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Growing in faith together

Interfaith community at Fox Run shares in each other’s traditions

Created date

September 25th, 2015
Fox Run staff
Fox Run staff

Fox Run is home to people from a variety of different faith backgrounds. There are Jewish and Christian residents, people who practice other religions, and people who are spiritual without subscribing to any particular doctrine. 

Not only are people from all religious backgrounds able to live together in harmony, but because of their diversity, they are also able to learn from one another and take advantage of opportunities to share in one another’s faith traditions.

Opportunities for believers and nonbelievers

Jamie Flowers, who joined Fox Run last December as the community’s pastoral care coordinator, helps organize religious and interfaith activities. 

Flowers holds an impressive three master’s degrees. He earned a master’s in missions from Wheaton College and a graduate psychology degree from Michigan Theological Seminary, and he studied theology at Moody Theological Seminary. 

He was ordained by Cornerstone Christian Church and has previously served as an associate pastor. Before coming to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., he worked for 12 years as a hospice chaplain.

As pastoral ministries coordinator at Fox Run, Flowers says, “I provide opportunities for believers to engage in worship and meaningful expressions of their faith as well as provide opportunities for nonbelievers to investigate faith issues.” 

Positive and engaging community

While working as a hospice chaplain, Flowers began to learn more about Fox Run. He says his first impression was that Fox Run was not only a pleasant environment in which to live and work but also a positive and engaging community. He knew he wanted to work there.

“Throughout my interview process, this impression was confirmed, and it became very apparent to me that the culture at Fox Run is one that values both the residents and the staff,” he says.

One of Flowers’ responsibilities as pastoral ministries coordinator is to organize a number of annual events, including Good Friday Service, Seder Meal, National Day of Prayer, Advent Tea, and a memorial service. He also provides pastoral care by visiting residents in the hospital, visiting the bereaved, and providing counsel for those who are struggling.

“Fox Run also plays a key role in supporting residents when they lose loved ones to death or suffer through prolonged illness,” Flowers says.

Making worship convenient for retirees

Residents have had a positive response to the interfaith activities available at Fox Run, as well as the one-on-one services that Flowers provides. He says that faith is an important part of life for many of the retirees living there. As people get older, staying connected to their own religious community can sometimes prove challenging. Fox Run steps in to meet their needs.

“Fox Run serves to bridge that gap by providing opportunities to worship on our campus as well as providing shuttle services to many houses of worship on weekends,” Flowers says. 

Each week, Fox Run’s performing arts center holds a Catholic mass and a Protestant (interdenominational) worship service. There are also monthly Catholic masses and weekly communion service at Rose Court, Fox Run’s continuing care neighborhood. On-site services make it convenient for residents to continue to worship even if they don’t want to go out in inclement weather.

Exploring faith together

Residents can also explore faith through Bible study groups and interfaith dialogue meetings. Plus, there are prayer circles and uplifting monthly musical services called “Hymnsing” and “Singspiration.”

In the coming months, Fox Run residents will have a new opportunity to examine religion and spirituality. Flowers says he has partnered with Holy Family Church to provide the Alpha Course at Fox Run. 

“The Alpha Course has been used around the world with over 24 million participants in 112 countries and 169 languages to provide the opportunity for people to understand answers to life’s biggest questions from a Christian perspective,” Flowers explains. 

Greatest joys

Volunteerism is very important to Flowers. He has taken several mission trips, including a trip over the summer to Zambia, where he and his family helped to care for orphaned children in Ndola. He says he is currently working on expanding the volunteer opportunities available to Fox Run residents.

Like so many Fox Run employees, Flowers has become part of what feels like a big, extended family of residents and staff. He has developed close relationships with people who live and work at Fox Run and is happy to get involved in new aspects of life at the community.

“One of the joys of being pastoral ministries coordinator at Fox Run is being part of a team and engaging in many activities outside of my job description,” Flowers says.  “Fox Run has put on two comedic plays that I have been able to participate in since being here, and playing the role of the Tooth Fairy last Christmas will never be forgotten at Fox Run. 

“But my greatest joy may be when a resident drops into my office without an appointment to share a concern or struggle and to ask me to pray with them,” he adds.

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