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Garden Center Ministry Annual Report January 2008

By Christine Bowen

Garden Center Services (GCS) supports people with physical and mental disabilities. Through various programs, GCS clients can access basic skill development, working opportunities geared to their level, and housing involving various levels of supervision. Ten years ago Fr. Andrew and a group of St. Luke parishioners began visiting clients that live in the Immediate Care Facility (ICF). These clients have their own rooms and do basic chores with a high level of supervision. Our parishioners, Mary Kincaid and Christine Bowen, have an aunt that resides at the ICF.

Our visits to the ICF, usually on the first Monday of each month, provide spiritual enrichment to clients at their level of understanding. Fr. Andrew conducts a short prayer service, reads from the Children’s Bible that St. Luke parish gave to each client, and answers their questions after each story. Various special events, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter, are celebrated every year with the clients, and Fr. Andrew often shares interesting information about his out-of-town trips. The residents participate enthusiastically and frequently ask when the priest will come again. As the evening closes, clients and visitors share refreshments and conversation. In 2007 St. Luke parishioners Mary Kincaid, Alex Zimny, John Verderber, Caye Caswick, and Stea Zekios all participated in this ministry.