Of Gifts and Giving

The Bible is full of lessons regarding gifts and giving, providing us with a rich 360-degree perspective of the importance of gifts in the teachings of Christ and their value to the essence of human existence.

The Bible also tells us there is a season for everything under heaven. I was reminded of these two notions recently when United Church Homes sponsored a series of Appreciation Dinners to recognize the impact that donors, volunteers and church congregations are having on our ministry to serve seniors in the areas of healthcare and affordable housing. Over a short span of time, we were blessed with the opportunity to meet, share fellowship with, and learn more about 700 of our most passionate and engaged stakeholders. It was an awesome and deeply personal experience.

As I listened to the tributes that were presented at each dinner, I walked away with a far greater appreciation for how fortunate United Church Homes is to be the beneficiary of so many gifts—time, treasure and talent—from so many people who are interested in how they can help support our work. What also struck me was how cheerful our donors, volunteers and congregants are to be part of the fabric of UCH. It was humbling for me to witness the nature, duration and genuineness of their generosity.

I invite you to see their generosity for yourself by accessing our newly revised and freshened website—unitedchurchhomes.org—and viewing the complete roster of our 2014 award winners. I’m certain you’ll be impressed.

The topic of gifts also touches much of content of this issue of Spirit, in ways both grand and modest. Our cover story takes a reflective view of three men who currently reside at Kroft Commons at Chapel Hill—Ralph Quellhorst, Paul Kiewit and Glenn Royer. While each of these gentlemen share many significant common threads with one another, it is their unique and different experiences that make them distinctive, fascinating and memorable. You can learn more about the gifts of these wise men on page 2.

All of us at United Church Homes consider it a great gift from God that we are now in a position to expand and improve our ministry of serving seniors. We currently have three major construction projects underway—Parkvue, Fairhaven and Chapel Hill—with the potential for others to follow in the months and years ahead. Learn more beginning on page 10, and stay tuned for future updates.

And finally, gifts may take on a different perspective once you meet Kathryn Sanders Rieder (page 12) and Graciella Quesada (page 18). Their points of view are (literally) a world apart, yet they’re also so very similar. Remarkably, both are welcome under the same umbrella and vibrant texture of individuals whose lives are being touched on a daily basis by United Church Homes.

Please join me in “Celebrating the Spirit” of United Church Homes, and thanks for your gift of being engaged and interested in what we do.