain, Equinox, spotlighted a few of this year’s athletes in its editorial publication, Furthermore—and the author of the piece I was reading, wrote, “their stories left us feeling oh-so inspired (read: super ready to get back on track with those New Year’s resolutions that have since fallen by the wayside).” He’s got that right. Read what a few of them had to say and check out the ages.

Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated.

“The mailbox is about 100 meters from the house, so I don’t walk to the mailbox. I run,” says Norman Meeker, 88, who will compete in the 400- and 800-meter dashes. “We also go dancing once a week.”

The way you start your day changes everything.

“I get up in the morning and stretch the body for 15 minutes,” says Norman’s wife, 89-year-old Misako Meeker, who will compete in the discus event. “Instead of getting up or staying in bed, I stretch. I do that for 15 to 20 minutes every day, no question.”

It pays to listen to that encouraging little voice inside your head.

“When I first saw the list of events [back in November 2002], I said to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never done any of this!'” says Joann Sampson, 76, who now competes in the 50- and 100-meter dash events. “A voice said to me, ‘You can do this.’ So, I’ve learned to listen to the soft voice now that speaks to you because that voice normally is the right voice to listen to.”

On March 1st, a group of 13 senior athletes from Beatitudes Campus will be competing in the 3rd annual LeadingAgeAz Fitness Challenge at North Phoenix Baptist Church. I have been given the privilege of being a part the event once again. I have to tell you that every year I feel a little more proud—and maybe a little more chagrined about my own lack of attention to that little voice when I see our residents pushing themselves to excel in the events of the day, doing just that—hearing their brains say “you can do this.” I can’t wait to see inspiring seniors from throughout Arizona showing us that all of the grit and determination isn’t just at the Super Bowl.

Speaking of the Super Bowl—in the most stunning upset in Super Bowl history, New England prevailed over the Falcons, leaving many wide-eyed and a little speechless.

Regardless of who anyone wanted to win, no one can deny that “never give up” spirit—the voice obviously awake in many of the Patriots players that kept saying “you can do this.” So—good lessons all around for us; the inspiration of the pros and the motivation of our indomitable seniors—I love them both but, as you might imagine, I really am most impressed with the grit and determination I see every day on this campus. Go, Beatitudians! You are my heroes!

 

 

Photo Caption: Melvin Larsen running the 100 meter dash during the National Senior Games

Set Intentions, Not Resolutions

One of the last minute gifts I gave to our daughter Maddie this year is a bracelet with one word on it.  I was attracted to this website the week before Christmas because Chris Pan, founder of MyIntent.org, is asking the world “What’s Your WORD?”  His mission is to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy. Your WORD is something you want to have more of in your life or a challenge you want to overcome.  He says: “We believe there is purpose inside each of us and we want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.  We are not a jewelry company – we are an intentions project. When you choose your word it is hand-stamped into a wearable bracelet or necklace as a daily reminder and conversation starter. Ok, I know this could easily be a gimmick, but the thing is I asked Maddie “What’s your WORD? and she said, “THRIVE.”  I asked “Why thrive?” and she said that she wants to thrive and not just survive.  That was a catalyst for a conversation and information about my daughter that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.  The WORD that I chose is “JOY” because it is meaningful in my life and my faith and has deep connections to my father who died years ago.  I asked my husband what his WORD was and he said he didn’t want a bracelet.  Ok, it’s not for everyone.  I am inspired to think of my WORD as my intention, not my resolution, as I go into this New Year.  One of the makers of the My Intent project posted this:  “Guess what, you are perfectly imperfect just the way you are and there is nothing “wrong” with you, nothing that needs fixing…what you can do is love yourself a little more a little deeper.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you and push yourself to be an expanded version of who you already are.  Do things that set your soul on fire and fill your heart with love.  Expand your mind, experience new things, connect on a deeper level with those around you.  So instead of creating a “resolution” or asking yourself what needs “fixing”….set an intention for what you are CREATING in the world and who you are committed to BEING.  Find what makes your light shine and do more of that. Shine brighter in the new year.”  May it be so.  What’s your WORD?

The Gate at the End of the Year

As the clamor of the holiday season has faded once more into hopefully happy memories of light and joy, we turn now and look to the future, as we step into the New Year of 2017.

There are many special days for us individually that cause us to pause and reflect on what has happened in our lives and what may be yet to come, but as we hang our new calendars on our walls, and try to remember to write 2017 in our checkbooks, we have a chance to collectively contemplate as we celebrate.

Looking back over 2016, we can remember both times of celebration and times of sadness and difficulty. Thinking firstly of celebrations, 2016 was the first year during which child mortality rates fell substantially across the globe. 2016 was also the year during which the nations of the world gathered together in Rio to celebrate their sporting achievements. Speaking of sporting achievements – the Chicago Cubs broke their 108 year dry spell by winning the World Series in Game 7!

Unfortunately as well as being able to reflect joyfully on these and many other events, during 2016 the world was repeatedly distressed by the continuing conflict in Syria with its resulting humanitarian crisis, as well as by the terrorist attacks in Orlando, Europe and the Middle East which, amongst many others around the world, have resulted in the loss of so many innocent lives.

As we step into 2017, we may ponder to ourselves what news the next twelve months will bring both in our own lives and in the wider world. Amid our wonder and our apprehension, perhaps we should greet 2017 with the words of this poem by M. L. Haskins in our hearts and minds:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

May our New Year bring us closer to God, who walks beside us on our pilgrimage of life, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Plan Now to Make More Possible Tomorrow

Happy New Year to all of you – residents, staff, partners! This is the time of year when we are more mindful about reflecting on our life and our world. New Year’s reflections often remind us to do more of what works – the right things – and less of what doesn’t work.

We now have turned the page on 2016 and are ready to begin a new chapter. With a new year also comes new resolve to think about tomorrow today. What are we truly passionate about? How can we make a difference? How can we be better servant leaders? What organizations or causes do we care about to devote our personal resources of money, time and energy? The list of projects and endeavors we want to be involved in is probably long and varied, but making such a list will help us to think about where we want to place our energy and resources.

You – the residents, staff, family and friends – devote much time, talent and treasure to Beatitudes Campus, through your volunteering, leadership and charitable gifts to many of the campus initiatives, to programs and to the Resident Assistance Fund. I am humbled by your generosity. Thank you!

The start of a new year can also be a signal for us to begin to make plans for future charitable gifts. With a planned gift, you can create a lasting legacy of support and help the campus continue to provide excellent opportunities and services for generations to come. Every day, Beatitudes Campus, along with our residents and friends, are expanding the boundaries of what’s possible through programs that connect us through our mind, body and spirit. We support programs that exercise our minds as well as our bodies, and programs that help us to expand our campus into the community. One of the driving forces behind these programs is you. You make things possible today, and tomorrow, with planned charitable giving. Planning now makes more possible tomorrow.

There are many different types of planned giving options. You can help ensure the future of Beatitudes Campus programming and innovation in a way that works for you. Cash contributions are always appreciated, and there are other creative and flexible options that can benefit you and Beatitudes Campus. There are many ways to make a significant impact through a planned gift – you can consider making a gift that costs nothing in your lifetime through a charitable bequest under your will or trust, or by beneficiary designation. An easy way to include Beatitudes Campus in your estate plan is to name Beatitudes Campus Foundation as a beneficiary of your donor advised fund, retirement plan, IRA or life insurance policy. Planned gifts can also give back—and can help you prepare for your future. They can provide income for you and your loved ones for life. They can also allow you to take income, gift and estate tax deductions and can provide favorable capital gains tax treatment. Planned gifts allow you to leave a legacy for future generations.

All people who have made a bequest or other type of planned gift are invited to join the Culver H. Nelson Founder’s Society at Beatitudes Campus. It’s our way of recognizing you and thanking you for your generosity and for ensuring the future success of Beatitudes Campus. If you have made such a gift, we want to know and recognize you, so please let me know. Throughout the next year, we will offer some workshops on gift planning to help you with your options. In the meantime, I’d love to talk to you. Of course, you will want to talk to your financial or tax adviser also. Feel free to stop by and talk with me about any kind of charitable giving. Please contact me in the Foundation Office (x16136 or stop by the South building – our office is next to Oasis Therapy).

So, let’s turn the page to our next chapter. Exciting possibilities await in 2017!

Opportunities Created

As I sat down to write this week’s article, I found myself thinking about the amazing energy a new year brings. There is something very special about it- it’s a blank page, a new chapter, some even consider it a new book. Whether you set resolutions, goals, or simply an intention for the coming 365 days, the new year brings motivation and creates new opportunities. Below is an article that was shared with me by Valerie Cantrell, my executive assistant, and I share it with you today. We, as a community and as individuals, have many opportunities in 2016 and I look forward to the journey with all of you.

Excerpts from Inspiring Success Blog

Opportunities Created

A new year always brings new opportunities. The beginning of the year brings a special atmosphere that motivates action, and that’s – an opportunity!

Here are some opportunities that I strongly recommend:

  1. Self-examination

This is one of the major tools that will allow you to grow and develop. The best way to make a new year better than the previous year is through self-examination.

What did you do better? Where did you failed?

Who do you have to thank? Who do you need to forgive and to whom should you apologize?

Where you stand in terms of realizing your goals and dreams?

  1. Try new things

Who doesn’t want to “collect” new experiences? The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to make a change and gain new experiences with which you build the history of your life. Such experiences can be spiritual or material, they can be large or small. These experiences are of the things that make a new year, a great year.

  1. Try old things once more

Sometimes the difference between success and failure is just trying one more time. A new year brings a different perspective. A new year can bring a new approach. “If something is not working for you, leave it, relax, rest and then come back to it.” A new year is a good opportunity to “attack” a stubborn difficulty; a new year is a great opportunity to change your approach and turn the difficulty into a challenge.

  1. Keep in touch

We all have a family member, friend, colleague, or mentor we haven’t been in touch with for a long time.

I’m sure there are many reasons…Routine and a busy schedule. The end of one stage in life and the beginning of another. The New Year is a special period of time in which you leave the reasons a side and move into action.

  1. Set new goals

Setting goals is as important as breathing oxygen. Setting goals focuses you and gives you the strength to continue in spite of the uncertainties and difficulties. Many successful people say that setting goals “is one of the main reasons that allow you to get up in the morning with a smile on your face, even when the situation is not that good.” The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to set new goals.

For the full article go to: http://inspiring-success.info/index.php/articles-section/110-new-year-new-beginning#.Vo7IMnop1uM.email