Mary Barnes

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I have been a part of the UCC since I was born. My dad was a UCC minister serving small churches in Wisconsin. I loved to play the piano for worship services at local nursing homes and loved getting to know the older members of our churches.

I have a Master’s of Science in Social Work degree and worked initially with older folks in nursing homes and the community. Then I worked in the adoption world for over twenty years until the position of Director of Eldercare came open. For the past four years, I have loved serving in this role. I feel that I have come full circle in my professional life. My responsibilities are to visit our homebound members and maintain a relationship with the church.

I recruit and support volunteer visitors as well. We have a monthly group that meets called Primetime Friends providing a lunch and program for our retired members. We have many ways of reaching out to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area. Pumpkin caroling, Bingo at Dove, Children’s Choir singing (Heart to Heart), birthday party at the Severson Home, worship at Milestone Senior Living. A chicken noodle soup ministry and prayer shawl ministry provide tangible comfort to those who have experienced health issues or painful losses.

I am able to use my social work skills to help our aging members or families find resources to meet their needs. I am a licensed lay minister and am able to bring Communion to our homebound members. I feel richly blessed to work as the Director of Elderlife and am thankful to the 85+ members who volunteer in the elderlife program.