From the beginning of United Presbyterian Home’s history, the Christian faith has always been an important part of who we are as an organization. In 1947, the Home began as a residence for retired ministers, missionaries and teachers. The UP Home has always been blessed with individuals who were willing and able to spread their gifts to other members of the Home. Those residents also help us to maintain a strong faith-based foundation. As the population and the Home has grown and changed, we have found ourselves stretching to fill that piece of our whole-person wellness puzzle.
Recognizing that need, in the Fall of 2012 the Home began its search for a person to fill a new role on our campus—a full-time Chaplain. In December an applicant was chosen and offered the position. We are excited to add Reverend Linda “Kitch” Shatzer to our team. Kitch comes to the Home from the Ainsworth Community Church where she had been serving as Pastor since 2007. She has also held Pastoral positions at the United Presbyterian Church in Washington and the Brighton United Church as well as a part-time position as Chaplain with Hospice of Washington County.
The Chaplain position has been somewhat of a blank slate for Kitch as a new position at the UP Home, and she has filled the role well. She has spent a large portion of her first few months getting to know the residents and staff. Kitch can be found all over campus in our buildings, sitting in on both formal and informal meetings. She has spent time visiting residents at the hospital and her Bible study now boasts 15-20 members each week. She does a daily devotion and prayer in all three dining rooms on our campus. The list of her duties and programming continues to grow and the response from residents has been positive!
In the short time Kitch has been here she has also organized the UP Home’s first Ash Wednesday and Good Friday service which have both had great response. The UP Home looks forward to the continued development of the Chaplain position and what it will bring to our organization.