December 18, 2008
This note of appreciation from Larry was sent to all team members following the article which appeared in the Lancaster Newspapers on December 18, 2008 reporting Landis Homes’ positive rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
To all Landis Homes team members,
If you have the opportunity to read the Lancaster New Era, you may have noticed in yesterday’s paper a front-page article on “How our nursing homes rank” in Lancaster County. The article describes a new 1 to 5 Star rating system by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS provides federal oversight of nursing homes in the US.
Landis Homes Healthcare area received Five Stars, and we are joined by many other excellent four and five star organizations in Lancaster County. It is a real honor to receive a Five Star rating, as only 12% of nursing homes in the US are in this category.
While a rating system is only one way to measure quality and doesn’t show the total picture, we receive this news with gratitude for each team member here at Landis Homes, and all that you do in serving residents, supporting other team members, and carrying out the mission of Landis Homes to serve aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in communities of Christ-like love.
Read the article online here .
Many thanks for choosing to be part of the ministries at Landis Homes which serve both residents on our campus, as well as others who live throughout Lancaster County and surrounding areas.
Wishing you the joy, love and peace of Christ this Christmas Season!
Larry Zook, President
December 16, 2008
Meditation for Supervisors & Director’s Meeting
December 16, 2008
Presented by Director of Home & Community Services Faith Hoover
One of my favorite authors is Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message. I am currently reading a book he wrote titled Tell it Slant – A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers. The title of the book is taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson:
“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-
Success in circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind – ”
While Jesus preached and taught, what he seems to have done the most, as is true for most of us, is to speak conversationally. And often in his informal, walking around, eating with others conversations, he told stories. Storytelling is a powerful way to “tell it slant” A way to say something that invites the imaginative participation of the person listening. Not necessarily to communicate something new but to get it noticed. Or to take something seriously that we have dismissed as unimportant.
So today I would like to tell you a few stories that “tell it slant” about our Landis Homes Guiding Values.
It is the story of our President, overhearing a group of teachers at a local restaurant expressing their appreciation and respect for Landis Homes, quietly paying for their breakfasts as he left the restaurant.
It is a young caregiver attending our memory loss support group. When we gave a rose to each of the caregivers present, she took her rose and her mother’s rose to give to her coworkers who were grieving the fresh loss of a resident they loved.
It is Trace, responding to my apology for being frustrated and cranky, with an email full of humor and exuberant grace.
It is Greg, Dennis, Jay, Melissa and Nicholas and the Adult Day Services (ADS) staff together putting the Azalea room back into tip top shape in 10 minutes flat after the ADS Christmas dinner. It was a willingness to try something new – our entertainment in the Azalea room rather than the chapel – and together to agree that it served our guests well and that there was joy in working as one team to do it.
It is Jim with his quick, “Sure you can use the #4 van” to do an unexpected transport and coming and being certain the Landis at Home staff person knew how to use the lift in this particular van.
It is Adult day services staff, each day giving a fresh, glad welcome to each client as they arrive.
It is your warm smiles and friendly hellos that greet those you know and those you do not know
As I was preparing this meditation, I thought of the story in Matthew 25 that Jesus told about the perplexed sheep and goats. The King on his throne sorts out this mass of people like a shepherd would separate sheep and goats. The King says to the sheep on the right – Come, you are blessed by my Father! And here is why:
I was hungry and you fed me
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink
I was unable to dress myself and you clothed me
I was lost and you helped me to find my way
I was lonely and you listened to me
I was sad and you comforted me
And the perplexed sheep said to the King
What are you talking about?
When did we ever see you hungry – or thirsty – or lost – or lonely – or sad
And feed you or give you a drink or help you find your way or listen to you or comfort you?
And the King said
I am telling you the solemn truth
Whenever you did that to someone overlooked or ignored – that was me – you did it to me.
Which brings me back to a part of our guiding values statement that I have sometimes overlooked:
We commit to these values as we honor God in serving others.
As we honor God in serving others.
In this wonderful season we celebrate our exuberant giving God
The overwhelming gift of love – Jesus
And we honor Him as we serve others
In our informal conversations
In our practical service
As in our daily lives we create the stories that “tell it slant”
That tell the importance of each person
And define who we are.
Let us pray:
Loving God, thank you for all that we celebrate in this special season of remembering the incredible gift of your son, Jesus.
Thank you for your love that has transformed us, that makes it possible for us to live lives of love and hope.
Thank you for the privilege we have of honoring you by our service to each other and to the residents and clients who have chosen us to support them.
Keep us tender with those who grieve losses in many forms.
We are always grateful to you, Emanuel, God with us.
Tell it Slant – A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers by Eugene H. Peterson (Grand Rapids:Wm. B, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008).
September 28, 2008
Landis Homes Board Devotional
By Rachel Thomas Pellman
The Landis Homes Board of Directors begins each meeting with a meditation and prayer. Board Member Rachel Thomas Pellman shared the following meditation at the start of the September 26 Annual Meeting of the Board. It started a day that was devoted to planning for the future as facilitated by Rick Stiffney and Lee Schmucker of MHS Alliance.
Landis Homes history is rooted in a desire to seek God’s guidance and in prayer, and Rachel’s meditation is illustrative of this rich tradition.
Sometimes we need to look back to be reminded of God’s presence with us. I am a person who is directionally challenged. I get lost very easily. It’s a fact I’ve learned to live with, and though it’s sometimes frightening, and often frustrating, I’ve found ways to cope with this disability. I’ve learned to watch for markers.
For instance, I know that I turn left at the blue house, or at the big willow tree. It reassures me to have these landmarks. I think our walk through life also needs landmarks. I believe it is helpful to mark events and acknowledge God’s presence with us. Each time we do that, we place a stone in our pathway.
When we are stalled for some reason, not sure which way to turn, sometimes it’s helpful to look back and notice where God has been in our past. The road ahead may seem uncertain and uncharted, but if we take a moment to look back, we see behind us a pathway marked by stones and we can be assured that God is at our side, willing to walk with us into the future.
As we think to the future of Landis Homes, perhaps it is helpful to look at the path behind us. Reading the history of Landis Homes by A. Grace Wenger, I noticed that at the first meeting of the Mission Board appointed planning committee, Orie Miller led a devotional meditation based in the Psalms.
“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. Your power and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens.”
He noted in that devotional that 10% of the US population was over the age of 65, and more than a million people were over 85. He asked, “Why is God giving us these additional years, and answered his own question by saying, “Certainly for a purpose, and youth and old age together should find ways to make these extended years meaningful.”
Landis Homes welcomed its first residents in February of 1964. Health care started with the first nurse hire in May of 1964. In 1965, the rate for constant care was $6.75/day and intensive care was $7.75. Cost for a food tray served in a resident room was 25cents.
On June 12, 1970, at the dedication service of Bethany Center (now East Bethany Chapel), The board members dedicated themselves, “to the continuous pursuit of the abundant Christian life for those senior citizens who choose Landis Homes for life’s eventide.”
Over the years special services were added, therapy, podiatry visits, hearing aid services, lab services.
Preventive measures like wellness programs enhanced life for both residents and staff. In-service training programs were added for nursing assistants.
The first pastor was hired part-time in 1970 to provide spiritual ministry to residents.
Social services began and volunteer coordinators went into action. Residents Council addressed concerns ranging from “more beans and less ham when ham and beans are served”, to questions of whether there might be a bank on campus.
The LH history lists several dreams for LH, and I quote several:
“We ought to work harder to make our facilities available to low-income retirees”.
This dream comes in the form of a question:
“Should we bring everyone to this location? Should we discover ways to provide services to aging people who want to stay in their own homes?”
And another question:
“Couldn’t we have health services located on our grounds – a medical center, dentist’s offices, laboratories, a drug store – instead of driving residents to off-campus offices.
These dreams, at the time likely seemed big and maybe hard to accomplish. Looking back over the stepping stones in our path, we see that many have already come to fruition.
As we look ahead, we do so with the information of our history. We look forward with humility, but also with confidence. We place our hands in the hand of God, knowing that God is present. We make the best and wisest decisions we can, knowing that years from now, the stones we place on the path will be the information left for others.
As I read the following biblical texts, I’d like for us to pay particular attention to the image of hands.
I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Matt 9:25 (this is the story of Jesus raising a young girl from the dead) it says:
He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.
Mark 8: parts of 23-25 (story of the blind man)
He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village….Then Jesus laid hands on his eyes again….and he saw everything clearly.
There are many more. But the image that I’d like for us to ponder is the goodness of leaving things in the hands of God, and the tenderness of the hands of Jesus.
There is a story of a little girl who went with her mother to an old country store. The mother didn’t get to the store frequently so she stocked up on supplies and spent a substantial amount of money. Grateful for the business, the storekeeper noticed the little girl by her side and told her she may reach into the candy bin and take a handful of candy.
The little girl made no move toward the candy stash so the shopkeeper reached in and grabbed a handful and gave it to the mother. Outside, the mother looked at the child and said, “What’s the matter, don’t you like this candy?” “Oh yes!” said the little girl, “I love it! But his hands are much bigger than mine!”
I think too often we forget that God’s hands are much bigger than ours. They serve as a place of healing and of refuge.
We can look back and see God’s presence with us. As we look ahead, we walk forward with our hands in God’s hand; we go with the assurance of God’s presence and guidance.
God of our past, our present, and our future, we gratefully acknowledge your presence. We ask for clarity of thinking, willingness to listen and to learn, wisdom to discern the best path, and confidence to move forward with our hand in yours.
September 25, 2008
Welcome and Prayer
Good evening and a special welcome to the Landis Homes Annual Banquet, which is held each year in conjunction with the Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting. In 2008 the Landis Homes Board, residents, and staff refreshed our Guiding Values. We shortened the list from seven to five to make the values easier to remember, and the one new value that was identified was “Community”, which includes the former value that it replaced, Teamwork. The guiding value of Community is further described as “Relating with a spirit which is characterized by cooperation, teamwork, encouragement and mutual respect, valuing each person, affirming gifts and abilities, and seeking improvement through learning, creativity and openness to change.”
This evening we gather representing the community that is Landis Homes. We include residents, former and current board members, church leaders, business and public sector partners, other senior living and health care providers, educators, former and current staff, and other friends of Landis Homes.
We gather as an opportunity to strengthen community through enjoying a meal together. We gather as an opportunity to learn as our guest speaker, Mike Hall shares a vision of the future of senior living and services in Pennsylvania. And we gather to affirm the Landis Homes guiding values of Joy, Compassion, Integrity, Stewardship and Compassion and to affirm our mission of serving aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in a community of Christ-like love.
One of the expressions of community is celebration, and we are also gathering on the wedding anniversary of two persons who are here this evening, and we can’t miss this opportunity to help them celebrate! Bill and Linda Forrey are celebrating their 43rd Anniversary. I invite you to join in congratulating them! I’d add that Bill also generously has served for a number of years as Chair of the Landis Homes Benefit Golf Tournament. Thank you, Bill!
I’d also like to acknowledge the presence of two guests from out-of-state, Rick Stiffney, CEO of Mennonite Health Services Alliance located in Indiana, and Lee Schmucker, who is from Kansas. Rick and Lee are supporting the Landis Homes Board in doing strategic planning, and will be facilitating a planning session with the Board tomorrow. The Board is beginning to focus on several broad initiatives, including keeping the retirement community strong and vital; affordable living, services at home, and creative partnerships. Perhaps some of these topics may come up in our dinner time discussion this evening.
Thank you again for coming, and before our meal, I invite you to join in inviting God’s blessing on our time together…
Lord, we thank you for this expression of community here this evening as we gather to fellowship, learn, and express gratitude for your faithfulness over the years. Bless this food, those who prepared it, and our fellowship together. Amen
Introduction of Mike Hall
It is a real privilege as a Landis Homes community to welcome John Michael Hall of the Pennsylvania Office of Long Term Living.
Mike was appointed as Deputy Secretary, Office of Long Term Living in March 2007. The Office of Long Term Living oversees the Departments of Aging and Public Welfare and is charged with oversight of the program, policy and fiscal operations of long term living in both agencies.
Prior to coming to Pennsylvania, Mike spent 11 years in state government in Vermont and Maine, most recently as Deputy Commissioner in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Mike also brings extensive legal experience, through his 14 years at Vermont Legal Aid where he served in multiple capacities including Director of the Elderly Law Unit and Director of the Senior Citizens Law Project.
We’ve invited Mike to share an overview of the office of long term living and his view of how and where seniors could receive services in the future. There will be a brief time for questions following Mike’s sharing with us. Thanks again, Mike, for joining us this evening!
Recognition of Ken Brubaker’s Service.
It is a special privilege as a community to recognize the leadership that Ken has provided to the Landis Homes Board over his five years of serving as Board Chair from 1995 to 1998, and again this past year. Since Ken has reached the end of his term and this is his last annual meeting as Board Chair, we are recognizing his leadership, and his participation in the board for 18 years ranging from 1990 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2008. As an expression of appreciation, we have an autographed copy of the book by Landis Homes residents Dr. J. Lester and Lois Eshleman entitled “Landis Homes in Color”. This book includes 100 color photographs reflecting the changing seasons and taken on the Landis Homes campus and its surroundings. Ken, thank you, and I hope you enjoy this book which truly captures the beauty of God’s creation!
August 7, 2008
By Larry Zook, President & CEO
August 7, 2008
I am a strong supporter of use of technology whenever it can help build community, enhance communication, support cognitive fitness, or enable persons to live at the place they desire to call home for as long as they choose.
At Landis Homes the Nintendo Wii game console has offered all ages the opportunity to gather in community around a virtual game of bowling, baseball or tennis. Residents bowl with other residents, and children join in during the summer when school age day campers are on campus. Laughter is often heard among the cheers and “way-to-go’s” as bowlers make strikes and batters hit home runs.
Landis Homes was an earlier adopter of technologies to support communication of residents with their friends and families. E-mail stations have been spread across campus, and much of the campus is covered by broadband wireless internet service. The Keenagers Computer Club meets regularly to provide on-going learning opportunities about computer use. The group meets in the Dogwood Learning Center that is equipped with computers that are available to residents and staff to support communication and learning.
The internet also has provided a way to keep in touch with the family and church through sharing of photos, videos, and audio recordings. At East Chestnut Street Mennonite, the church my family attends, we recently began to place audio recordings of sermons online. This is a help to older members who are not able to attend services and those serving in other locations.
Supporting Cognitive Fitness…
An exciting new application of computer technology is in supporting cognitive fitness. Landis Homes recently purchased the [m]Power brain fitness system, which according to life enrichment director Marva Godin, “makes (the residents’) feel like they’re having fun and gives their brains a workout in critical thinking, memory and computation skills.”
Living longer where one chooses…
New technologies are also available to support persons who desire to live in their current home as long as possible. One such system, QuietCare, seeks to provide peace of mind for elders who live independently. It helps give peace of mind to children and other caregivers as it both alerts in the event of emergencies, as well as serves as an early detection system in giving notification of health problems before they become emergencies.
In June, my family had the privilege to travel back to China where Dawn and I taught for two years in the early 90s. We had a wonderful time visiting friends and seeing the amazing changes happening in China today. On the way home we spent a week in Japan where we visited the Panasonic ECO & UD Home of the Future. The home is designed to be both ECOnomically and ECOlogically friendly and incorporates Universal Design principles that support aging in place.
Panasonic identifies 6 Principles of Universal Design incorporated in the technology that it seeks to seamlessly incorporate into daily life…
Easy to understand operations
Space to support easy access
Uncomplicated displays and indicators
Peace of mind and security
Natural posture and ease of movement
Consideration of how product is used and maintained
The home includes space for three generations as it provides a “Grandmother’s Room” nearby rooms for children. Its design allows family members to sense the presence of others, allowing them to freely come and go while respecting individual privacy.
The home also incorporates “green” design elements and technologies that are purported to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by the year 2010 to one third of the figure recorded in 2000.
May 8, 2008
By Larry Zook
The Landis Homes community lost a dear brother and friend on Ascension Day 2008 when former Administrator George Leaman passed on to his heavenly home. At his memorial service held in West Bethany Chapel on May 6, 2008, many from his family and among the Landis Homes staff remembered George and his wife Grace as very gracious, caring servant leaders whose legacy lives on in the community today at Landis Homes.
A special memory that I have is being able to visit briefly with George along with chaplain Glenn Metzler a few days before his death, and being able to thank him for his love and service to so many residents and staff over the years, both as Administrator from the beginning of Landis Homes in 1964 through to his retirement in 1978, and then in the following years as he was an active volunteer and participant in community life.
Current resident A. Grace Wenger has given the gift of memory to the Landis Homes community by capturing the following excepted stories in the book, Landis Homes – The First Thirty Years:
Ninety-year old Henry Weber and his wife, Mary, the first residents of Landis Homes, moved into Unit A on February 18, 1964. Having chosen to pay $1,000 of the $4,000 entrance fee, they were charged $43 a month in addition to the basic rate of $100 a month per person. George and Grace Leaman, designated as superintendent and matron, had already moved from “The Dell,” an attractive woodland home near Mount Joy, into one unit of a quadruplex, even though the interior was still unfinished and the floors bare. Until the first live-in workers arrived, the Leamans slept in the main building so the Webers would not be alone.
The decision to use asphalt tile in bedrooms and carpet in halls, lobbies and lounges caused an unexpected problem for the first administrator. When incoming residents asked for wall-to-wall carpeting in their rooms, George Leaman spent many days making doors a half-inch shorter to fit the carpet.
The Development of Staff and Admissions subcommittee drew up recommendations for needed staff, hiring policies, and staff housing. After a number of unfruitful leads, they were able to report to the Planning Committee on November 5, 1963, that George and Grace Leaman of Mount Joy had consented to be superintendent and matron. The superintendent’s duties were listed as “general supervision, guest application, property maintenance, purchase of supplies and guest travel.” The matron was to take charge of housekeeping, be responsible for kitchen and laundry and supervise guests and volunteers who helped in the home.
From the very first day, Landis Homes had a home-like environment, due to the warm-hearted leadership of George and Grace Leaman. George found he had to be janitor, maintenance man, chauffeur, admissions counselor, business manager, social worker and activities director.
Grace & George Leaman, 1965.
Fostering good feelings among residents was a priority for the Leamans.
On Monday morning, December 5, 1977, following Edward Longenecker’s installation as administrator, George and Grace officially retired, although they continued to serve as volunteers for many years.
Attesting to the impact George had on their lives, a number of former Landis Homes employees were among those gathered in West Bethany Chapel to remember the person they called a mentor, friend and leader during his years as Administrator. According to Landis Homes records, there are eight staff persons currently employed who were hired by George.
Long before we placed our guiding values in writing, George, and his co-workers, like those serving in the ministry of Landis Homes today, lived out the values of Joy, Compassion, Integrity, Stewardship and Community. For the lasting legacy that George left through his servant leadership, we are grateful to God.
To view George W. Leaman’s obituary, please click below.
by Larry Zook
March 26, 2008
One of the joy-filled experiences of life is to join with others in community and teamwork to achieve something that couldn’t be achieved alone. One such example is the effort this past year to refresh our Guiding Values at Landis Homes. After inviting staff, residents and board members to share which values they feel most passionate about, what might be missing, and how the values might be improved, the attached refreshed Guiding Values were approved at the March 25 Landis Homes Board Meeting.
One of the contributions of the Board was their encouragement to shorten the list from seven to five values, while still retaining the ideas found in the list of seven. This resulted in two values, creativity and excellence, being incorporated in other values. The value of teamwork was also renamed to “community”, while still incorporating the teamwork idea in the description. Other ideas, such as diversity and broadening the definition of stewardship to include not only financial, human and material resources, but other resources as well such as God’s creation, time and other things God entrusts to our care, are included in the refreshed values as well.
In the Board discussion leading to approval of the refreshed values, the question was posed as to how we can easily remember the five values. After the meeting, Board Member Rachel Pellman, who also coordinates the Fellowship Day quilt auction along with her husband Ken, got back to us with the suggestion of Jesus Christ In Street Clothes, where the first letter of each word corresponds to one of our five values:
“Jesus Christ In Street Clothes” captures well all that is represented by Jesus taking the towel and basin and washing the disciples feet, and his invitation to us to be his representative in serving others.
I welcome also hearing any other ideas for ways to remember the five values. My hope, starting with myself, is that these values are lived out with integrity as we each are stewards of the mission God has entrusted to us.
March 18, 2008
C.S. Lewis one time loved a dog, and this led him to believe that there ought to be some provision in Christianity for the pets that we love to be reunited with us in heaven. This is a word of comfort to those who grieve the loss of a pet.
The Landis Homes community was blessed by such a pet, Gabe, a loving golden retriever, who spent 24 hours a day, seven days a week with us for 9 ½ years until he retired in November 2008 to the home of a son of a resident who he had befriended.
Gabe was a special friend to all residents, but to some he was an especially faithful companion. These persons knew Gabe well, and were known by him. Stories have been shared about how Gabe could sense that someone was dying, and that he stayed with the resident even after death.
Gabe died on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, but the special memories of his time with us live on. As C.S. Lewis also said, “You can’t see anything clearly when your eyes are blurred with tears.” Yet when the tears clear, we can clearly remember a friend who was part of our journey to do our best in serving one another in a community of Christ-like love.
A special thanks to those in the Landis Homes community, whether staff team members, residents, family members, volunteers, children in the Children’s Learning Center or Summer Adventure program, and others who supported Gabe’s time with us! Your gift to community life is appreciated!
– Larry Zook, President
February 18, 2008
by Larry Zook
On Wednesday, February 13, the Landis Homes Board lost a valued member as Harold Stauffer unexpectedly died at age 70. Following are comments that I shared at Harold’s Memorial Service on February 18 at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, where Harold and his wife Connie, and my wife, Dawn, and I were in a small group together. Harold’s death came as a shock and a real loss to many, and we remember Connie and Harold’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
It has been a real privilege for Dawn and me to have been part of a small group with Harold and Connie here at East Chestnut Street for nearly 14 years. I believe each of us who have been part of the group deeply appreciated Harold’s gentle, strong spirit which was colored with a special sense of humor. We could tell by his smile and a twinkle in his eye that a fun comment was coming, and we were never disappointed!
At the same time, Harold shared his passionate side with the group, including his passion for reading and learning, and for justice and for living out his faith. We will miss the wisdom Harold shared as we continue to meet as a small group.
Harold also showed a deep love and respect for Connie, and together they modeled for Dawn and me how beautiful marriage can be. It was evident that Connie and Harold truly enjoyed spending time with each other, and we know that his loss will be keenly felt.
Another way that I appreciated learning to know Harold was in his role as a Board member at Landis Homes where I serve as president. The Board and staff of Landis Homes will very much miss his active engagement and participation. This past week several Board members shared reflections from their experience of serving with Harold.
Lois Good shared that Harold was always prepared for board meetings and brought fresh ideas and perspectives. One of Harold’s many gifts was to ask questions and think critically. However, he always offered his thoughts with sensitivity and readiness to listen to other perspectives.
Rachel Pellman shared that Harold brought a sensitivity and thoughtfulness to board discussions. She sensed that Harold truly understood the Landis Homes vision and was intentional about keeping it on point. Rachel said that even though his physical presence will no longer be with us, she expects we will continue to remember Harold’s perspectives.
James Martin remembered being blessed by a devotional Harold shared at our January Board meeting, which was the day after Martin Luther King Day. In the meditation, Harold noted King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He shared that King worked to make that dream a reality, recognizing he might never see fulfillment of that dream.
Harold said that dreaming can be energizing and life-giving to self and others. He challenged us to dream boldly, to dream large, and to dream courageously with faith together in community. Harold was a man who had the courage to dream, and his life encourages us to continue to dream courageously in faith.
On behalf of our East Chestnut Street small group and the Landis Homes community, our thoughts and prayers are with Connie and family, and all who are affected by the loss of a dear friend.
January 1, 2008
by Larry Zook
My family and I were blessed this past December when we attended the excellent production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster. Perhaps those of you who attended, or know the story, were reminded, as I was, of the value of traditions, the certainty of change, and the importance of convictions.
Landis Homes is a community of rich and varied traditions. I see it as a community of people (residents and staff) motivated by the tradition of serving others with a Christ-like love as exampled by Jesus.
Just as in “Fiddler,” we too are experiencing changes. We have changes in the Board of Directors, the organizational leadership and toward a culture of person-centered service. As individuals some are experiencing change in their health or change brought about by the loss of a loved one. We also see the change of welcoming new members into the family, whether the biological family or the Landis Homes family of residents and staff. We all experience change regularly.
In the midst of change, I believe it is helpful to step back and reaffirm our convictions and beliefs. As I enter my second year of service as president of Landis Homes, I reflect back over many conversations with residents, staff, board members, volunteers, prospective residents, church leaders, and business partners. Out of those conversations I reaffirmed the following convictions that I sense many in the Landis Homes community share and value.
The Landis Homes community desires to bring honor and glory to God through seeking God’s will through prayer and to carry out its mission of serving aging adults and their families by honoring and enriching their lives in a community of Christ-like love.
Conversation, active listening, and active communication are all very important. They nurture the life and health of our community. Early last year I met with each department director and found there was strong agreement that the best way to understand the desires of residents and clients is through conversations with those we serve.
We value our strong ties with local congregations, including those of our sponsoring churches in Lancaster Mennonite and Atlantic Coast Conferences. We are excited about providing several new services including the Landis at Home program, which serves adults in their own homes within a 15-mile radius of our campus. Another service is a “Speakers Resource Listing” available to churches and other organizations through our website, www.landishomes.org.
Our Guiding Values of compassion, creativity, joy, integrity, stewardship, teamwork and excellence are very helpful in leading our individual and organizational decision-making. In 2007 we took another look at these values, reaffirmed the ideas they represent, and, with the encouragement of the Board, in 2008 will shorten the list in order to make it easier to remember. We will combine some of the ideas and focus on what makes Landis Homes unique. Newly “refreshed” guiding values will be coming soon!
As a community-minded, non-profit organization, we recognized anew the importance of communicating the ways we benefit the Lancaster community-through providing benevolent care to residents who have exhausted their resources and through contributing in various ways to the broader community beyond our campus. The mission of Landis Homes could not be carried out without the many persons who generously give their time as volunteers and/or their finances in support of our mission.
We eagerly anticipate the future, which, over the next several years, includes plans to expand residential living accommodations by adding cottages and a new construction concept we are describing as hybrid homes. As Linford Good describes in this issue of Horizons, we at Landis Homes are actively engaged in seeking to be sensitive to the environment and to be good caretakers of God’s creation as we build oand renovate on campus. As the Landis Homes Residents’ Council recommended in early 2007, we will seek to continue our tradition of not building the largest or most extravagant, but in line with our desire to be good stewards of the earth and its resources, will incorporate the values of simplicity, stability and durability.
It is a privilege to live and work in a community that seeks to serve one another while bringing honor and glory to God. Thank you for choosing to be a part of this community!