There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
After serving as Chaplain of the Mennonite Memorial Home, and then also Maple Crest and Willow Ridge for over 24 years, Bill Herr has decided, “It is now time for me to enter a new season.” In a recent letter to the residents, families and staff of MHCO, Bill said, “One of the greatest days of my life was when Laura Voth (Social Services Director at the time) called me and asked if I would like to be interviewed to become Chaplain at the Mennonite Memorial Home. I began on June 1, 1996, and it has been a wonderful experience these past 24 years.”
Bill’s impact on everyone he has encountered over those 24 years is indisputable. Last fall, a video was produced featuring his role at MHCO, and the power of spiritual care. That video quickly became the most popular video that MHCO has produced, with about 7,600 views, 92 shares, and 149 “likes” on Facebook so far. (You can view this video on the MHCO Facebook page or by clicking here) Most of these interactions were from people that have been personally touched from an interaction with Bill – whether it be as a resident, a resident’s family, a co-worker, or even as a student from his teaching days, many of whom still proclaim that Mr. Herr was their favorite teacher.
Herr continued in his letter, “I am so grateful that God has allowed me to cross paths with so many wonderful residents, staff members, and family members of residents. My heart has grown fond of each and every resident I have known here at MHCO. They are all valuable to God and to me. This is a place where life is abundantly and joyously lived. We should all rejoice in the celebration of life that is continually a part of the MHCO experience.” He went on to explain that he doesn’t like the word “retirement”, as he looks forward to continuing to be active, but also having more time for his family, to grow spiritually, and to age gracefully, “as many residents have demonstrated to me how to do that.”
Anyone who knows Bill, knows that you won’t find a more positive, uplifting person. The afore-mentioned video is even used during the on-boarding process for new MHCO staff, so that they can see first-hand how a positive outlook has the power to affect others. How does he stay so positive, you ask? Bill ended his letter with the answer – “I have found that the secret to a joyful life is to trust in the Lord,” quoting Proverbs 3:5-8; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”