DEARBORN, Michigan – When Reverend Dr. Richard Bleivik recently described Oakwood Common as a “community of care,” he shared that he especially noticed things because he was trained to observe and to analyze.
As pastor of The First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn, Rev. Bleivik has visited church members in this Dearborn retirement community for nearly seven years.
“I notice everything,” said Rev. Bleivik. “I’ve marveled how kind everyone is, from the residents to the cleaning team to the people who work at the front desk. It’s a genuinely friendly and welcoming community.”
What many may not know is that Rev. Bleivik honed his skills of observation in a much different career before graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary and becoming a Presbyterian minister.
In the 1970s, he served in counter-intelligence for the U.S. Army in Germany. His assignment was to observe activities in Germany and on the Czechoslovakia border, not long after the country was turned into a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic and during a period of dissident activity.
“Those early years taught me to listen,” said Rev. Bleivik. “I’ve also used my listening and observations skills while serving as a pastor.”
According to Rev. Bleivik, Oakwood Common reminds him of how residential communities used to be thirty to fifty years ago—when everyone knew their neighbors and spoke to each other. He said, “It’s like the hometown you grew up in.”
Another member of Rev. Bleivik’s Dearborn church is moving into Oakwood Common this month and has already invited him to stop by for a visit.
“I won’t be surprised to hear him say that he wished he’d moved here sooner,” added Bleivik. “I tell everyone who moves in that if they wish to make friends, they can.”
About Oakwood Common
Oakwood Common offers one and two bedroom senior living apartments located at 16351 Rotunda Drive, within a beautiful 29-acre community that includes exquisite landscaping, nature trails and scenic views along the historic Rouge River Gateway in Dearborn. Oakwood Common apartments, available with flexible payment options, offer exceptional amenities for independent living and can be readily customized. Assisted living and a comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing center are also available for those with additional needs. For more information and to arrange tours, call 800-642-4663 or visitwww.OakwoodCommon.org.