Religious Offerings at Orchard Hill
Orchard Hill at Sudbury is known as an industry leader in Resident Services and offerings. A 20 year young, family-owned and operated Assisted Living Community with Independent Living options, Orchard Hill currently offers four types of religious programs for Residents.
Residents can partake in Jewish, Christian, Catholic or Protestant Services. Melissa Aulds, Director of Community Life, is responsible for the Community Programs and incorporates each Religion based on the needs of the population. Melissa comments, Orchard Hill’s ability to cater to each Resident is incredible and I’m proud to say that we can honor so many religions here at OH”. Current programming includes weekly Catholic Mass with Ecumenical Ministers and monthly service with a Priest. Protestant services at Orchard Hill are the first Wednesday of every month. Christian Bible study is every Tuesday afternoon and the focus is the Old Testament and Psalms. Jewish Shabbat services are the third Friday of every month with Rabbi Ruth and accompanied by our newest Resident, Edna. High holidays in all religions are also celebrated at Orchard Hill with the ability of the entire community to take part and enjoy. Here is Resident, Temma, at Shabbat service.
On June 10th, Boy Scout, Austin M., joined by fellow Scout, Robert S., visited Orchard Hill to begin a three part series for his Eagle Scout Badge. The first phase of his community based service project is an inter-generational project with the residents and the scouts. During the afternoon gathering, a dozen residents joined Austin and Robert in painting the craft sized wooden bird houses. The interactive event drew other Orchard Hill resident family members as well! The vibrantly colored bird houses are currently displayed in a crab apple tree upon the entrance to the Community in a temporary art installation. Resident Temma expressed her joy in seeing them, “the cheeriness of the the houses make me smile every time I head outside!” Residents Jane, Mary, Pat and Joan said they felt, “…happy, fresh-air, smiling and peaceful”, when they see the houses.
Boy Scouts can receive their Eagle Scout badge by fulfilling certain requirements , http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx, including earning 21 badges. While Austin is a Life Scout, he must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before he actually started at Orchard Hill. He is required to use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, in meeting this requirement.
On July 20th, Austin will return to present the second part of his project to Orchard Hill Residents. His presentation, with a printed version as well, will discuss the project and the benefits to the Community. The goal of the project is to create another experience for the residents that they will enjoy for years to come.
On May 16th, Melissa Aulds, our Director of Community Life, drove a full bus of twelve residents to Walden Pond. Walden Pond is located in Concord and on the Lincoln border. Jackie, a Park Ranger, gave our residents a talk on the history and beauty of Walden Pond.
The Mass.gov website boasts historical facts and the evolution of Walden Pond and we’ve noted them here. Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond from July 1845 to September 1847. His experience at Walden provided the material for the book Walden, which is credited with helping to inspire awareness and respect for the natural environment. Because of Thoreau’s legacy, Walden Pond has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. Park Interpreters provide tours and ongoing educational programs. The Reservation includes the 102-foot deep glacial kettle-hole pond. Mostly undeveloped woods totaling 2680 acres, called “Walden Woods,” surround the reservation. Now part of the Massachusetts Forests and Parks system, Walden Pond State Reservation includes 335 acres of protected open space so that visitors from near and far may come to experience the pond that inspired Thoreau. In summer the Reservation is a popular swimming destination. In the spring and fall, many people hike the trails that ring the pond and visit the replica of Thoreau’s one-room cabin. Year round interpretive programs and guided walks are offered as well as a gift shop, bookstore and the Tsongas gallery.
Our residents enjoyed a picnic style lunch and snacks put together by Brock Rafferty, our Director of Food Services. The weather was spectacular and a lovely time was had by all! Melissa ensures we visit Walden Pond during the course of each season and says, ” it’s a New England tradition”, and she wants the residents to be part of that experience.
The Walden Woods Project was started by the Friends of Walden Pond and the link: https://www.walden.org, can be reviewed to see how you can help preserve the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility.