(Chelsea Update would like to thank Stephanie Van Koevering for the information in this story.)
Live Well by Faith: A Celebration of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, drew crowds to the United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Chelsea campus Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event celebrated UMRC’s 110th year of service to older adults and included a reception at Fireside Grill followed by a chapel service.
In addition to the more than 150 guests in attendance, the reception was attended by city of Chelsea Mayor Jason Lindauer, and guests of honor Bishop David Bard and his wife, Julie. Guests enjoyed food, fellowship and a birthday cake dedicated to UMRC.
It was standing room only afterward, when more than 140 attended the chapel service where Chelsea Retirement Community’s chaplain and director of spiritual life Cathy Rafferty led worship. There was also a performance from the Chelsea First United Methodist Church Choir, and Chelsea Retirement Community Chapel Choir who joined in unison with hymns and songs of praise.
“During our service, we invited leadership staff members to offer meditations on each of the guiding beliefs held by UMRC during the past 110 years,” said John Thorhauer, UMRC president and CEO. “Their thoughts, coupled with the blessing of so many family members, residents and friends who were on hand during the event, made the day one we’ll long remember.”
John Thorhauer’s comments about employees were heartfelt.
“As I think about the UMRC family, I reflect on the time my in-laws lived here at Chelsea Retirement Community,” Thorhauer said. “We had a caregiver here who knew my mother-in-law loved lattes from Starbucks. She stopped on her way to work twice a week and bought lattes out of her own paycheck to make sure my mother-in-law had her favorite drink. The employee had passion for her work and for meeting her patients’ needs in all the ways she could.”
Other highlights included a journey through the history of UMRC by VP of Project Development Kate Collins.
“From its humble beginnings as a home in the middle of nowhere for 16 retired Methodist clergy to today’s master plan for Chelsea Retirement Community, which is going to amaze you, the things that have been accomplished here are absolutely amazing,” Collins said. “Our board has been serious about layering a strategic, serious business model on top of the excellent programmatic care we provide.”
“This is holy ground, because in this place people have loved and cared for each other,” said Bishop Bard, who offered words of support and a dedication of the Michigan Area historical marker, to be displayed on the Chelsea Retirement Community campus.