Chapel Chimes: Works of Art

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date October 25, 2023

Reflection from Kirkwood Chaplain, The Rev. Richard Hanna

One of my favorite scripture passages is Ephesians 2:10. As the New Living Translation declares, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”

Have you ever felt like a masterpiece? Have you ever felt like a beautiful piece of art? It might not be our first thought when we look in the mirror (it’s easy to be hard on ourselves). It might not be how we feel when we go see the doctor, or when we just don’t feel as good as we used to, or as we become more and more aware of our changing seasons of life and the realities of getting older. But, nevertheless, in God’s eyes, we are still His masterpiece, His magnificent creation of beauty, wisdom, love, talents and gifts. And God has put us here on this earth to do good things and to use all He has blessed us with to make our world a better place.

At Kirkwood, we try to celebrate that affirmation of our faith every day. Through projects and programs, through Bible studies and worship services, through fun and fellowship. Every day, we look for opportunities to live as God’s masterpieces.

Yes, Handel has his Messiah. Michelangelo has his Sistine Chapel. Mark Twain has his “Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Those are their masterpieces. And God has us!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Let us never forget that truth, so that we can make the most of every moment as God has created us and called us to live.


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents