Latest Spirit Articles


Volunteer Finds Family at Cherry Arbors
Rhonda Farley was tired to the bone. She had spent the past several years waking at 4 a.m. daily to help care for her aging mother. With the assistance of her grown son, Rhonda was providing around-the-clock care for her mother, Georgena, who was experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s…

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Sue Sheidler Reflects on 12 Years on UCH Board
Sue Sheidler has spent the past 11 years serving tirelessly on the United Church Homes Board of Directors. Throughout her tenure, Sue has served on every committee, including as chair of the nominating committee from 2009 – 2019. She was Board secretary from 2014 – 2018. Sue’s background in nursing…

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Stubbs Endowment Continues Legacy of Giving
The late Gertrude “Gertie” Stubbs made a long-lasting impact on United Church Homes’ Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. United Church Homes’ computer donor records go back to the early 1980s, showing Gertie began giving in 1983 and continued for a total of 22 years before her passing in May…

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UCH Welcomes New Leadership Staff
United Church Homes recently welcomed two new members to its leadership team as part of a strategic plan to drive growth in its senior living and affordable housing divisions. Sean Riley Sean Riley joined UCH as the regional director of operations for northern Ohio and Michigan. He is responsible for…

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A Family Affair
In May, I will complete two years as the chairperson of the UCH Board of Directors and nine years on the Board, so it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the connections and influences that draw people to a ministry like United Church Homes. Over the years that…

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Making an Impact
As part of its core value of transparency, UCH has begun documenting community benefits in three areas: Creating Abundant Life in Community Investment in Transforming Aging Building a Culture of Community, Wholeness and Peace Staff members track data related to the mission, vision and values by answering questions such as:…

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Reflections on the Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit
By Emily Howard Editor’s Note: The following is a blog post by Emily Howard, intern with the Advancement Office and Clinical Pastoral Education at Trinity Community’s ACPE Center, about the LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit, a two-day conference held in February in Dayton. To subscribe to the weekly blog, visit…

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In Memory: Connie Frater
Connie Frater, manager of Shawnee Springs in Bellefontaine, Ohio, died Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, following a prolonged hospital stay. She had been the manager of Shawnee Springs since it opened in 1995 and helped train many managers over the years. Connie was always willing to help wherever she was needed.…

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Chapel Hill’s Inaugural Resident Giving Campaign Was a Big Success
Through the hot summer months, Chapel Hill Community residents dreamed of frozen custard, but the community didn’t have a custard machine. Members of the Chapel Hill Residents Council decided this was an excellent project to tackle. Their plan was to raise the money for the custard machine and also encourage…

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Parkvue Community’s Walking Path Project Fully Funded
Nestled in a quiet, picturesque setting in Sandusky, Ohio, Parkvue Community has beautiful flowers, landscaping and water features for residents to enjoy. One of the highlights for all has been the walking path. However, years of weather and wear have made it difficult to use, with deep cracks across its…

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Examples of Engagement
Our residents are so engaged, we couldn’t write features on every story. Here are some highlights of other engagement activities by residents and staff of UCH communities from our Community Benefits Program. Cherry Arbors Dwight, a resident of Cherry Arbors, retired when he moved in. To fight boredom, Dwight began…

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Campaign for Abundant Life Winter Update
The Campaign for Abundant Life is increasing in momentum as more individuals, churches and community partners respond with support. 2019 marks year three of the five-year comprehensive campaign. The goal is to raise funds for charitable care, pastoral care, the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging, updated campuses for…

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Residents Establish New Endowment at Glenwood Community
The Glenwood Community Resident Association, made up of independent living residents, has planted the seed for a new endowment fund. Earnings from the endowment fund will help underwrite the costs needed to sustain the operations of Glenwood Community. This fundraising idea came about partly because of the advocacy of residents…

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Board Member Profile: Trevor Bates
Trevor Bates, a member of the United Church Homes Board of Directors, led a session on emotionally intelligent leadership at the 2018 UCH Leadership, Education, Achievement, Development, Success (LEADS) class. Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Trevor has a long history in academia and shared his expertise…

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Reflections on Love at the End of Life
This blog is the third in a series of reflections from the third annual Symposium with Dr. Ira Byock on Oct. 12, 2018, Abundant Aging Through the End of Life. It was written by Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging intern Emily Howard. To subscribe to the weekly blog,…

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Fairhaven Ambassadors Provide Companionship to New Residents
The purpose of the Fairhaven Community Friendship Ambassador Program is to provide companionship, comfort, hospitality, service and abundant life to friends and neighbors who have chosen Fairhaven as their home on life’s journey. Ambassadors spend one hour or more with a new resident during their initial visit; commit to checking…

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Pilgrim Manor’s VanRee Fund Provides Residents the Chance to See Grand Rapids
  Shirley and James Balk have given so much to the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Through the James and Shirley Balk Foundation, they’ve funded education initiatives, healthcare organizations and local arts. They’ve supported the nonprofit healthcare system Spectrum Health. Their foundation has beautified tourist attraction Frederik Meijer Gardens and…

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Chapel Hill Community Resident Delores Voltz
  Delores is a resident of United Church Homes’ Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Her connections to the community go back to her early adulthood in 1963, when her family helped prepare the earth for what would become Chapel Hill. Delores’ father, Leonard Hegnauer, a minister, helped lay…

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How Do I Know When My Estate Planning Documents are Outdated?
  As an estate planning attorney, one of my most frequently asked questions is, “how often should I review my estate planning documents (e.g., will or trust)? A plan is outdated if it no longer reflects your values and objectives. Life’s internal and external factors can alter your situation or…

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