Legacies Project- Reverend Rowland

“This gnawing on my soul would come and go for years.”

Reverend Rowland, well-known retired minister and resident at Commonwealth Senior Living at Stratford House shares what it felt like to be working in science and compelled to the religious life. Listen to a bit of his interview below:

Reverend Rowland had experienced what so many of us do at some point in our careers. The question comes up, does what we do have meaning? Is this what we were meant to do? Reverend Rowland had a successful career with Bristol Meyers, but it was not fulfilling him. Ultimately, the call to serve God led him to the ministry.

Harvard Business Review published an interesting article last year about finding your purpose at work and stating that “having a sense of purpose in our life is critical to well-being”. In fact, we believe that having a sense of purpose is critical not only in your work life, but it is also essential in the golden years of life. Reverend Rowland can be found leading bible study each week in our community for a group of residents who thoroughly enjoy participating. We also continue life long learning with our Travel the World program where we study a different country each month, enjoying the arts, history and culture that makes it unique.

In our Sweet Memories neighborhoods where we care for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s, we learn each resident’s life story so that we can offer opportunities for them to feel successful by engaging in activities that they enjoyed earlier in their lives. For example, women who were homemakers might fold baby clothes or men who enjoyed working with their hands can tinker at a work bench. Paula Harder, our Regional Director of Sweet Memories talks about our Transitions Program and why it is important. What each person is doing is less important that the way that it makes them feel. Our goal is for them to feel engaged and successful in whatever chapter in their life we are joining them.

As Maya Angelou said,  “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Documenting these stories is possible through a partnership with University of Virginia’s radio station, WTJU. University of Virginia’s bicentennial celebration takes place this year, and recording the legacies of the state’s eldest members is part of that celebration.

If you are interested in learning more about our programs or Sweet Memories in particular, please fill out our contact form: https://www.commonwealthsl.com/contact/ We look forward to hearing from you!