“Happy Anniversary to Friendship Village!”
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
This verse is saying not to become weary in doing good, and to keep doing good in order to please God. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Maintain your faith, maintain your focus and goals. Stay the course and stay on track in doing good to everyone. These are attributes I see in Friendship Village by and large. As I have looked at the history of our community and thought about all that has transpired throughout the years, I can see the hope and good that has come from the Village over the years.
Can you believe our Village is 45 years old this year? What an accomplishment! This loving community has seen its share of ups and downs to be sure. But, through it all, the administration and residents together have maintained their focus of God, love, care, kindness, consideration, commitment, and of course Friendliness. It has been tiring for many through the years, but we have all held each other up and persevered. This community has locked arms and continued providing positive care, laughter, and pleasantness for many through their times of sorrows, joys, and disappointments.
I came across a statement that former Friendship Village President Rev. H.G. Gathagan wrote concerning the 25th anniversary celebration. His words, I think, are timeless, precise, and still relevant. With his permission I have edited them to reflect our current day and 45th celebration:
“Friendship Village is not an institution or a business. It is a family made up of hundreds of caring residents and dedicated employees. Our family is much larger today than it was 45 years ago. However, it still retains the same values of consideration, commitment to excellence and friendliness. The leader of Friendship Village, comprised of both Residents and Administration, have worked hard over these 45 years to continually maintain a friendly, caring atmosphere for both the established and newly arrived residents and staff. Forty five years can be a short or long period of time depending on your point of view. For children and young people, excited about becoming adults and making their mark on the world, 45 years seems like an eternity. For those of us who are older, 45 years is just a fleeting moment of time. It can seem like a never-ending saga if we dwell only on the pain, sorrows and disappointments. I prefer to focus on the positive things, the joys, laughter and pleasant memories. Friendship Village has been that for me. As I think about all the wonderful people who have lived and worked here and all the enjoyable events, we’ve experienced together over these 45 years, time now seems to have swiftly passed.
Let us now celebrate this anniversary with a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Let us look forward to the future with the same eagerness that challenged the founders of Friendship Village 45 years ago.”
Here is a poem I feel describes adequately the very heart of Friendship Village.
The Human Touch
‘Tis the human touch in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine.
For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day,
But the touch of the hand,
The sound of the voice,
Sing on in the soul always.
—Spencer Michael Free—
Let us join one another in the journey of making our community perpetually better for the next 45 years and beyond. This year we celebrate 45 years of existence but more importantly let us celebrate the spirit of “Community” that exists at Friendship Village. It is a community that enriches each of us through the interactions of our lives with others and the increased awareness of the other’s needs.