Ministering with the Gift of Song

Social isolation during a pandemic can have damaging effects on mental health. Residents of nursing homes and those who live alone are are especially high risk.

The Rev. Scott Miller, Wilmington United Methodist Church, and Pastor Julie Rudd of the Wilmington Friends House, a Quaker community, had planned to bring their choirs together to create a social-distance ensemble. The ensemble was created to sing outside shut-ins' homes in the community.

On Monday, March 30, the two churches had a trial run and sang at Ohio Living Cape May and Wilmington Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. As the ensemble sang outside of the facilities, residents stepped onto balconies and opened windows in their rooms to listen. The group sang "Amazing Grace" and "Be Thou My Vision."

"We were able to sing, "Happy Birthday" from a distance to a Wilmington UMC church member at Cape May," Miller said. "It was a great time to bring joy in a unique way."