What’s In A Name?
One question that many of you may be asking is, “Why do we need to change our name?” The terms “Home” or “Homes” have served us well throughout our history, so “Why change now?” The short answer is to honor our mission by accurately reflecting the changing nature of our ministry.
Throughout the history of our ministry, our name has changed from “Methodist Episcopal” to “Methodist” and more recently to “United Methodist” to reflect changes in the Church. It also changed from “Home for the Aged and Infirmed” to “Homes” in order to reflect shifts in our attitudes toward aging and retirement living.
We were created as separate homes, by separate Methodist organizations to care for different populations. Now we are building an identity as one system, which is a community in itself. And as we expand into home and community-based services with United Methodist Communities HomeWorks, the communities and regions we serve will go far beyond our current brick and mortar infrastructure.
Our goal is to help seniors feel at home, whether that means remaining in their own homes, towns and congregations, or, if they choose to live in one of our communities, feeling like they are in new ones. While we plan to expand our brick and mortar footprint, even as we embrace United Methodist Communities HomeWorks, our ministry will be growing in new and exciting ways that the term “communities” more accurately represents.
As we now use the term residents, rather than inmates, and call our community leaders executive directors, rather than wardens, the term “communities” embraces the larger network of relationships which our future will bring.
Further, we work not merely as individual caregivers in isolated siloes, but as part of team. Like Jesus’ followers, who held all things in common and worked together to achieve their goals, we serve as a community. Likewise, the Apostle Paul understood that faith is lived in community, where each member’s gifts strengthen the community by complementing each other (1 Corinthians 12). Our individual gifts, roles and talents all shape and strengthen our communities, as we too are shaped and strengthened by serving within a community that values compassionate care.
So, what’s in a name? Our name reflects our identity by expressing who we are now and who God calls us to be; compassionate communities.