We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.
By Campus Pastor Tom Volker, Founders Ridge
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
—Psalm 139:13-14, NIV
One of the surprises I’ve had in life are the different personalities of my children. One is easily irritated. Another seems always relaxed. A third is always happy, and the fourth is drawn to nature. Certainly, these personality traits don’t stay completely the same. They develop more complexity over time through their life experiences. But I can’t help but notice that there is something foundational from the beginning that will always be them.
Just as I have witnessed my kids’ personalities grow from the beginning, I have also witnessed the fading of my grandparents’ personalities as their time came to a close. They were less engaging the last years of their lives. Their world seemed to grow smaller and smaller. Yet there was a core personality that never went away, even at the very end. Even though they couldn’t remember my name so readily, one seemed always happy, another continued to be drawn to plants, another continued to want to make something with their hands, and the fourth was mildly irritated. They remained who they were.
Some might call this persistent personality the soul of who someone is. Whatever it may be, it came from God. It was interwoven from our very beginnings … it is who we are in a very deep and fundamental way. It never goes away. It is a wonderful gift from God. It has been redeemed along with the rest of our being. It has value not only to us, but certainly to the One who knit it together in us.
I have had the privilege, as I am sure many others who work and serve at our Presbyterian Homes campuses, to witness the wholeness of the people under our care. We see and serve both their bodies and their souls, by acknowledging that though they may be “fading” away to some, they remain who God made them. Some may be easily irritated; others may always tell a joke. Some are looking for ways to use their hands; others are drawn to food with friends. All of them are still wonderfully and fearfully made in the image of God.
Pastor Tom Volker has served at Founders Ridge as campus pastor since 2022. He absolutely loves the team and residents that he gets to be around by the grace of God. Tom served for 23 years as a parish pastor in different capacities at five different congregations in three different states. He and his amazing wife Verna have four children - three boys and a girl - and reside in South Minneapolis. When not at Founders Ridge, Tom is transporting children, reading, enjoying a movie at the theater, cooking or just trying to be grateful for the adventure that this God has placed him on. (Did that sound too preachy? Sorry, old habit.)
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series