Presby’s Inspired Life: Welcome Home

April 15, 2016

One door closed. Another opened.

In the most simplistic term that is how the ministry of Presby’s Inspired Life began. Fourteen indigent Presbyterian women were displaced from their home and the doors of Rosemont Presbyterian Village were opened to welcome them.

Sixty years later, the doors are still open—however, they’ve widened quite a bit. Today, more than 3,000 individuals, from a variety of economic and religious backgrounds have walked through the doors of a Presby’s Inspired Life community. That growth is directly linked to the ministry’s Presbyterian roots, a faith-community founded on the Christian values of love and respect for one’s neighbor.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25: 35-36 “A faith community has to be an open community. It needs to be a place where everyone is encouraged and welcomed,” said the Rev. Tom Summers, Chaplain at Presby’s Rydal Park community. Rev. Summers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, has been serving the Rydal Park community for three years. Like the Presby ministry, his service also extends well beyond his Presbyterian roots.

Individuals of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian (and the list goes on) are all under the wings of Rev. Summers’ care. “It is part of my job to foster a spirit of inclusion.” That spirit of inclusion comes in many forms, for example, a course on comparative religions that Rev. Summers offers at Rydal Park. “In doing it, what I try to do is show that, yes, we do have our differences, but the one thing that we hold in common is that we all believe in the same God. We have so many things that are similar and valuable and complementary, that we can learn and share with one another—particularly in a community as diverse as this.”

“Part of my decision to come here (Rydal Park) was the comfort of knowing it was a faith-based ministry,” says resident Alice Nowicke, a Roman Catholic and member of the Rydal Park Worship Committee. “I felt welcomed from the first day I walked in the door.”

We are proud to say that Presby’s Inspired Life is a community built on faith, grown by faith and sustained by faith. And that faith comes in many forms, in many traditions and in many people—all of whom are welcomed and loved because at Presby’s Inspired Life, the doors are always open.

That’s our promise

To read more about Presby’s Inspired Life Six Decades of Service to Older Adults, download the most recent Annual Report here