Reverend Jennifer Owen may be new to Fort Dodge, but as Spiritual Care Coordinator, she is ready to immerse herself into the community that makes up Friendship Haven. Following God’s calling and appreciating the essence of retirement communities, Chaplain Jennifer feels that Friendship Haven was a great move.
Q: What is your background?
A: I grew up in Wisconsin, and my husband, Eric, is from Indiana. We have previously lived in Indiana and just moved here from St. Louis. I have spent 16 years as either a solo or interim pastor for various congregations within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Most recently, I held a chaplain residency position in a community similar to Friendship Haven. Eric and I both enjoy traveling and learning new things, and we love our two dogs.
Q: As a first-time Iowan, what have you enjoyed about the Fort Dodge area so far?
A: Growing up in the Midwest, I’m used to being surrounded by farms. Fort Dodge reminds me of my hometown, although my husband and I both agree it also reminds us of other places we’ve lived before. We are both enjoying the area so far, even though we only moved here at the beginning of June. We attended the Frontier Days celebration and saw the Karl King band concert. I’m looking forward to going to Market on Central and joining a photography club, as that is one of my passions.
Q: What led you to Friendship Haven?
A: Lately, I had been feeling that God was leading me to a position in a retirement community. At my last job, I began praying with my mentor about finding a job that has a weekly worship setup, but also incorporated a non-traditional aspect. After I applied to the Friendship Haven job opening, everything moved quickly from there. I interviewed, was offered the job, and began on June 1! I’m blessed with a husband who works from home and is more than willing to move where God is calling us. Now that I’ve been working for a few weeks, I feel that Friendship Haven has a good blend of the structure that I was looking for.
Q: What are some aspects you are looking forward to or goals you have as Spiritual Care Coordinator of Friendship Haven?
A: My plan as the Chaplain is to share my faith, walk alongside Father Tigges in joint worship opportunities, and serve as a resource for the staff. I’m most looking forward to getting to know the residents. So far, I’m working on learning names, but it’s been nice to have residents stroll by my office and introduce themselves since I love to visit with them. My goal is to see where interests and possibilities are and how we can provide for them. Right now, I’m working on getting a weekly worship service set up for the new Journeys building which will be geared more towards memory care residents. I’m very excited to see what God has in store for Friendship Haven.
Get in touch with Chaplain Jennifer. Feel free to stop in and visit, or simply introduce yourself as you walk by her office. Contact her at 515-573-6005, or firstname.lastname@example.org.