Published on February 8, 2018
Rev. Alisha Tatem, Assistant Chaplain at Phoebe Berks and Spirit Alive Coordinator for Phoebe Ministries, was installed by the Phoebe Berks community during a Sunday chapel worship service on January 21, 2018.
“It was a great celebration and so wonderful to formalize this pastoral relationship that was already well established,” added Rev. Dr. Scott Brooks Cope, Phoebe’s Director of Pastoral Care.
The service was one of celebration and gratitude followed by a reception of fellowship for everyone in attendance, which included Phoebe Berks residents, Phoebe staff and Rev. Tatem’s family. The service of recognition and celebration was especially meaningful because some of the residents she has served as an associate pastor for the last year were the ones to officially install her to the position.
“Alisha is such a joy to work with! She brings her enthusiasm and her many and varied gifts into her ministry here at Berks,” says Rev. Leah Knox, Phoebe Berks Campus Chaplain. “Whether facilitating a Spirit Alive group, leading a group Bible study, or visiting with a resident who is lonely, Alisha’s gentle and caring nature allows her to companion others in a rich, meaningful way.”
The Spirit Alive program at Phoebe Ministries, coordinated by Rev. Tatem, is an innovative way of leading worship with residents who live in Phoebe’s memory support neighborhoods. The program involves sharing stories with residents that illustrate great spiritual truths, such as God’s love, care, and forgiveness. Based upon Montessori principles of engagement and specialized pastoral care practices, multi-sensory stimulation is used to convey each story and ensure full engagement by each member of the group. The Spirit Alive model is supported by research demonstrating its benefit for the mood and spiritual wellbeing of participants.
Phoebe is currently seeking volunteers who enjoy sharing stories of faith and interacting with older adults living with dementia to lead small group sessions at skilled care centers in Allentown, Wernersville, Richlandtown and Wyncote.
Faith communities interested in beginning a Spirit Alive program at their place of worship are also welcome to inquire at [email protected] or 610-794-5119.