Summer 2022 Chapel Chimes ~ Reverend Hanna

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date July 06, 2022

Psalm 122:1 declares, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the House of the Lord.’”

That certainly was true for the people of Israel when they would go to the Temple or tabernacle to pray and to worship God.  And that has been true for us at Kirkwood for the last 42 years as we have gathered in our beautiful Beeson Chapel for Worship, Bible Study, and other important gatherings.

For the last several months, however, that scripture passage has taken on an new and expanded meaning as our Chapel has become space where we have gathered for lots of activities besides worship.  Since our $30+ million improvement and expansion plan broke ground in August, the Beeson Chapel has become a multi-purpose space for fellowship, friendship and many of our life enrichment programs.


So, in addition to our regular Tuesday Bible Study and Thursday Worship Service, on Mondays our Chapel has been the location for our monthly Birthday parties sponsored by our friends from IPC and BINGO.  On Tuesdays it may be where we set up tables for Art class and listen to songs from various musicians. Wednesdays it’s been the location for our exercise and weekly Social Hour.  Thursday afternoons it may be where Niki Sepsas takes us on a tour around the world or where Delores Hydock tells a wonderful story.  On Friday it may be where we have Patsy and the Stones lead us in wonderful music and where we host our weekly movie night.  And on other occasions it has been the location for games with neighbors, prayer with friends, and many holiday parties to celebrate life at Kirkwood with one another.  


So, when I have in recent months read, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the House of the Lord,’” that phrase has taken on an expanded and enhanced meaning in this season at Kirkwood.    This Chapel, not only has been a place for worship of God during this renovation, but it has also been a place for our residents to share fellowship, friendship and fun in lots of other ways.


Now, it is no question, that we are celebrating the end of the construction and are very much enjoying the beautiful new gathering places available to us.  But how glad we have been that during our time of construction, our beautiful Beeson Chapel has met the needs of our residents in new and creative ways that has been a blessing to all of us at Kirkwood.  Indeed, it has truly been in so many ways a place of which we can say, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the House of the Lord.’”



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