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Christian Village celebrates completion of GracePoint

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[July 06, 2016]  LINCOLN - Last Thursday afternoon a large crowd gathered under the carport in front of the latest addition to the Christian Village campus. The new building will house the GracePoint Short-term Rehab facility where guests will spend time recuperating from a hospital visit and getting prepared to return to self-sufficiency at home.

The day began with welcoming remarks and an opening prayer delivered by Christian Village Administrator Jo Hilliard. Hilliard commented that throughout the construction of the building, there had been prayers led at certain phases of the construction. She said it was only fitting to celebrate the conclusion of the process with prayer.

Hilliard also noted that Illinois Representative Tim Butler was on the program for the day. However, he had sent his regrets that he would not be in attendance because there was work to be done in the capital. As a side note, this was the day in which the State of Illinois, after a very long battle reached some interim compromises in the budget building process and passed a stopgap budget to cover the state through the end of this year.

Hilliard then introduced the first speaker of the day Lincoln Mayor Marty Neitzel.

Neitzel commented on the quality of life for senior citizens in Lincoln, and how that this service would be a rehab-to-home facility that would allow seniors to come here out of the hospital and prepare to go on home after rehab. Neitzel reiterated words spoken early in the week in her mayoral address to the Lincoln City Council, noting that quality of life was so important to all of us. She concluded saying she was thankful that the Christian Village had taken this initiative to assist local seniors in maintaining their quality of life.

The next speaker was Christian Village’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Timothy Phillippe. Dr. Phillipe noted the dedication of the Christian Village to the community. He reminded the audience that the Christen Village had humble beginnings right here in Lincoln, and that is now a large network throughout the region, serving senior citizens and others in need of professional care. He said hard work, honesty, integrity and concern for others were the values upon which the corporation was founded, and that those values were reflective of the community.

Phillippe thanked the whole community for its support through donations as well as volunteerism. He noted that Christian Village is a special place to work and that those who work for CV come and stay for long periods of time. He noted in particular that Julie King has been with the CV for 25 years. He noted that Jo Hilliard began working for CV in 1990, and though she has left from time to time, she continued to come back to this place to make her professional home.

Terry Davis was the next speaker. Davis is the Director of Major and Planned Gifts. He began by recalling that 50 years ago when Christian Village was formed, the treasury contained less than eleven dollars. Speaking of the money raised in donations for the Vision Capital Campaign that financed GracePoint as well as the Garden Village, more than $650,000 had been given thus far, and the campaign is still going. He thanked the Woods Foundation for donating a large portion of that sum.

Davis also noted that the Woods Foundation was responsible for much of the construction of the Garden Villa. He said that building was open and that guests could take a short bus ride over to the facility for a tour there as well.

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Davis noted there was a tour of GracePoint going to take place in a few minutes. He encouraged everyone to look for the donor plaques throughout the new wing, honoring those who have given to the construction.

The ceremonial portion of the day began to come to an end with Christian Village Chaplain Ryan Edgecombe coming to the podium.

Edgecombe recited the theme scripture for the day, printed on the program: “Therefore, let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help – Hebrews 4:16.

He spoke briefly about how that the Christian Village had grown continually through the grace of God.

He then began the invocation prayer by asking that the audience participate in the prayer. Calling to remembrance the words of the hymn Amazing Grace, he said that at certain points during his prayer that he would cue to the audience to join in with the prayer by saying the words, “Grace has brought us safe thus far. And grace will lead us home.”

At the end of the prayer, representatives from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce came to the front to lead in a ribbon cut at the front door of the building. Those representing the chamber included Jean Bruner-Jachino, Kari Adams, Maggie McMurtrey, and Chamber Ambassador Roy Logan.

Bruner-Jachino congratulated the Christian Village on their latest achievement. She thanked the CV for asking the Chamber to be a part of the day’s celebration. She said the Chamber is very proud of the CV and very excited for them for this new addition to their offerings. Taking hold of the large scissor on behalf of the CV were Phillippe and Hilliard. With a 3-2-1 countdown from the audience, they snipped the ribbon and welcomed guests to come inside.

The building was open for self-guided tours that ended in the large dining area where a buffet of hors d’oeuvres was served.

[Nila Smith]

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