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Everyday Saints

This is part two of a four-part series of stories of people who have shined their light as a beacon in service to others. When we celebrate All Saints’ Day, we remember those who died as witnesses to the Christian faith. A saint is a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous. The informal definition of “saint” is a...

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October Book Series: Elderhood

Introduction to Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life
“Considering how old you are…” “If you were my father, I would…” “Given your age…” These are just three of the phrases my doctors use now when I have my annual checkups. I walk out of their examination rooms with a long list of don'ts, the feeling that I am wearing...

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Indispensable Older Adults

Is there an issue of social justice in regards to older adults? Yes. Working as a chaplain at a retirement community, I see multiple ways that people view older adults as dispensable — dispensable, meaning nonessential, able to be replaced, disposable, unneeded, and superfluous.
Pay Attention to Older Adults' Wishes and Values
So many visitors treat these important and worthy...

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Learning Life Lessons at the Knees of the Dying

This blog is the second in a series of reflections from the 3rd annual Symposium with Dr. Ira Byock on October 12, 2018, Abundant Aging Through the End of Life. After coming home from United Church Homes’ Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging’s 2018 Annual Symposium, featuring keynote Dr. Ira Byock, my husband and I went to Ann...

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Aging Hero: Lottie Allen, Graceful One

When I grow up, I want to be like Lottie Allen. Lottie Allen was a resident at United Church Homes' Pilgrim Manor. Lottie moved into our health center when she was 91. Until that point, she was feisty, independent and living alone. However, as her dementia progressed, she had difficulty taking her medications and handling day-to-day life on her...

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Spiritual Practices: Aging, Forgiveness

Would you believe me if I told you that elders are generally more likely to forgive than the rest of us? It might sound backwards on first hearing, especially in light of the stereotypes that are so often attached to elder Americans. How often are elders depicted as cantankerous, set in their ways, bitter or downright grumpy? Think of  

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Giving Voice to LGBTQ Older Adults Conference

Gen Silent conference set for April 14

COLUMBUS — Ohio groups advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) older adults are joining efforts for the Columbus premier of Gen Silent, a film that explores the unique challenges faced by LGBT seniors as they navigate healthcare and housing needs, at North Congregational UCC. The documentary by award-winning director and...

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Spirituality of Gratitude

When I was a new pastor visiting congregational members in the hospital, I was surprised when some would deny pain or brush aside comfort. Instead, they would say, “I’m just grateful I have life,” even though they were grappling with cancer, serious diseases or debilitating pain. At first, I viewed their gratitude suspiciously. Was it just a pat answer to...

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Older adults are happier than any other phase of adulthood

Abundance: An Essential Part of Aging

Three years ago, the Board of Directors of United Church Homes, along with the executive leadership team, and select staff and residents from one of our senior living communities met to begin a process to develop a new vision, mission and core values statement. As a faith-based organization, it was fitting that the facilitator began with a biblical text as...

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Residents at the Pilgrim Manor community in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Say What?: Changing the Conversation

One of the ongoing conversations that we will periodically share has to do with the language that we use when we talk about many things related to aging. We know that this world in which we all are aging is changing. Baby boomers do not talk like, look like or expect to be treated like the generations that have aged...

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2018 Community Benefits Report

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Comprehensive Campaign for Abundant Life

Learn more about the historic effort to raise $20 million over five years through the Comprehensive Campaign for Abundant Life at United Church Homes.

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