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August 27. 2014 9:00PM

Nursing home chaplain launches ministry

OSSIPEE — The Rev. John Babson of Tuftonboro doubles as the chaplain and the volunteer coordinator for the Mountain View Community nursing home and rehabilitation center.

But Babson has also recently launched The Lakes Chaplaincy, known as TLC, whose mission is to serve the disabled, elderly, ill, homeless and broken with their emotional and spiritual needs.

Babson is partnered with three churches — the First Baptist Church of Wolfeboro, First Congregational Church of Center Ossipee, and the United Church of Christ in Union.

He is also endorsed by the Rev. David Lindsay, the chaplain for the Carroll County Jail and Wolfeboro Fire Department; the Rev. Dale Edwards of the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire; Mountain View Community Administrator Howard Chandler; and Tom and Shelley Howland of Abundant Blessings Homecare in Milton Mills.

In a recent interview at the nursing home, Babson said the number of elderly people in need is growing.

“New Hampshire has the fastest growing population of seniors, per capita, in the country, with Carroll County receiving the largest share of those new residents. In fact, our Lakes Region is seeing the greatest number of seniors moving into New Hampshire,” he said.

According to statistics in a 2013 New Hampshire Employment Security overview of Carroll County, the average age is 49.2.

Babson spent nine months as a Clinical Pastoral Education intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by another 15 months at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, earning enough units to professionally quality him to serve in any hospital or clinic in the United States.

“As nursing home and hospitals are doing away with chaplaincy staff, those suffering from loneliness and ill health in their elder years have an ever-increasing need for their emotional and spiritual needs to be compassionately met,” he said. “The ministry was started to share the hope of Christ. We want to reach out to those that are non-churched.”

Over time, Babson hopes to collaborate with other spiritual leaders, pastors and ministers from Lakes Region churches to work with those in need, both inside and outside churches.

He said TLC outreach is not limited to those in clinics or hospitals.

Wearing his volunteer coordinator hat, Babson said volunteers are always needed and welcomed at the Mountain View Community, especially those who would visit with elderly residents and provide companionship.

He said there are other, simple ways people can serve. One local volunteer with computer skills helps train the home’s activities staff.

Others volunteer their skills with gardening, crafts, recreational programs, outings, cleaning or food preparation or rehabilitation.

Babson said the list is endless on how volunteers could make a difference in the lives of residents while increasing effectiveness of the home’s staff.

For more information about The Lakes Chaplaincy or volunteer opportunities at Mountain View Community, contact Babson at the home, 539-7100; or email jbabson@mtnviewnh.org.


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