What Thanksgiving Means To Me

By Phyllis Rhodes, Member Council President

Simply put it means kindness, gratitude, and thankfulness. As President of Member Council, I
often see and hear many stories of how community members help each other and show each other
gratitude. Honestly, it is one of my favorite parts of the job!

As we enter the month of thankfulness, I wanted to take time to express my sincere appreciation for our
community and all those who live and serve at Trinity Woods. It is with that in mind that I would like to
introduce the “Operation Gratitude Challenge.” Here is the challenge:

  1. Ask someone to join you for lunch or dinner that you have never eaten with before. Whether you are new or have lived here for years, people always walk into Charter Oak or Cypress Grille and wonder where to sit. Wouldn’t it truly be an act of kindness if we invited them to be part of our table or group?
  2. Write a note to a Trinity Woods employee. Nothing makes someone feel better than when they are appreciated. Being grateful for those who choose to work here is something I know many of you do all the time, but this month be intentional about seeking out an employee to show them how grateful you are that they work here.
  3. Send a thank you note to a Trinity Woods neighbor or friend. Our neighbors help us in many ways – whether it’s a smile or saying good morning or even checking on us when we haven’t been feeling well. Aren’t you thankful you live in a community where people truly care about you and your well-being? Take a minute to let them know you are thankful for their thoughtfulness.

Whether you accept my challenge and do one or all three of these suggestions, I hope you take time to truly embrace a spirit of gratitude. The Wellness Team has agreed to help us in this endeavor. There will be thank you cards at the Wellness Reservation Boxes for you to fill out. You may place completed notes for employees or members in the
boxes for them to be delivered or you can deliver them yourself to that special person.

Over 65 Years of Neighbor Helping Neighbor

What exactly does that mean – neighbor helping neighbor? Neighbors play an important
role in our community and our lives. Throughout your life I am sure interactions with
neighbors has meant many things – borrowing a cup of sugar, babysitting, yard chores, or
sharing a meal. But when you live at Trinity Woods, it means so much more.

When we did the research for our new name, people used terms like “neighbor” and
“kindness” to describe the community. I remember thinking, “Isn’t that interesting but
not surprising.” We have always been a community where love of and kindness to others
defines our very essence. Like the traveling stranger in the parable of the Good Samaritan,
we have all been “beaten up” by the world around us. We have all been abandoned “on the
side of the road” of disillusionment, loneliness, or despair. All of us need others to show
us grace and mercy.

Since announcing our new name, I have been overwhelmed by seeing this “neighbor”
persona in action. Just last month, I heard story after story of neighbor assisting neighbor
when a storm knocked out the power in one of the buildings on campus. Neighbors going
door-to-door to check on each other, neighbors walking flights of stairs to bring others

I think of the group of widows who live on campus who share a deep friendship. In fact,
they describe each other as “a best friend.” When I asked about the length of their
friendship, they told me they had only met since living at Trinity Woods. Isn’t that amazing,
discovering your best friend in life here?

I could go on and on about our community members and their stories of friendship and
kindness – or as we call it “being neighborly”. That is what living at Trinity Woods is all
about – neighbors helping, welcoming, and extending grace to others. I think our ads
say it best “everyone being welcome just comes naturally…seems like the Christian and
neighborly, thing to do.”

Trinity Woods Host Trunk or Treat!

Thursday, October 28 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. in the Community Life Center

This year we are excited to host a Trunk-or-Treat for Trinity Woods’ family and friends. Invite your grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or special children in your life to dress up and show off their costumes. Employees are encouraged to bring their children for this special event! Members can sign up to decorate their car trunk, golf cart or a table (inside the CLC) to pass out candy. Join us for this Trinity Woods family fun night!

Trinity Woods Introduces new Director of Dining Services!

Richard Applegate is the newest member of the Trinity Woods Dining Service Team. Richard comes to Trinity Woods with over 15 years of culinary experience. He has spent his career working in the kitchen in some capacity or another.

“I am passionate about my work and my goal is to make sure that dining at Trinity Woods is the best that it can be.”

His background includes executive chef at a senior living community where he had oversight of all daily operations of the food and dining. Richard has also been featured on the noon Channel 6 cooking segment showcasing his talent and love of food. He has served as the chef for a catering company and a local casino and resort.

“I chose Trinity Woods because I like this type of environment and I have heard great things about this community,” said Richard. “I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and showing them my home style, made from scratch cooking with love.”

Fun Facts about Richard

Born and Raised: Tulsa, Ok
High School: Will Rogers High
Family: Married with three children – a son and two daughters
Interesting Fact: When I’m bored, I like to tie flies for fly fishing
Proudest Accomplishment: Opened a BBQ restaurant in Southern Texas
Wanted to be as a Kid: Pitcher for the Atlanta Braves
One Meal Forever: Steak and potatoes
Friends Describe Him: Very caring and loyal
Favorite Family Recipe: Pork and corn soup
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Favorite Quote: “Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure.” Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux

Fall Fright Night

Thursday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Life Center Westervelt Hall

After the treats have been passed out, the trunks have closed, and the children have been sent home all sugared up, we will gather for our annual Fall Fright Night. This year, the wonderful Bill Rowland – or should we say “The Phantom” – will be here to provide live accompaniment for the classic silent film, The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney. Enjoy this chilling tale with live music and, of course, there will be some treats for you!

Fall Festival

Fall Festival is back and better than ever! We’ll have a delicious meal in Westervelt Hall of BBQ baby back ribs and BBQ brisket, with baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, and apple pie for dessert. Then we’ll move outside (weather permitting) to the Community Life Center parking lot for a foot-stomping, relaxed outdoor concert of classic country music from Gypsy Twang. Gypsy Twang is Sarah Barker Huhn on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Huhn on upright bass, John Williams on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and Kurt Nielsen on mandolin.

For our party, they’ll be joined by Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest inductee Lee Roy Whisenhunt on steel guitar for a classic country sound. It will be a great evening to celebrate fall!

Spotlight on Westervelt Hall at Trinity Woods

This month we are showing off the Nelda Westervelt Stage. Here are some fun facts about the stage and lighting in Westervelt Hall.
• Named after John Westervelt’s wife Nelda
• 50 colored stage lighting fixtures
• 9 Standard colors on the Stage lighting fixtures that can be programed for multiple options
• 12 spot light fixtures
• Sound and lighting can be controlled from anywhere in the building via mobile app
• Capability to connect 16 microphones and instruments on stage
• Broadway production-style stage curtain
• 380 square foot stage area
• Fully retractable 4K projection system

Tulsa District 9 Discussion

Special Guests Senator Dave Rader and Representative Carol Bush

Thursday, October 14 at 2 p.m. in the Fleming Center

Our two legislators for our District will be here to bring an update on what’s going on in the state legislature and talk about issues that affect you. They will also answer your questions. Dave Rader has been our Senator since 2016. He has lived 47 of his 63 years within the boundaries of our District and attended the University of Tulsa, majoring in Mechanical Engineering while playing football as a quarterback. He presently serves as Chair to the Senate Republican Caucus, as well as Vice Chair to the Appropriations Committee and Select Committee on Redistricting. He sits on the Finance Committee, Public Safety Committee, Energy Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

A native Tulsan, Carol graduated from Oral Roberts University and, prior to running for office, served a decade as executive director of the Tulsa Crime Prevention Network, the non-profit that put police and neighbors together to make us safe. Elected to the House in 2016, she serves on the following committees: Chair of Children, Youth and Family Services, A&B Health, Judiciary – Criminal, State and Federal Redistricting Tulsa County Subcommittee, Transportation.

October STARS Employee of the Month

Start Date: April 2008

Born and Raised: Mexico

Favorite Family Recipe: Pozole, Enchiladas, Tamales and Tacos!!

Favorite Sport to Watch: Figure Skating

 Fun Fact: On June 13th, 2013, she became an American Citizen.

Favorite Verse: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. Hebrews 13:6

Motivation: The community members are my family and I love making them smile, feel respected and loved.

What her supervisor says: “Alicia is a dedicated hardworking member of the Trinity Woods family who strives for perfection. She goes out of her way to ensure the satisfaction of the members and staff alike. Alicia is energetic while motivating and encouraging her fellow co-workers. She is very engaged and passionate about her work.” Dennis Graham, COO.

Spiritual Wellness – An Important Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

What exactly is Spiritual Wellness? Simply put, it’s about being connected to something greater than yourself. One of the amazing things about spiritual wellness is that the pursuit of it is unique for each person. Spiritual practices should support who you are and give you a framework for navigating each stage of life. Many people prefer to practice kindness and gratitude, while others exercise their creativity or are mindful about connecting with nature and others. And for many at Trinity Woods it includes faith and religious practices.

“Whether it’s organized religion or belief in a higher power that brings comfort, spiritual wellness fills an important role for many people that goes deeper than just attending worship services,” said Weldon Tisdale, Trinity Woods Chaplain. “It’s an opportunity to socialize, learn and grow, as well as gain comfort through some of life’s more difficult moments.”

For Trinity Woods, spirituality and wellness are woven deeply throughout the fabric of the community, connecting residents with a sense of “belonging.” The common ground and relationships fostered help heal broken hearts, soothe the mind, bring warmth and caring relationships, and even have an impact on individual health.

“Different stages of life bring different needs, and things we didn’t have time for while managing careers and family can become more important. Many times, we put off spiritual wellness, but it really is an important part of a healthy life,” said Weldon.

At Trinity Woods there is a strong focus every day for community members and employees to practice the seven dimensions of wellness. Putting spiritual practices into place now and making sure you have spiritual support will go a long way toward helping you age well in mind, body, and spirit.

The Chapel a Place of Solace

The Chapel at Trinity Woods is a great place to meet those needs. It is located in the Fleming Center building between the administrative offices and Felt House entry. It is available for all to use.

There are regularly scheduled programs in the Chapel such as Bible studies, worship and memorial services, or it can be used for quiet reflection, meditation and prayer. We are fortunate to be in an environment where faith, wellness, and healing work hand in hand.

The Chapel is a non-denominational spiritual place where community members, patients, families, visitors, employees, and volunteers can find solitude and comfort in moments of stress or pain. Over the years, the Chapel has become an inclusive place where people, irrespective of their faith, have found a haven – a place where despair and hope are expressed and healing can begin.

Donated by Dr. Lawrence and Mildred Lacour, the Chapel was designed specifically to be an environment of comfort when people are grappling with issues that directly affect one’s health and well-being. In the process of coping with crises, guilt, loneliness, pain, anxiety, fear of death or fear of some other loss, the Chapel allows individuals to focus on spiritual strength and encouragement.

Are you grappling with life and all its intricate and sometimes painful details? Do you need a place where you can escape for a few moments to center your thoughts, refocus your mind or fi nd comfort in times of crisis?

The chapel at trinity woods is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We invite all to take a moment and quiet your Spirit in this serene atmosphere, where all are welcome to Belong. Believe. Become.

Trinity Woods Introduces a New Member Engagement Software

After lots of training, editing, and adjusting, the time is finally here! We are launching Viibrant this month to the Trinity Woods community. We have several training sessions scheduled throughout the month to get everyone acclimated to the new system. The training sessions will be separated for Apple users, Android users, and desktop users. There will be several community members at each Viibrant training session to help answer questions and guide you along the way.

What will I learn in the training session?

• View and make reservations on the monthly Wellness Calendar.

• Register for upcoming events, programs, and fitness classes.

• Communicate with other community members.

• Access photo directory of community members.

• Submit important forms – replacement badges or absence notification.

If you don’t own your own computer or tablet, you should still attend a training session. Come learn what Viibrant is all about and see how it can work for you! We are excited to share this Wellness Engagement Technology with you. Contact Jennifer Rawlings at jrawlings@trinitywoodstulsa.com or 918.346.6663 with any questions.

September STARS Employee

Crystal Creekmore, Human Resources Coordinator, is this month’s STARS Employee.

Start Date: February 2019

Born: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Raised: Mounds, Oklahoma

Education: Northeastern State University

First Job: Grocery Store Clerk

Wanted to be as a Kid: Scientist, to cure cancer

Favorite Thing about Trinity Woods: It is rewarding to work alongside people whose work

improves the quality of life for others.

What her supervisor says:

“Crystal was faced with the overwhelming responsibility of being the only person left to manage HR and payroll after her co-worker resigned and I was compelled to take extended medical leave. The absence of help left her doing the work of three people and ensuring that everyone in the organization was paid, all while managing all the other tasks assigned to HR. She never complained or felt sorry for herself; she simply rolled up her sleeves and took care of all 220 employees that work at Trinity Woods with grace and dignity.” Bill Peterson, VP of Human Resources.

Growing and Serving Everyone in the Spirit of Christ

As the mission of Trinity Woods expands, we feel compelled to explore what’s next for our
community. For the past 15 years, the question “What’s next?” has been clear. As we enter
the next chapter, we are evaluating several ideas and options. One topic that keeps rising to
the top of every discussion is diversity and inclusion within the organization.

More and more organizations are learning that a strong business is one that includes people
with diversity of gender, race, and cultural background. In this article, I am hoping to outline
three ways Trinity Woods is advocating for more diversity and inclusion.

At the Board level. While there is gender diversity on the Board, there is not ethnic
diversity. The Governance Committee is exploring ways to increase diversity by recruiting
ethnic minorities to serve on the Board.

On the staff level. The need for eff ective training on cross-cultural communications
and sensitivity as well as implicit bias is important. Hiring managers and leadership are
undergoing training to deepen their understanding of the benefi ts of a more inclusive and
diverse team.

At the community member level. As a ministry we are asking those we serve: “How could
our community be more inclusive? Can we promote diversity in a way that would enrich our
lives as well as the lives of others?”

A Task Force is exploring options for the development of the adjacent property owned by
Trinity Woods. The purpose is to provide suggestions to the Board for how the property
could be used. This includes considering how our mission can touch a more diverse
demographic group.

In the months ahead I will report back on the next steps that our Board envisions. In the
meantime, please join me in praying for Trinity Woods that we may fi nd new and innovative
ways to grow and deepen our commitment to serve all people in the spirit of Christ.

Tulsa Mayor Cuts Ribbon on Trinity Woods’ New Community Life

It’s the equivalent of a student union for the senior set. There will be live theater, concerts, coffee dates, billiards games and more taking place in the new Community Life Center at Trinity Woods. The 14,000 square foot building boasts an auditorium with seating for 250, a stage, and state-of-the-art audio/visual technology. It also includes two meeting rooms, three conversation nooks and a game room with coffee and juice bar.

“This is the final piece of our multi-year plan to bring our community in line with our vision to redefine aging,” said Steve Dickie, Trinity Woods CEO.  

Nearly 400 senior residents live on the 40-acre campus in Midtown Tulsa. This project signifies the completion of a major redevelopment plan. The $30.4 million investment includes not only the Community Life Center but a new assisted living building, two memory-care assisted living houses, a new main kitchen, the Cypress Grille restaurant and Tranquility Wellness Spa.

All of these facilities are designed to allow residents to embrace the International Council of Active Aging’s seven dimensions of wellness. These are physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, and vocational.

“We’re proud to be a life plan community offering residents a place to actively age whether they enjoy independent living or a higher level of care,” said Dickie. “This Community Life Center will be the hub of campus life and provide opportunities for everyone to be active and engaged.”


Oklahoma Methodist Manor first opened its doors in 1956 with a single building housing 25 seniors. Since then, the organization has been constantly redefining itself to meet the needs of those it serves. Today, it’s a 40-acre campus offering the full continuum of care to nearly 400 members through residential homes and apartments, traditional assisted living, memory care assisted living, rehabilitative therapy and long-term care nursing options.

“Over the past several years, we have been working to create a culture that redefines aging. The new, more contemporary name of Trinity Woods celebrates our organic evolution from nursing home to life plan community,” said Steve Dickie, Trinity Woods CEO.

The name change is the result of nearly two years of strategic planning including feedback from Trinity Woods community members, board members, employees, and Tulsa community leaders. The outcome of the process was the board’s unanimous decision to change the name from Oklahoma Methodist Manor to Trinity Woods.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Name Change

Why are you changing the name from Oklahoma Methodist Manor?
While we will always hold dear our historical name of Oklahoma Methodist Manor, we want our name to accurately represent who we are today.
• Oklahoma is an overly broad term for the area we serve.
• Methodist often confuses people who believe we are open only to Methodists when, in fact, we welcome people of all faiths.
• Manor is a dated term that does not effectively communicate the friendly neighborhood feel that exists here.

Is Trinity Woods under new ownership?
No, we remain a separately incorporated not-for-profit, single-site, senior living community governed by an independent board. The board meets monthly and is responsible for upholding the mission and setting strategic direction for the organization. There is also a Community Member Council that includes elected representatives from the community. The Council advises senior staff on issues that affect the community.

What does Trinity Woods stand for?
• Trinity acknowledges our faith-based heritage and the connection between mind, body and spirit as well as faith, hope and love.
• Woods comes from our practice of using tree names for different campus locations. For example, Cypress Grille, Charter Oak Restaurant, Crestwood apartments, etc.

Why the tagline Belong. Believe. Become.?
These traits are central to who we are as a community. Belong – The immediate welcome people feel as neighbors here. Believe in new possibilities. Become by moving here to live life to the fullest.

Why is Methodist no longer in the name?
We are changing the name to eliminate confusion. Our community is not exclusive to Methodists. We welcome and cheerfully include all. We are an Equal Housing Opportunity organization.

Is the Methodist Church still part of Trinity Woods?
Yes. This community was founded by United Methodists who believed the cause of serving elders was worthy of their best effort. We value our heritage as an organization founded by the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. The desire to serve in the spirit of Christ is still the backbone of who we are today.

What Now?

Take the Next Step