2017 UCH Golf Outing

United Church Homes 2017 Golf Outing

REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 1

Schedule for the Day

Schedule for the Day

8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m. Call to Carts

9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

Return to the clubhouse for lunch and prizes after tournament play.

How to Register

2017 UCH Golf Outing Brochure

Register by email:
csandridge@uchinc.org

Register by phone:
740.382.4885 ask for Cale

Register by mail:
Complete the registration form

United Church Homes
170 East Center Street | PO Box 1806
Marion, OH 43301-1806


  • Registration: $100 per person
    (Register by September 1)
  • Raffle Tickets: 2 for $15

Sponsorship Levels

Sponsorship Opportunities

Abundant Life Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $10,000|close

  • Registration for (8) golfers, lunch included
  • Event titled after sponsor on banner at registration
  • Sponsor name featured on banquet room signage
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursomes
  • Hole-in-one grand prize sponsor
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Hospitality Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $5,000

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Sponsor name featured on large banner in breakfast and lunch area
  • Sponsor name featured on beverage cart
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Mission Sponsor (limited, FOUR available) $2,500

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Prize hole sponsor – longest drive, closest to the pin
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Golf Cart Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $1,500

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on golf carts during tournament
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Spirit Sponsor (unlimited) $1,000)

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hole sponsor
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Hosted drinks, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome

Practice Sponsor (limited, TWO available) $500

  • Sponsor name featured on sign at practice green
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report

Door Prize Sponsor (unlimited) $100 or Gift Card

  • Sponsor name featured on signage in banquet room
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report

Memorial Donations (unlimited) $50

  • Memorial name listed on signage

Congratulations to Chapel Hill’s Melanie Sims

Melanie Sims Graduating from Kent State University, December 2016

Yes, that’s Melanie Sims, Chapel Hill’s staff relations manager, celebrating her newly minted bachelor’s degree in Long Term Care Administration from Kent State University’s Stark County campus. Melanie is a recipient of The Ralph C. and Sue Quellhorst Program for Leadership Education and Endowment Fund, named in honor of a dynamic couple who became national leaders in the United Church of Christ and moved to Chapel Hill in retirement. Melanie has worked at Chapel Hill since beginning her Administrator-In-Training program on May 11, 2016. Congratulations, Melanie! We’re proud of you!

Cruise In to Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Cruise In

Cruise in and enjoy Famous Herky Burgers, door prizes, 50/50 drawing and dash plaques. Early registration is $10 and includes meal voucher, dash plaque and a chance to win door prizes. Additional burgers are will be available for $2.

Call Dale for early registration at 330.854.4177 by June 15.

Chapel Hill Participates in National Research Trial

Chapel Hill Community is engaged in a research trial to test the effectiveness of two cognitive rehabilitation therapies developed to improve psychological symptoms (apathy and depressed mood), the quality of life, and cognitive and physical functioning in older adults living with mild to moderate dementia. The two cognitive therapies are SAIDO Learning, known as learning therapy, a nonpharmacological treatment developed by Kumon Institute of Education of Japan, and cognitive/social stimulation or enhanced socialization.

“SAIDO Learning was shown to improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in research trials conducted in Japan, as well as in the United States in 2011 at Eliza Jennings organization,” said Debra Durbin, administrator of Chapel Hill Community. “This new research trial will be national in scope. Chapel Hill residents will participate for six months and the entire trial will last for one year, beginning in early 2016.”

To read the full story, see Spirit Winter 2016 edition to be released in February.

Kahlua: Service Dog Extraordinaire

Bonnie and Kahlua embrace for the camera

Most of us already know that pets can be great sources of comfort and healing, especially in the face of loss. But Kahlua is not just an ordinary pet. He is the Chocolate Labradoodle who assists one of the residents of Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio.

He’s special in many ways.

Kahlua is a service dog who has undergone intensive training in a state program that places service dogs for people with disabilities. Bonnie Reed, who lives at Chapel Hill, has had Kahlua for four years.

Bonnie has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair to move about. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. After her husband passed away, Bonnie struggled with more than just the emotional loss. She also struggled with the loss of the caregiver who helped maintain her independent lifestyle and mobility. But now with Kahlua as her constant companion, Bonnie is faring well.

“I knew Kahlua was trained to do special things,” Bonnie says, “but the emotional bond with him has been really unexpected.”

Kahlua has helped Bonnie in ways you wouldn’t imagine a dog could do. He is the principal reason why Bonnie can maintain her independence. His initial training involved teaching elementary school children basic safety rules, such as looking both ways before crossing the street. His more recent training involved helping people with disabilities, like Bonnie.

Kahlua was matched with Bonnie based on the personality of person and pet. Her lifestyle was evaluated prior to his advanced training, and Kahlua is re-tested on his abilities to be a service dog by the state every six months. The re-testing will continue until he is six years old. The program also has taught Bonnie how to train Kahlua to do new things, like how to shake when he meets new people, or how to bring her items if they are out of reach.

Kahlua helping Bonnie to open a doorSince she is in a wheelchair, Kahlua instinctively picks up everything she drops on the floor. Bonnie is a quilter, so this can be an issue with items like sewing needles. “Leave it,” Bonnie commands. Kahlua leaves it. He opens doors for her, helps her take off her socks and, most impressively, helps with laundry by pulling clothes out of the dryer into a basket, dragging the basket to Bonnie, and taking each piece to put in Bonnie’s lap to fold. He even shakes the wrinkles out!

Everyone should be so blessed.

But perhaps the most amazing service is what they do for other Chapel Hill residents. No birthday or anniversary is complete without a visit from Kahlua and Bonnie. Kahlua visits a brain trauma patient who recently came out of a coma and adores the furry friend. Because he doesn’t startle easily, Kahlua went to sit with a particularly frightened resident during a recent tornado watch one night. Within minutes of Kahlua’s arrival, the patient was calm.

Everyone loves Kahlua, so much so that Bonnie builds extra time into her schedule when she goes out. She is always happy to tell people about Kahlua’s purpose and demonstrate his abilities.

But Kahlua’s purpose goes well beyond helping Bonnie maintain her independence. He demonstrates compassion for all people. He gives Bonnie more than peace of mind. He is hope, friendship, love. And not just for Bonnie, but for everyone he meets at Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill Hosts Ribbon-Cutting for Kroft Commons

Three people toasting to the new Kroft Commons while at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Chapel Hill Community, A United Church Homes Community, dedicated 12 new cottages at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for independent living residences, Kroft Commons on November 12, 2014. There are 28 cottages in Kroft Commons, each measuring a spacious 1388 square feet, with two bedrooms, two baths and attached garages.

The ceremony was hosted by Community Administrator Debra Durbin. Chairman of the Board of Directors for United Church Homes Jim Henry and the other board members were present to celebrate the dedication of the new cottages, as was Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO.

Rev. Kenneth Daniel presenting a check to a member of the board of directors.

Chapel Hill Community Honors Faithful Donors

Chapel Hill Donor Dinner

(Canal Fulton) – Chapel Hill Community honored faithful supporters at a special Donor Appreciation Dinner held on June 26 at Chapel Hill Community. This year, three awards were presented — the Ben M. Herbster Award presented to a devoted donor, the Spirit Award to an enthusiastic volunteer, and the Diakonie Award to a supportive church congregation.

The honoree for the Ben M. Herbster Award for Chapel Hill was Rev. Robert F. Beck. Honoree for the Spirit Award was Ms. Diane Lawman, and for the Diakonie Award, Zion United Church of Christ of North Canton was recognized.

United Church Homes was created almost 100 years ago by individuals whose spirit of generosity led them to provide the necessary financial resources. This tradition of generosity continues to be crucial to the ministries of United Church Homes.

“The honorees were chosen based on their commitment to the mission of United Church Homes, and furthering this mission with their support. We are grateful to all of the volunteers, employees, individuals, and congregations that continue to rally with us in their generosity each year. This is just one way we choose to say thanks for all they do for United Church Homes and its residents,” says President and CEO, Rev. Ken Daniel.

Chapel Hill Community Earns National Award for Quality

Quality Award

(Canal Fulton) – Chapel Hill healthcare community owned and operated by United Church Homes has been recognized as a 2014 recipient of the “Bronze Commitment to Quality” award for their dedication to improving the lives of residents through dependable quality care.

The award is one of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The program honors communities across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Based in Marion, Ohio, United Church Homes is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality housing and healthcare services to seniors, responsive to the needs of the whole person, and based on Christian values.

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The program assists providers of long term and post-acute care services in achieving their performance excellence goals.

Communities begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze award winners must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system, as determined by a team of trained examiners. As recipients of the “Bronze Commitment to Quality” award, Four Winds, Fairhaven, Patriot Ridge, Parkvue and Chapel Hill communities may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the “Silver Achievement in Quality” award, as their predecessors, SEM Haven and Trinity communities, are now doing.

President and CEO, Rev. Ken Daniel, says, “United Church Homes celebrates the shared commitment of doing what is right, and focusing on the needs of our residents. These communities exemplify the mission of our organization with their dedication to positive outcomes.”

The award will be presented to these United Church Homes communities during AHCA/NCAL’s 65th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 5-8, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Introducing Our New Chalice Partner Program

CHALICE Program

United Church Homes is launching a new initiative to solidify its engagement with specific community churches and congregation members.

The Chalice Partner Program facilitates the organization’s long tradition of building relationships and support among congregations, individuals and UCH communities. The program not only promotes financial support of the mission of UCH, but strongly encourages direct engagement and volunteer participation in this ministry.

“United Church Homes is an outreach of congregations going back nearly 100 years,” explains Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO. “We want to renew these historic ties that have supported our mission and helped transform the lives of so many.”

In addition, UCH offers access to resources and support for the individual and congregational
partners across a broad spectrum. ‘CHALICE’ is an acronym for these areas:

C

Compassion

What are the ways we are called to show compassion following
in Christ’s example?

H

Health

What are the most recent advances to support active, healthy living?

A

Aging

How can we navigate the psychological and physical processes of change
throughout our lives?

L

Lifelong
Learning

How can we continue to stimulate our intellectual and mental abilities?

I

Inspiration

What are the ways God is still speaking through our lives?

C

Community

How do we engage with the relationships that give our lives meaning and purpose—in our communities of faith, with our families, neighbors, and other community resources?

E

Ethics

What are the ethical standards by which we make decisions?

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, director of church and community relations for United Church Homes, is spear-heading the Chalice Partner Program. The inaugural event is planned to take place in Dayton in May.

“Through the Chalice Partner Program, we hope to provide ways in which grace may be made known in our lives,” said Rev. Long-Higgins. “The chalice, the cup of blessing, is a powerful symbol of the giving and receiving of grace. Together, we can strengthen the communities in which we live and work and worship—by sharing the resources that we already have.”

Congregations and/or individuals who are interested in learning more about the Chalice Partner Program may contact Rev. Beth Long-Higgins at blong-higgins@uchinc.org, or by calling 740.361.3354.

For Chapel Hill Residents – Advancement Pays Huge Dividends

United Church Homes recently learned that it is the beneficiary of a $4.2 million gift from the Ruth A. Stonebrook Trust, with the funds specifically designated to be used to benefit Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio. The gift is the second largest ever recorded in the history of United Church Homes.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

Eugene Peterson, The Message,
Ephesians 3:20

“Her gift truly opens up a realm of possibilities for Chapel Hill that we will identify over the next few months,” said Rev. Ken Daniel, president and CEO. “This is a wonderful example of working with someone who believes in our mission and wants to support us.”

Ruth A. (nee Bauer) Stonebrook was born in Arlington, Ohio, in rural Hancock County in 1913, and graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield. She taught at Washington Elementary School in Findlay for a time in the 1930s.

Her first husband, James Stewart, died during World War II and was post-humously honored with a Silver Star for bravery. Her second husband, Howard Stonebrook, was president of Citizen’s National Bank in New Philadelphia for 20 years. He passed away in 1968.

The couple were upstanding pillars of the New Philadelphia community. Howard served as chairman of the Union Hospital Committee in the 1940s, while Ruth was a trustee of the County Library. Both were actively engaged in the First United Church of Christ in New Philadelphia, where Ruth was an organist and pianist, and had the distinction of serving as the first female elder of the congregation.

Ruth Stonebrook transferred her engagement with the UCC into a keen interest in Chapel Hill, located 35 miles from her home. Ruth was active in multiple facets of resident life at Chapel Hill. She served as a member of the Friends of Chapel Hill (see From the CEO column), and was a long-standing supporter of Chapel Hill, to the extent that she is cited as the only member of the Charter Circle, honoring individuals with one-time donations in the range of $250,000 to $499,999. The Stonebrook Dining Room at Chapel Hill was dedicated in 1995 in loving memory of her husband.

Ruth’s support of Chapel Hill was long-standing and significant. That explains why she was chosen to receive the first-ever Herbster Award bestowed by Chapel Hill in 1986. She cherished the vase she received upon being recognized for her support and commitment. Her name appears multiple times on the bronze plaques located in the Chapel Hill Grand Entry.

Ruth ultimately moved to Chapel Hill as a resident herself for a brief period of time, where she was fondly recalled by staff members who remember her passion and commitment. Ruth passed away in November 2012.

Her gift was cultivated nearly 30 years ago in the 1980s and will now be used to the greater glory of God. “It’s humbling when someone chooses our organization to be the recipient of their generosity,” said Gloria Hurwitz, vice president of advancement. “Gifts like this compel us to provide prudent, forward-looking stewardship.”

Interviewed in 1996 regarding the trust she established, Ruth said, “Chapel Hill is a special place where you can see how your gift is being used. I chose to set up my trust with Chapel Hill because it’s a wise investment.”

“We give thanks and praise God for people of faith like Ruth Stonebrook,” said Rev. Ken Daniel.

Chaplaincy Services

revsandyhutchinson

Rev. Sandy Hutchinson

‘A ministry of love’
Rev. Sandy Hutchinson has served as chaplain at Chapel Hill Retirement Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio, since 2001. Rev. Sandy provides spiritual support for residents, families and staff. She conducts ecumenical Sunday worship services and weekly Bible study. She makes hospital calls, attends funerals and calling hours, or arranges services when requested. She has officiated at a few weddings and once even baptized a resident.

“Spiritual care for me is the one-on-one building of relationships. When residents, family members and staff know me, they are more willing to open up about their fears, worries and concerns. I do a lot of reassurances that they are indeed God’s child. My ministry is one of love, not fear,” Rev. Sandy said.

Rev. Sandy was ordained as a United Church of Christ (UCC) pastor in 1975 and served churches around the Canal Fulton area before joining Chapel Hill. “United Church Homes has many unique strengths in the area of pastoral care. I always thought that if an opportunity arose with Chapel Hill, I would accept it,” she said.

Rev. Greta Wagner

Rev. Greta Wagner

‘Taking an innovative step’
United Church Homes will further develop the strong chaplaincy focus with the addition of Rev. Greta Wagner, the new director of pastoral care and clinical pastoral education at Trinity Community in Beavercreek. Rev. Greta is a chaplain and American Baptist minister, but her main role is to develop the new Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. Offered through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), the CPE program helps to develop capable chaplains and enhance their pastoral skills.

ACPE standards support continuity of care, which align with the model in place throughout United Church Homes. Rev. Greta is an ACPE associate supervisor, which enables her to implement and oversee the program. A CPE unit includes 100 hours of class time and 300 clinical hours, all which will be completed at Trinity.

“The whole idea is to develop pastoral care competency and practice for pastoral ministry. Many CPE units take place in hospitals, but it is needed in retirement communities, so this is an innovative, much needed step initiated by United Church Homes. To have this setting is unique,” Rev. Greta said.

Rev. Greta began her career as a nurse. As the field gained a more technological focus, she discovered her calling to counsel patients. She was ordained in 1991, and became a hospital chaplain in 1995. She became the director of spirituality for a large hospital group and completed her ACPE certified training. With her new role at United Church Homes, she has found her true vocation integrating nursing, chaplaincy and clinical care.

Rev. Becky Jones

Rev. Becky Jones

Fulfilling a faith-based mission
The commitment to pastoral care continues throughout United Church Homes. Pastor Bill Michaels serves Parkvue in Sandusky, Ohio. An installation service was held September 28 for Rev. Becky Jones, the new UCC chaplain at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky.

It is through this commitment to faith-based care that United Church Homes creates a sense of inclusion within each community. Every resident of United Church Homes is welcomed and accepted for who they are. With God as our guide, is it our personal focus to ensure each resident has the opportunity to achieve self-actualization and find peace and joy in every aspect of his or her life.

As each has received a gift,
use it to serve one another,
as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

1 Peter 4:10

Fast Track Rehab Renovations Promote Recovery and Renewal

When Deb from Oxford Township needed to recover after surgery, Parkvue was her logical choice. With new private suites, engaged healing experts and a completely revamped look, the Fast Track Rehab units at Parkvue in Sandusky, Ohio, and Chapel Hill in Canal Fulton, Ohio, now resemble luxury retreats more than recovery centers.

The renovations at Parkvue and Chapel Hill nearly double the available space to treat patients recovering from illness or injury. From the moment they arrive, guests experience a restful environment designed to promote recovery and renewal.

For patients who require short-term rehabilitation after an illness, injury or surgery, the Fast Track Rehab program offers a highly focused approach to reducing pain, building strength and flexibility, and helping patients resume their lives as soon as possible. Older adults are more active than ever before. The objective of Fast Track Rehab reflects the mission of United Church Homes: to nurture the whole person physically, emotionally and spiritually.

You spoke. We listened.

Spacious private suites envelop patients in comfort and luxury. Open and inviting common areas include updated floor treatments, furniture and décor, and offer plenty of space to maneuver during recovery. Each elegantly appointed dining room features a full-time chef, as well as restaurant-style dining with choice of entrées. Therapy rooms include state-of-the art equipment, and therapeutic professionals employ the latest treatment techniques ranging from traditional exercise to ultrasound and massage. With an average length of stay ranging from 20-25 days, these special touches help to make the entire recovery process more enjoyable.

Designed to resemble a private spa retreat, the spa room at Parkvue takes treatment to the next level. Amenities include a whirlpool tub with retractable sides for safety, massage therapy, Reiki master, towel warmers and other luxurious details to support recovery and wellness.

“The renovations really address the needs and wants voiced by the Sandusky community. We are fulfilling our residents’ wishes for the privacy, comfort, choice and convenience they need to recuperate. We also discovered that patients really appreciate the spiritual care provided within our community,” said Brittany Dorsey, Parkvue community liaison/marketing director.

“The large suites offer more opportunities for visitation and privacy, which our residents find vital to their recovery. Each suite includes a refrigerator, flat-screen TV and large picture windows. Many rooms overlook our picturesque pond and rolling hills, which provides a restorative view during recuperation,” said Toni Montgomery, Chapel Hill director of sales and marketing.

Working together to get you home faster

The physical surroundings are only one piece of the equation. Engaged healing experts develop a plan of care based on the IDEAL (Independence Determined by Environment and Active Living) clinical model developed by Heritage Healthcare, which focuses more on the functional aspects of safety, independence, quality of life and burden of care, as well as a successful return-to-home program. The treatment team incorporates physicians; neuro-muscular rehabilitation specialists; physical, occupational and speech therapists and assistants; as well as certified rehab, pain management and wound care nurses.

These professionals assess each patient’s level of self-reliance, as well as their specific safety risks, upon admission. Patients are reevaluated upon discharge to ensure a successful return home. The Steps to Home program helps patients plan their return home from day one, keeping them in control of the process and encouraging wellness in a well-organized, easy-to-implement way.

“I couldn’t just go home, because I needed to get up the steps. The rehab care that I received was very high quality. The therapists got me on my feet again,” said Deb, a former Parkvue Fast Track Rehab patient.

Healing from the inside out

Spiritual care helps to build confidence, strength and peace of mind, as well as restore physical health, mobility and functional abilities. The spiritual aspect is the triumvirate of care unique to United Church Homes. It is through this holistic, person-centered approach that United Church Homes celebrates the spirit of life by offering on-site chaplains and pastoral care programs at every community. While other facilities may only treat symptoms, our treatment of the whole person–mind, body and spirit–truly sets us apart.

Pastor Finds Place of Service in United Church Homes

By his own admission, the Rev. Glenn Royer came to the ministry late in life. As a middle-aged man teaching a Sunday school class for young adults, he was deeply affected by their questions about the meaning of life.

Questions for which he had no answers.

“I felt a tap on my shoulder,” he says. “And I knew it was God calling me into service.”

Though he’s now 91, Royer continues to live out that calling in countless ways.

Through the activities of his congregation when he was a layperson, he first learned about the work of United Church Homes.

“Our church volunteered regularly with United Church Homes,” he says. “We would bring food or hold service days to help clean up or do repairs or simply visit with the residents.”

Upon graduating from the United Church of Christ seminary in Bangor, Maine, Royer led churches there until he was transferred to David’s United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester, Ohio, just outside Columbus.

Royer was impressed with the commitment to inclusiveness and unity at United Church Homes, and was moved to volunteer on a deeper level. He began serving on the board of directors and was elected president from 1987 to 1990.

Later, when his mother was a resident at Chapel Hill Retirement Community in Canal Fulton, Royer saw the United Church Homes mission and vision lived out on a daily basis.

“I knew when the time came for me to retire, I’d move to Chapel Hill,” he says. “So when they opened Kroft Commons, my wife, Mildred, and I were the first couple to sign up!”

Royer continues to serve in whatever ways he can. As the minister of visitation at Wooster Church, he visits parishioners who are sick or shut-in. He’s also involved in causes dear to his heart, such as exposing injustice. Royer was recently awarded the John T. Looney Peace and Justice Award, presented by the Barberton Norton Wadsworth Peace Group, of which he is a member.

Royer began working for peace after his discharge from the Army following World War II. The group works to shine a light on injustices and promote peace through research and advocacy.

“We have a calling to bring peace to the world, by the Prince of Peace,” he says. “Working for others keeps me happy and fulfilled. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and keep on going.”

Heritage Trip

The Rev. Joyce E. Schroer of Paradise United Church of Christ in Louisville, Ohio, shares her time spent with select United Church Homes communities and her Confirmation Class of 2013.

“Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4

What an outstanding experience!

Thank you so much to all the United Church Homes staff that offered us hospitality in our most recent Heritage Trip.

Paradise United Church of Christ Confirmation Class 2013 just returned from a Circle Tour Weekend. Ten of us left immediately afters school last Friday, April 26, 2013 and traveled by van to Fairhaven in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Here we were greeted by Pastor Becky Jones, Chaplain, who led us to the Gathering Place where we enjoyed dinner. She shared with us the history of United Church Homes and spoke eloquently about her call to minister with senior adults.

main-1We were greeted in the hallway by Helen Stalter who had just finished dinner and was returning to her room. She told the kids about her years of teaching math and shared how much she enjoys her apartment at Fairhaven. Following a tour of the community with stops in the chapel, the Fast Track Rehab, and the history wall, we offered our prayers to Fairhaven and Pastor Becky’s ministry. Then we jumped in the van and proceeded to our next destination.

We arrived at the community of Parkvue in Sandusky, Ohio, shortly after dark. Pastor Bill Michaels and his family greeted us. They escorted us to the chapel where we would be sleeping on the floor for the night. Then to the activity room where we would watch TV and in the morning enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet. That evening we gave thanks for a dry, warm place to rest even if the floor was a little hard. The morning sun greeted us and after breakfast we worked on a project for confirmation day. We are making stoles with symbols to represent things we’ve learned and done throughout the year. One symbol also represents the personal gift that we bring to God. Of course every stole includes a home representing our Circle Tour of United Church Homes.

mainIt wasn’t long until we met Penny, the assistant activity director. We helped her transport residents to and from “colorful exercise.” Penny told us that she can usually only get four or five residents to join her but with all the youth present, we had a full room and so many smiles. Quintin enjoyed making the frogs jump on the Octaband. Sydney engaged another woman in deep conversation. Ryan smiled as he wheeled the chairs down the hallway. It was an outstanding experience to see the generations interact and respond to one another. I couldn’t help but think of the Psalm 145 text as we consider the mighty acts of God.

main-3After a discussion in the chapel led by Pastor Bill we prayed for Parkvue and Pastor Bill’s ministry and then jumped in the van for an afternoon of fun. We ate lunch at Chet and Matt’s Pizza then enjoyed the Maui Sand’s Waterpark. In the evening we grabbed a burger at Wendy’s and proceeded to Canal Fulton.

main-4After an ice cream stop at Oser’s Dairy we arrived at Chapel Hill and stayed in a cottage at Kroft Commons. It was so beautiful and the adults so appreciated the beds. The kids of course made due with roll-aways and sofas.

We unpacked and then prepared for worship the next morning. We had eager volunteers to read scripture, offer prayer and share a message titled, “Living Faith.” The chapel was packed with residents and others watched on TV. We talked about some of our activities and what we’ve learned about God, Jesus and the church. We are living our faith and learning from others at the same time.

main-5After worship we met and visited with a member of our congregation Marjorie Jossi who told stories about her years teaching and her involvement in the church. Then we offered our prayers for Chapel Hill and the ministry of Pastor Sandy Hutchinson before returning to Louisville, Ohio.

Thank you so much for providing our meals and for allowing us to get to know about our connection to the wider ministries you provide to others.

Indeed, it was a weekend of sharing and praising God from one generation to the next.

Sincerely,
Rev. Joyce E. Schroer
Paradise United Church of Christ
Confirmation Class 2013
Ryan Mong, Quintin, Scheetz, Michelle Damron, Sydney Daniel,
Victoria Tritt, Autumn Folk, Rex and Donna Edwards, and Mark Sigler