This month’s Hearts of Immanuel employee is Linda Walz, pastor at Immanuel’s Trinity campus.
When deciding to be a pastor, Linda did not have a mountaintop experience, but rather a calm reassurance that this is what she was called to do. Growing up, she felt like life in the church was a gift, and never experienced a period of time where she wanted to remove herself from it.
“I think it’s a wonderful vocation, I love what I do, and sometimes it amazes me that I get to do it.”
Linda was on Immanuel’s board when Immanuel and Bergen-Mercy entered their joint-operating agreement. After moving away to pursue something new, she was later in need of another call. It was then that she was asked to fulfill a position as pastor at Immanuel’s Trinity campus.
“It was not on my radar,” said Linda. “It was not a ministry I could have ever imagined, but it’s been a great gift.”
Both Trinity Village and Trinity Courtyard are located within the same campus in Papillion, Nebraska. Although they are close in proximity, each community offers different services to accommodate the unique needs of their residents.
Trinity Village offers thirty assisted living and forty independent living apartments. All events and meals are coordinated by staff. The community is also connected to an on-site preschool, offering residents opportunities to enjoy intergenerational activities.
Trinity Courtyard is an income-based community that features 160 independent living apartments available to residents who meet Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Unlike their neighbor community, all events and meals are resident-driven. There are two service coordinators, one for each side of the building, who help residents navigate medical insurance and services they might need.
Linda believes that these communities are the best option for potential residents in the area, specifically those that require financial assistance.
“Although there are other options for subsidized housing, there’s not as many that are this well-run and this well-kept, or that operate under the serving arm of a church,” says Linda.
Beyond hospital visits and comforting families, Linda enjoys encouraging the community to participate in events. One of the most recent events the Trinity campus hosted was a blood drive to support the recovery of an employee. One third of those who donated were first time givers. The communities are also collecting mittens, hats, socks and other outwear for those less fortunate. Linda says the residents are all eager to give, no matter their circumstances.
In regards to living in a community, Linda believes whole-heartedly in what Immanuel offers. She states that moving into a community does not mean a resident has failed at living independently, but that they have made a decision to not let certain things consume their time, such as making meals or shoveling snow. In the future, Linda would like to make that decision for herself.
“I have no doubt that I would make one of these communities my home,” she said.