Mission and Ministry Matters

Mission and Ministry Matters: Change

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

in News

by Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND

Sister Valerie Sweeney

Do you know what is the ONE THING in life that we can always count on? CHANGE! Everything and everyone changes, and we can always count on that to happen. That may be a scary thought, but it is a reality. So it’s important for us to face change and embrace change when possible. If we don’t choose change, it will just happen to us. For the next few months I will use some thoughts from Lynn Levo, CSJ, to explore change and our responses to it.

The root of the word change means becoming. That gives it a more positive nuance, doesn’t it? We can GROW when we change. We can try new things and become new people. If we aren’t open to change, we end up denying it and resisting it, often feeling angry or victimized. A positive response to change leads to life, not death.

Change usually involves gains and losses. They often come together. If we want to gain a new job, we need to let go of our former role. If we choose to move to a new home, we vacate our previous one. That’s why change results in so many mixed feelings. We may feel happy, excited, anxious, fearful, eager, resistant. It’s important to celebrate the gains and grieve the losses that change brings.

There is a difference between change and transition. Change is situational and outside of us. Transition is psychological and internal. It’s the process we go through to come to terms with change. Change can happen quickly, but the transition process can take a long time.

What are some strategies we can use to help ourselves during times of change? First, be aware of it and acknowledge the impact the change is having on us. Journaling or talking to a friend or counselor can help with that. Second, practice self-care techniques such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, exercising, and doing activities we enjoy. We can also look to a spiritual source of strength such as prayer, reading Scripture, meditating, or whatever else gives us inner strength.

Change is a part of life, but it’s not necessarily easy. Facing it with openness and knowing how to help ourselves through it make all the difference.

by Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND, Chief Mission Leader at Jennings

For the past several months I have been writing about end of life decisions. Those are some heavy topics (but important ones) to consider. I thought I would end the calendar year with some reflections about life and relationships. Most of them I have absorbed through personal experience. The last one is attributed to Abraham Lincoln. If you look below the surface of these truths you will find Jennings’ five core values: Respect, Compassion, Community, Discovery of Potential, and Celebration of Life.

Some Simple Truths About Life and Relationships (In No Particular Order):

  • The only person I can change or control is myself.
  • I can’t make assumptions about other people’s reasons for what they do.
  • I can try to assume a positive reason about why people do things unless they specifically tell me otherwise.
  • FAMILY is a fundamental value in life, whatever shape it takes.
  • Life is too short to hold grudges.
  • I can try to nurture positive relationships by encouraging, complimenting, and appreciating others.
  • Sometimes it’s better to say nothing instead of speaking in haste or anger. I can always continue a conversation later when I am calmer.
  • All my life experiences make me who I am.
  • Life can make me better or bitter. Which do I want to be?
  • Everyone is hurting in some way and needs our compassion.
  • Often people will treat me the way I treat them.
  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. (Abraham Lincoln)

Can you think of any truths that you would like to add to the list?



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In fulfilling our mission, we commit ourselves to these values: [more…]

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Our new mission statement reads: “Rooted in Catholic values, Jennings nurtures and celebrates individuals as they age, through exceptional choices and continuous innovation.”
Jennings’ goal in writing this statement was to be clear and concise while incorporating the concepts that [more…]

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As the time for the Olympics neared, [more…]

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