In the shadow of the steeple, souls are crying. Does anybody care?
A new single, available now, begs that very question. Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly has released this classic, but very timely song to bring awareness to an important issue that plagues communities across the nation. ‘Shadow Of The Steeple’ tells the story of members of our own church families crying out, but remaining unheard and uncared for, primarily the elderly population. Mary Anne spends her life on the front lines as the founder and director of The Veranda, a respite program in Gallatin, TN meeting the social, spiritual, physical and emotional needs of older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other debilitating medical issues.
“The aging population is just as precious as others in the Lord’s eyes,” shares Mary Anne. “I believe God called me to be the voice for those who have spent their entire lives in church – teaching, serving, giving and leading others – and when they need help the most, they often find themselves alone. I see it every day in my work of advocating for those living with dementia and families who are caregivers. I strive to be that person who helps them navigate their journey Home…that peaceful place they have longed for their entire lives.”
Through recent months, while navigating the regulations and restrictions brought on by Covid-19, the widespread neglect of the elderly community became increasingly apparent, especially to those positioned on the front lines. Mary Anne felt called to record this poignant song, from the pen of Rusty Goodman, as a call to action. “I can’t think of a more relevant time suited for this song than the times we’re living in now. The last few years have been filled with turmoil in nearly every sector of our society, and those in church have not been sheltered from it. This song serves as a reminder of the important in seeking out and serving those in our immediate reach who may need help – and the senior population in our country is a great example of people who desperately need our attention.”
The call to action is simple: take time. Take time to seek out those who might be suffering from loneliness or neglect. Take time to listen. Take time to bring a smile to their face. It might be a phone call, visit, or a hot meal. Or it could be more drastic actions like starting a senior adult ministry in a church that does not have one. Or advocating for the health or well being of a loved one. But just be present and sensitive to those around you suffering, right in the shadow of your own steeple.
‘Shadow Of The Steeple’ is available now on all digital and streaming platforms, along with the companion lyric video. Take a moment to listen, and prayerfully consider what action God would have you take.
Find ‘Shadow Of The Steeple’ here: li.sten.to/ShadowoftheSteeple