Tracey Lind to speak on ‘Spirituality of Dementia’ at All Saints’ Sunday

  • All Saints Church in Peterborough. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/20/2019 3:04:11 PM

When facing a diagnosis of early-onset dementia, the Rev. Tracey Lind did not despair. She instead, took it as an opportunity to gain spiritual insight and learn new lessons. She’ll share her story in sermons at the All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Peterborough on Sunday.

All Saints’ Reverend Jamie Hamilton is a close friend of Lind’s, and said her story echoes many of the issues she’s seen within her own congregation.

Once a month, Hamilton leads a sermon at the local retirement communities, for residents who aren’t able to attend church on their own anymore. Many have a form of dementia. In her own church, too, she said, many people are dealing with a parent or a spouse who is experiencing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

“I don’t think there’s a person in Peterborough who hasn’t been touched by dementia,” Hamilton said. “I think this community is ripe to hear her message.”

Lind was diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneraion, a form of early-onset dementia, in November of 2016. Hamilton said she knew something was wrong for some time before that. At the time of her diagnosis, Lind was a Dean of the Trinity Cathedral, and found herself unable to follow some of the meetings, and was forgetting appointments.

Following her diagnosis, she made the decision to keep preaching, and use her diagnosis to share her story and advocate for a more dementia-friendly world. 

Before her diagnosis, Lind was a renowned speaker, and in 2014, was a speaker for a TEDx Talk, entitled “How I Met God in a McDonald’s.” Lind, now retired, still travels the country and internationally to speak on the insights she’s gained since her diagnosis.

Hamilton said she hears many stories from residents dealing with being a caretaker for a loved one with dementia. One, she said, arranged a day of golfing for her mother, who was an avid golfer before her diagnosis. After several hours on the green, the two retired to the locker room to change, which is when her mother turned to her and mentioned she’d like to go golfing one of these days.

These moments can be disheartening, Hamilton said. But, as she advised her parishioner, it didn’t erase the good moments the afternoon had provided.

“It doesn’t take away the beauty of the present moment,” Hamilton said. 

The Rev. Tracey Lind will share her spiritual insights at services at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Peterborough on Sunday, Sept. 22. A forum is scheduled at 11:30 a.m., following services, at the Reynolds Hall, across the street from the All Saints Church on 51 Concord Street. 




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