The Annual Blessing of the Animals Moves tp Christmas Circle this year
St Barnabas Welcomes Fr Dave Madsen as New Rector
On May 1, 2023, the parish of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church welcomes Father David and Naomi Madsen to their community. He will be the new rector/pastor. Dave follows Laura Brecht who was a remarkable pastor at St. Barnabas for almost 13 years. Interim pastoral care of the parish has been provided by retired priest members George Keith and Michael Plekon, who will continue to assist Fr. David. Fr. Dave and Naomi come with a brilliant record of faith leadership and commitment of service to the community in El Cajon, New York City, Philadelphia, among other locations. They will be welcome ministers to the greater community of Borrego. Listen to what Dave wrote in his D.Min. dissertation: “A congregation is a combined mechanism of individuals that have found meaning and purpose in culturally enforced paradigms of accrued behavior patterns developed over a period. It takes considerable time, much wisdom, prayer, contemplative criticism, and emphatic understanding to begin and to continue to work in a congregation of individuals that are built together on norms and patterns of behavior that are developed over long periods of time. In the midst of all the voices, there is always the presence of the other voice. My prayer and hope is that I will attempt to bring this other voice into the mix of voices. The voices that ask for attention include the voice of congregational sustainability, the voice for financial stability, the voice for creative alternatives to the way we do church, and many other voices that clamor for equal time, yet there is one voice that I shall refer to as ‘the other’ that will always bring me back to the ‘now’ the present moment, that continues the reality of the sacred trust of individuals and the group that is the makeup of these individuals. What is this voice? It is the voice of the other, the voice of reality. It is the voice of the God of unknowing, the voice that reminds me that I do not or will not have all the answers. It is the voice of humility. The voice that says ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ ” Survivor Parish – Reality Programming for a Shrinking Church. New York Theological Seminary. 2012, 101-102. Dave Madsen was born and raised in Colorado, and his wife Naomi grew up in Michigan. After their marriage, 50 years ago in August of 1972, they lived in Missouri, Michigan, Oregon, New York City and Philadelphia. Before entering seminary, Dave, who is the son of a minister, had a background in sales of industrial packaging. paper, plastics and chemicals. Naomi founded a refugee resettlement agency in Grand Rapids, MI. Since then she has served in varying capacities with refugee, immigration and social justice mission ministries for the United Methodist Church. They have two grown sons, Nathan and Joshua. Most recently, Dave served for over 10 years as rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in El Cajon. He still serves as senior pastor for Welcome Ministry of El Cajon/East County, an ecumenical nonprofit which serves immigrants, refugees and people living on the street in the East County area of San Diego County. By Michael Plekon
BMA Easter Community Sunrise ServicerviceEast
Easter sunrise service is a Borrego Springs tradition sponsored by the Borrego Ministers Association. The Service is an ecumenical service held jointly by the member ministers of the BMA. The service takes place each year at (believe it or not) sunrise on Easter morning and is widely attended by community members who bring their chairs, blankets and even their pets to celebrate the Resurrection and worship in the early morning light. This year was no exception as reported in the Borrego Sun at the link below. www.borregosun.com/story/2023/04/01/news/community-easter-sunrise-service-in-borrego-springs/7759.html
Ponder Anew to Hold Free Seminar for Care Parters Living with Persons with Dementia Saturday February 18 at 11 a.m. Cimmunity Resource Center
St Barnabas will host Ponder Anew for a FREE seminar at the Community Resource Center on Satruday February 18 starting at 11 am for persons living with or providing care for persons with dementia. Ponder Anew is a training course that provides a set of skills, a toolkit for accompanying people living with dementia. It teaches a view of dementia that focuses on what remains, not what is lost, and how that knowledge can be used to develop positive moments of meaning and joy in the lives of all concerned.
Why Support for Care Partnerships Is Important for People Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia
As this testimonial from Sheri Clark, a local Nurse Practitoner makes clear, this program is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a Positive Approach to Care to Borrego for a practical methodology for assisting those experiencing various forms of dementia.
As a family nurse practitioner I have provided care to many people with brain changes over my 18 year career. A large proportion of my practice has been seniors and cognitive change is expected with advancing age. Age related brain change is normal, but dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is the broad term that encompasses many types of brain function disorders, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. It affects the ability to think, remember, reason and control behaviors and functioning. I witnessed cognitive decline in my patients but many of my patients were the family members living with and caring for their loved ones with dementia. I thought I was knowelegable, understood what was needed to manage these changes. What I have learned in the last 18 months since my own spouse was diagnosed with dementia has shown me how little health care professionals really know. We can spout statistics, discuss medications and educate our patients about safety issues. Living with someone with dementia has been an education I never received in school. Dementia is common and as longevity increases it will become even more common. Some predictions say that if we live beyond age 85, one in three of us will be diagnosed with dementia. There are several types of dementia, each has its own causes and it is not uncommon to have more than one type. It is a progressive disease that has no cure. Dementia is essentially the loss of brain cells (neurons) and their connections. It's these connections between neurons that drive all of our body functions - those we control, like movement and speech and some that are automatic, like temperature regulation and bladder control. We all have some loss with age, but people with dementia experience greater and more rapid loss, the neurons die and the brain is literally shrinking. The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Vascular Dementia and Frontotemporal Dementia. Each type has distinct characteristics but many symptoms are common to all. Normal age related memory loss is experienced by us all at times and includes things like misplacing our keys and glasses, forgetting names, and other than frustrating does not interfere with daily life. Typically, the memory is eventually retrieved, often triggered by something. Signs and symptoms of dementia can be all of these things and worse such as forgetting names of acquaintances, directions to get home or to commonly traveled places, using incorrect words for objects, not being able to learn new tasks, and forgetting how to perform tasks once previously done independently. Dementia is diagnosed by a health care provider and typically includes a cognitive test of the different parts of the brain. This is called a neuropsychological exam and consists of the patient being asked to perform certain tasks, attention and logic games, recall and a physical neurologic exam for coordination and balance. There is usually imagining, such as a MRI or CT scan of the brain performed and blood tests drawn but these do not diagnose dementia. They can rule out reversible causes of cognitive change. Often the neuropsychological exam is repeated annually to monitor progression. Though we don’t always know what the cause of dementia is in any given person, there are factors that can increase the risk. Most know that family history can increase risk. People that have parents and/or siblings with dementia are more at risk. Poor cardiovascular health increases risk. What is good for the heart is good for the brain. Since both rely on good blood flow, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking all increase risk. A healthy diet and regular exercise can decrease risk. There are several studies that show that regular daily exercise, such as walking, slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as well or better than the medications. And there are no side effects except improved mood, sleep, strength and balance and helping maintain a healthy weight! It is also important to get adequate sleep, maintain social connections, continue to challenge yourself and use hearing aids and glasses, if needed. There are a few medications available that can slow the progression and add time living independently. The oldest and most common category of medication for dementia are called cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne). These work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical responsible for creating memories and learning. They may have side effects, most commonly gastrointestinal and decreased appetite. Namenda is prescribed for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s and often added to the cholinesterase inhibitor. It is a glutamate regulator that may help with brain processing, slow decline and prolong independent living. Side effects may include headache, body aches, dizziness, constipation and elevated blood pressure. Though we know that there is no cure and dementia is considered a terminal illness, the time from diagnosis to death can be many years and progression in some is quite slow. Those years can continue to provide quality time spent enjoying activities, relationships with family and friends and living life with purpose and dignity. Often one person is the sole care-partner for the person with a dementia diagnosis. This can dramatically change a relationship. There is grieving the loss of the person you married. They are there, but they are different. There is a loss of partnership, independence for both of you, and the future plans you may have made together. For me personally, the thing I miss the most is having my husband be able to work on planning and problem solving together as a couple. It is lonely. Friends and family can be important support resources, but cannot really know the depth of loss. And there is a lack of common knowledge about how best to manage sometimes rapidly changing situations. I have been disappointed in myself on several occasions when I did not have the calm patience that would have made a situation more tolerable and instead aggravated it. I have spent hours on the internet searching for knowledge and assistance, participated in studies and support groups and listened to numerous podcasts but really still felt very isolated in my circumstances. I was then introduced to the Positive Approach to Care (PAC) developed by Teepa Snow (https://teepasnow.com). She teaches a practical approach to care partnering and the skills needed to improve the quality of life for both the person with dementia and the care partner. Her methods are being taught and used in assisted living facilities as well as for individuals. As a healthcare provider, I am wondering why this is not the standard of care for memory care center and every family struggling with this diagnosis. But as with all things in medicine, change takes time. I am grateful that here in Borrego Springs we have the opportunity for free training. With a local Certified Coach and Consultant in PAC, Anne Cox Bailey (https://www.ponderanew.org) and St Barnabas church offering sessions to anybody interested.
What Is Ponder Anew?
Free Seminar November 5 from 10 am to 1 pm Borrego Springs Library
Ponder Anew is a training course that provides a set of skills, a toolkit for accompanying people living with dementia. It teaches a view of dementia that focuses on what remains, not what is lost, and how that knowledge can be used to develop positive moments of meaning and joy in the lives of all concerned. Ponder Anew’s founder is Anne Cox Bailey, a former ballerina with San Diego Ballet and California Ballet, whose career led her to New York City and Europe. While Bailey was in graduate school pursuing a career change, her mother began to show signs of signs of changes in her brain function that turned out to be Frontotemporal Dementia. At the hands of doctors, officials and trusted friends the ignorance, apathy, abuse and abandonment caused both parents and daughter to suffered was far worse more than the disease itself. She died in 2006. Seeking help for her mother led Bailey to Teepa Snow, the world-renowned expert in Dementia. Bailey first became a Trainer in 2014 in Teepa’s “Positive Approach to Care.” She became certified in 2017 as an Independent Coach and a Consultant. Bailey is available for residential staff trainings, family consultations and individual questions. She is especially interested in developing centers of information and assistance by establishing local-led groups of practitioners who can become resources for their communities. She can be reached through her website: www.ponderanew.org. The local Episcopal church, organized a group of people who felt that help with dementia was something that the community of Borrego Springs could probably benefit from and so established a program called “Dealing with Dementia: A New Approach” They hired Ponder Anew with Ann Cox Bailey to develop a center of information and assistance by establishing a local-led group of practitioners who can become resources for Borrego. You can learn more about Ponder Anew at the website www.ponderanew.org.
Ponder Anew will hold a free, bilingual introductory training workshop on Saturday, November 5th from 10 am to 1 pm at the Borrego Library.
Ponder Anew to Offer Free Seminar on Accompanying People Living with Dementia
November 5 from 10 am to 1 pm Borrego Springs Library
Ponder Anew will host a free seminar on Saturday October 22 from 2:30 p.m. .to 5:30 p.m. at the Borrego Springs Library on Accompanying People Living with Dementia. The Seminar will offer an introduction to an effective method for partnering with family and loved ones who are living with dementia. It will be a bilingual presentation. It’s hard to talk about dementia, isn’t it? But when we don’t discuss difficult subjects, all kinds of misunderstandings can arise. Can we talk? Dementia is an “umbrella” term that includes Alzheimer’s, Frontotemporal, Lewy Body, Vascular, and over 100 other types of disabling brain change. The bad news is: there is no cure for any of them, nor do medications do much to alleviate symptoms. The good news is: competent Care does make a big difference, and we can learn how to do it well. So many of us experience the joys and trials of partnering with loved ones, family and friends who are living with dementia. Difficult behaviors challenge our sense of reality, our patience and our ingenuity as people living with dementia change unpredictably from one day to the next. Few have any training; Many people get into providing care when a family member or other loved one’s behavior becomes so difficult that the person is unable to perform daily activities. Few are able to cope with the anger, disorientation, odd behavior and inevitable death that come with it. Worse still, few receive a competent diagnosis. Most people do not have resources or access to assistance following a diagnosis. Dementias affect people regardless of nationality, gender, race, faith and even age. They often go unnoticed until behavioral changes become impossible to ignore. Often, it is still misdiagnosed. For many the ignorance, apathy, abuse and abandonment from doctors, officials, police and trusted friends are far worse than the disease itself. What if there were a technique that one could learn, a set of tools that make the path through dementia easier? What if it were possible to create more moments of peace, joy and meaning for all concerned? Ponder Anew does just that: it is a program based on Teepa Snow’s A Positive Approach To Care. Would you like to learn more? Please come to a free initial training session on October 22, from 2:30-5;30 p.m. at the Borrego Springs Library where Ponder Anew will present ways to approach and assist a person living with dementia in respectful, supportive and useful ways.
By Anne Cox Bailey, founder of Ponder Anew
St Barnabas Hosts Ecumenical Blessing of The Animals
People of All Faiths, Animals of All Species and Breeds
October 4 is the feast of the most beloved of all saints, Francis of Assisi, the 13th century “little brother” who embraced poverty and the natural world in his songs and prayers. He sang of the moon and sun as sister and brother, saw even death as a relative not to be feared. He tamed the fierce wolf in Gubbio and had doves fly to his arms. St Francis is known as the Patron Saint of Animals and is often shown in art surrounded by the animals he loved. Thus the custom of blessing our pets, and this year three churches will join together to bless our animals: Fr Fernando Maldonado of St. Richard’s Roman Catholic Church, Pastor Mateo Mamea of Community United Methodist and Fr. George Keith of St.Barnabas Episcopal Church. The Blessing of the Animals is a beautiful annual ceremony celebrating the human-animal bond, celebrated as part of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Bring your pooch, your kitty, your turtle, fish or whatever. And the blessing will extend to our coyote and bighorn sheep, the desert hares and squirrels and all our friends of the desert. The blessings will take place on Tuesday, October 4 at the Courtyard at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2680 Country Club Rd. at 4:00 p/m. The Blessing of the Animals is open to People of All Faiths, and Animals of all Species and Breeds. All humans and animals are welcome.
Borrego Sun - 2022 Easter Sunrise Service by the Churches of Borrego For the first time since spring, 2019, the Borrego Ministers' Association (BMA) was able to hold a community-wide Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, April 17. (Click the link above to read more from the Borrego Sun)
Borrego Sun - BMA says Thank You Please come join us. During the year, the BMA sponsors several ecumenical or joint public services: a service on Thanksgiving eve, another Sacred Concert of carols and readings at Christmas, a recent Ash Wednesday “Ashes-to-go” distribution, and the popular Easter Sunrise Service. The group also welcomes lay members who are available to attend weekly meetings. (Click the link above to read more from the Borrego Sun)
Borrego Sun - Bring Your Own Bowl Lunch & Performance Series Seems like only yesterday since the last BYOB (Bring Your Own Bowl) concert and soup series. After a year off, everyone is more than ready to come and see friends (and friends of friends) perform the lively arts in this acoustically-splendid space, then enjoy a simple lunch of soup and bread on the patio. (Click the link above to read more from the Borrego Sun)
Borrego Sun - Rev. Laura Brecht Leaving Borrego "She is stately as she walks purposefully into a room, colorful robes and skirts flowing gracefully – sometimes wearing the classy white clerical collar and other times donning her distinctive straw hat. But always bearing her huge and contagious smile a - smile that radiates warmth, passion, kindness and love. She is Reverend Laura Brecht (Rev. Laura) and this village is going to miss her severely."
"Quiet-spoken, thoughtful, articulate, insightful, and driven by hard facts, Brecht has used his education, background, and critical analysis to become a powerful force within the Borrego community in his insistence on BWD fiscal sanity, much to the early displeasure of some of those holding different agendas. He still retains his own simple agenda: 'Caring about the community.'"
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church 2680 Country Club Dr PO Box 691 Borrego Springs CA 92004-0691 760-767-4038