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Make Your Mark: John Chagnon is Lighting the Way

Photo of John Chagnon holding baby kangaroo during event at Johanna ShoresThe mission of Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), “to honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults,” is fulfilled when the actions of our employees demonstrate our stated values. In doing so, they “make their mark” upon those we serve. In our continuing series, “Make your Mark,” we introduce you to PHS employees who are living out these values.

Today, we also launch National Activities Professional’s Week 2020, recognizing how our Life Enrichment professionals help people live a life that is full of meaningful activities, not to mention fun. This year’s national theme is “Lighting the Way,” inspired by Jesus’ words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:16

Meet John Chagnon, Life Enrichment Coordinator for The Gables Care Center at Johanna Shores in Arden Hills, MN. John is making his mark by lighting the way that is set out by the PHS mission, vision and values.

John carries a deeply spiritual understanding of his ministry and profession. He shared the following reflection based on the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "wholeness or wellbeing."

“Life Enrichment is the shalom of long term care; the understanding that a person's intellect, their soul, their emotions, their creativity and even their play are as essential to health as any immediate physical maladies a person may endure. Our programs, our games, our crafts, our visits, and our presence are a kind of medicine for all that is real but unseen within us and, although it’s not often measurable on a dose by dose basis, it is powerful—when practiced with wisdom and love—to heal and make whole.” 

John’s understanding is clearly evident to his co-workers. Kara Reiser, Life Enrichment Director for Johanna Shores Gables, says this about John:

“John serves as our Life Enrichment Coordinator for 4th floor Gable’s on our memory unit. John is a Christian in every aspect of life at Johanna Shores. Through our Life Enrichment program he assists with many of our spiritual activities of hymn sings, devotions, prayer. However, John’s ministry is not confined to [religious] activities. Johns’ ministry fills every part of his being with kindness and caring for residents, family and coworkers every day. Everything John does is done in service to God, with an attitude and action of serving others…all the time.”

Thank you to John and all the PHS Life Enrichment professionals who are lighting the way to a fuller life for the older adults they serve this week and every day.

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