About the Center

United Church Homes’ mission is to transform Aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace. The Center for Abundant Aging transforms aging through engagement, education and advocacy. Its initiatives provide for interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, promoting innovation, thought leadership and improvement of quality of life for older adults. The center brings together current theory and practice in the fields of gerontology, geriatrics, spirituality and aging, healthcare, housing and public policy.

Named in honor of the late Ruth Frost Parker, a former United Church Homes Board member, the center seeks to build on her vision and generosity, which continues to inspire and impact so many.

There is still so much work to be done. -Ruth Frost Parker

For more information about the Center for Abundant Aging, please contact us.

The aims and objectives of the Center for Abundant Aging:

  • Advance awareness and appreciation of the gifts that older adults contribute to society
  • Raise awareness of ageism to eliminate it from our cultural context
  • Enhance understanding of the facets of aging: physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotion and social
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration with those seeking to improve the quality of life for the older adults of today and the future
  • Serve as a resource about aging to public and private institutions, the media and community partners
  • Engage in ethical reflection on current mores and practices as they relate to the experience of aging

Supported by the Board of Directors and organized under United Church Homes’ tax exemption for charitable purposes, the Center for Abundant Aging was created with the support of the founding funders during United Church Homes’ centennial year.

  • Linda Brewer
  • Rev. John Cramton
  • Rev. Kenneth Daniel
  • Dr. E. Anne Eddowes
  • Adelle Elshoff
  • Suzanne Schoedinger Ellis
  • The Family of Ruth Frost Parker
  • The Frost-Parker Foundation
  • Plante Moran
  • Thomas & Marker Construction
  • United Church Homes Board of Directors

Meet Rev. Beth Long-Higgins

Beth Long-Higgins Executive Director Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins joined the United Church Homes Board of Directors in 2007 while serving as co-pastor of David’s United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester, Ohio. In 2013, she was called to serve on the staff at UCH and in 2017 was named as the founding executive director of the organization’s Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. A graduate of Heidelberg (College) University with degrees in psychology and music, Rev. Beth holds a Master of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Beth has been an ordained minister in the UCC for over 30 years. She is a musician, a fiber artist and the mother of two adult children.

Advisory Committee

Rev. John Cramton
United Church Homes Board of Directors Member, Chair, Ruth Frost Parker advisory committee, and Staff Chaplain, Ohio Health Hospice

Rev. Kenneth Daniel
President and CEO, United Church Homes

Ms. Gloria Hurwitz
Vice President, Advancement, United Church Homes

Rev. Bob Tussing
United Church Homes Board of Directors Member, Senior Pastor, Dublin Community United Church of Christ

Rev. Mark Frey
Retired Clergy, United Church of Christ

Dr. Susan McFadden
Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Ms. Larke Recchie
Director, Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Dr. Bob Applebaum
Professor, Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Scripps Research Fellow, Miami University 

Mr. John Franklin
Principal, Pearl Creek Advisors 

Ms. Susan Wallace
Director, Government Relations and Public Affairs, LeadingAge Ohio

Dr. Cynthia Dougherty
Director, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Office of Geriatrics and Interprofessional Aging. 

Mr. Dan Fagan
Director, Population Health, United Church Homes

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins
Executive Director, Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging, United Church Homes