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.”