NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Reverend Tom Lilly has been named Director of Spiritual Services for New Canaan's Waveny LifeCare Network, a non-profit continuum of eldercare.
“Reverend Lilly joins us in a meaningful new role created in response to the community’s feedback and our desire to provide on-site spiritual support to those we serve,” said Bill Piper, Chief Executive Officer of Waveny. “Following a far-reaching national search led by our town’s clergy association, Tom was the clear choice for Waveny – not only due to the rich depth of long-term care and hospice experience he brings to this new position, but because of his passionate calling to help people deal with the most challenging moments of life. He will provide spiritual counseling, comfort and guidance to all our residents, patients, Adult Day participants, families and friends, and notably, those whom we serve within the community through our home-based services.”
“The welcome has just been incredible,” said Lilly. “Everyone has been so open and excited, and it makes me take to heart the words of the parable, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”
Reverend Lilly relocated from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to join the Waveny organization. “To have been selected among so many well-qualified candidates is a humbling honor. Between our staff’s compassionate approach to care and immense respect for personal dignity, and our organization’s incredible integration into the greater community, it’s clear that Waveny was built upon the golden rule right down to the littlest things. I’ve never seen an organization work so hard, but make it look so easy.”
A graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Marshall University of Huntington, W. Va., Reverend Lilly most recently served as Staff Chaplain for VITAS Hospice of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for nearly six years. He is a Board Certified Chaplain who is ordained and has standing with the United Church of Christ, but whose role at Waveny is self-described as an Interfaith Chaplain.
“My most important role, but most basic function, is to embrace and support people of all faiths and traditions,” he said. “My mission is to help them feel nurtured, supported and validated from within, and to apply a great sense of respect to each and every unique situation. If at any time the experience becomes more about my faith than about reaffirming their faith, I've veered wildly off path.”
Lilly says that restoring, renewing and nurturing a sense of spiritual connection is a key priority. “Seniors can experience disconnects with their faith amid life changes or when they feel internally isolated,” said Lilly. “My role is to remind them that despite the challenges of aging, their faith and spirituality still undergird them. And, that a divine, caring and supportive presence is still strong within and around them.”
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