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United Methodist Communities engage Spring 2019 singles pages (1)

VOLUME 8 | NUMBER 1 | Spring 2019

Associate Stories

Let Your Light Shine

Siblings at The Shores
The Get-Along Gang



Volume 8, Number 1 With the theme, Then and Now, the last engage! contrasted
Spring 2019 various aspects of United Methodist Communities’ history.
However, one thing has remained constant — our associates’
Editor: absolute dedication to residents and clients. This issue, themed
Janet M. Carrato Associate Stories, portrays several associates and also includes the
debut of UMC’s Connections video series, which highlights the
Composition: close bonds between residents and associates. It’s also viewable
Merz on our YouTube channel, so become a subscriber today at!
Janet M. Carrato I always return to the Home Office from visits to our campuses
Dennis Degnan filled with thanks, inspiration and admiration for associates,
Getty Images particularly those in direct care. In their everyday interactions, these
Pamela Joyce shining stars deliver and demonstrate our four core values: compassion,
Eileen Lindmeier respect, stewardship and service in all circumstances.
Gary Engelstad It’s easy to observe how they go about their work with a sense of
Image Revolver purpose and mission. Indeed, our recent Great Place to Work
Jackie Santonastaso certification makes official their pride, job satisfaction, love of what
Kathryn Speer
they do, and appreciation for the rewards, as well as good leadership.
Managing Board
Here’s one example an associate shared with me:
Janet M. Carrato,
Director of Communications A resident who likes to chat came into my office with a photo
and Public Relations album. He loves to snap photos and create humorous one-liner
Jeannette M. Holder-Edghill, captions. He explained that he only takes out this particular
Corporate Manager of Housing album once a year — it features photos of his deceased spouse
Gary Engelstad, in happier times.
Annual Giving Officer I felt overwhelmed that he shared these obviously painful, but
Rebecca Roe, special memories with me. As an associate, this experience showed
Donor Relations Coordinator
me how we become “family” to our residents. I’m not just an
Robbie Voloshin, administrative assistant, but a real part of the residents’ lives.
Corporate Director of Marketing Our jobs are not just an occupation, but a vocation and calling.
Matt Weinbaum,
Digital Marketing Strategist Human connectivity matters greatly, enriches our lives, and
abundantly fuels our experiences. Come to the feast!
Cover Photo: Gertrude Kehleay, housing
administrator of United Methodist
Communities at The Wesleyan, often
wears colorful and distinctive prints
made in her native country, Liberia
(see story on page 10).

All photo subjects are listed in order Janet M. Carrato
from left to right throughout this
magazine, unless indicated.



By Robbie Voloshin

Walk into the Bistro at United Methodist Communities
at Collingswood and you’ll meet Sheila Coleman, the
smiling face behind the register. Sheila has worked at
Collingswood for 12 years, after spending 20 years in
the dry cleaning business.

At the suggestion of Concetta, the Collingswood
receptionist, she applied and became part of the team.
Sheila started as a hostess in the dining room and now
works the Bistro taking orders, cooking a little, and
doing some stocking and ordering.
Sheila (center) chats with Dot Rouh (left) and Anna Hawley
(right), two residents eating lunch in the Bistro.
Working in the Bistro suits Sheila to a tee since she
loves having a chance to get to know people. In fact, if A traditional holiday family activity in the Coleman
you are a Bistro regular, she knows you by name! She household is baking cookies, with chocolate chip being
didn’t plan on working with seniors, but finds that she number one. Sheila enjoys church. In her spare time
loves and feels grateful that the residents like her and she loves to dance and goes to cabarets with friends.
appreciate what she does. Movies are another love, especially true stories and

Sheila married her husband Tony in 1974 and was dramas. One of her favorites is What’s Love Got to
widowed in 1996. She has two sons and a daughter, Do with It, based on the life of Tina Turner, played by
six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her Angela Bassett.
“grand” advice is to enjoy them if they’re close to you Sheila loves the people at Collingswood and thinks it’s
and talk to them regularly if they’re not. a great place to work. Next time you’re visiting, stop in
the Bistro, have some lunch, and say, “Hi” to Sheila.
Robbie Voloshin is Corporate Director of Marketing.


United Methodist Communities’ free Connected Living app keeps you connected to
your community when you’re on the go. It’s available for Apple and Android devices
and can be downloaded for free.
Private community codes allow the app to display calendars, menus, photos, and
more. Ask the Director of Community Life or Director of Sales for the code for your
community to get started.

Visit the App Store or Google Play and download today.




By Janet M. Carrato

Chrissy (Christine) Longcor and Mabel Davison,
housekeepers in Bristol Glen’s Independent Living
Residence, previously worked for the now-defunct
Morley Shirt Company. Chrissy sewed linings into shirt
collars, while Mabel turned the collars right side out
and pressed them. Despite the close job descriptions,
the two rarely came in contact with one another.

Almost 11 years ago, Mabel became an associate,
recognized Chrissy who had already been there for
about six years, and made the connection. With
teamwork that would impress any efficiency expert,
they systematically rotate duties while cleaning Chrissy and Mabel’s partnership makes for a perfect team.
between 12 and 16 apartments every day. Outside of work, Mabel likes to knit, garden, crochet,

Their supervisor, Assistant Building Services Director, and gift homemade jams and pickles. She reflects, “We
Trevor Wilson says to Mabel and Chrissy, “You have have some amazing residents — a lady who can’t see,
too much fun. I don’t know why I put you two together.” but still manages to knit hats, for example.”
“Now, we sometimes finish each other’s sentences,” Chrissy likes to read,
observes Mabel. Both share the same Zodiac sign and make jewelry and spruce
proudly agree, “Our mutual Scorpio traits include up her recently-purchased
intense loyalty to family and friends — we stick together.” home. She reflects, “The
residents make my job
They enjoy and always make time for residents. For very pleasant. I love every
example, they check on residents when they return last one and each has
home after extended time away, fix little things, open touched my life, given
bottles, and reach items in high places. During their guidance and honest
personal time, Mabel and Chrissy even walked Maggie, feedback.”
a 13-year-old cocker spaniel, while her owner, Rosemary
Owen, was recovering from surgery last year. Rosemary benefits from Chrissy and Mabel know
walking Maggie outdoors a few residents who own
Rosemary comments, “Maggie loves them both and several times each day. Morley’s shirts and
they are special to me, too.”
quickly add, “If anything is wrong with the collar,
The admiration is mutual. Rosemary sometimes bakes don’t blame us.”
treats for Mabel and Chrissy. In turn, they give Janet M. Carrato is Director of Communications and
Rosemary hugs and kisses when she’s feeling low or Public Relations.
having a bad day.
A longer version of this article will appear on the
UMC Blog in March.


By Gary Engelstad

The Belfield siblings, Donna, dining server; Owen, housekeeper; Calvin, dishwasher; and Orin, dining server.

It’s not uncommon for brothers and sisters to work Their faith is also essential to all of them. Donna joins a
together. One finds a great place to work and short prayer group every morning. “It started with a
encourages another to join them. It is very unique, resident and me just singing worship songs and now
however, when four siblings all work at the same the group is growing. We pray to be happy for another
place. Meet the Belfield siblings: Donna, Owen, Calvin day, we pray for those who are sick, we remember our
and Orin. country, and we pray for peace in the land.”

Originally from Guyana, over the years they have all Orin states that “the residents enjoy talking to us
come to work in a special environment — United about God, either through their singing or to have a
Methodist Communities at The Shores — and to be little talk. We share with them and that makes them feel
closer to their mother and to each other. so good.”

Their love and admiration for their mother carries There has been one downside to their move to New
through in how they go about their various duties at Jersey — the weather. They comment that it actually
The Shores and in their relationships with residents. feels warmer sometimes in Ocean City than it does in
Forming strong relationships is important to all of Guyana. “It’s the humidity,” and of course, the
them. The residents share stories about their youth and reverse, “I don’t like the cold,” the four laughingly
details about their lives. All of the Belfield siblings talk voice.
about how close they have become to many residents.
Their advice to new employees? “Keep focused on the
Donna likes to use her outside skills as a massage residents, keep focused on your work. Be a respectful
therapist when serving breakfast. “Sometimes I can person, pay attention and ask questions, and
sense their loneliness, so a nice back rub is very everything will be easier on your part.”
important,” Donna says.
Gary Engelstad is Giving Officer for the United
Methodist Communities Foundation.




By Gary Engelstad

Jeff (third from left) helps at the barbecue grill during Bristol Glen’s Burgers with the Boss event in August 2018. Fellow associates, Miles
Scott, dining services director (leftmost); executive director, Jeff Lisk (second from left); and Trevon Wilson, assistant building services
director (rightmost); take turns cooking.

Nellie Coyle Quinn founded the Sussex County Red Jeff has been with Bristol Glen for the last 20 years. He
Cross in 1917. She is so revered for her work at a has dedicated years to the formation of Sussex County
crucial time in the county and its history that every Community College, Newton Memorial Hospital and
year, hundreds of friends of the Sussex County Red the Boy Scouts of America Patriots’ Path Council, to
Cross gather to award a worthy recipient, the Mrs. name only a few. But, he also has a real passion for
Joseph P. Quinn, Sr. Award. supporting the United Methodist Communities
Her son, Joseph P. Quinn, Jr., left an indelible mark on the
Sussex County area as well. A very active alumnus of Notre “I support the mission of the Foundation,” Jeff says.
Dame, he served in World War II, as a trustee for his “I see the good that it does for the Bristol Glen
church, awarded member of the Knights of Columbus, community. It makes a real difference in the lives of
leader in the American Legion, member of the Newton our residents in need.”
Rotary and the Andover Regional Board of Education.
What is his advice to other UMC associates? “There’s
Nellie’s grandson and Joseph’s son, Jeff, is the director got to be one good thing to motivate you to do good
of community life of United Methodist Communities at for someone and I challenge you to pick that one thing
Bristol Glen. It is abundantly clear that his ancestors’ and do it. The rewards that you would get from that
legacy of giving and caring for those less fortunate is would make you want to do it more.”
flourishing in him as well.
Nellie would be proud.
Jeff lives and breathes Sussex County. He grew up in Gary Engelstad is Annual Giving Officer for the United
Lake Lenape, attended grade school and high school in Methodist Communities Foundation.
Sparta, and following college and postgraduate work,
assumed banking leadership positions in the county. He A longer version of this article will appear on the UMC
lives with his wife, Lisa, who he met while both were Blog in May.
high school students.



By Gary Engelstad By Matt Weinbaum

At United Methodist Communities, the best
part of an associate’s day are the relationships
and interactions they have with the residents.
Our new video series, Connections, features
those beautiful, lasting relationships and
bonds that they are creating.

The first episode of the series tells the story
of UMC at Pitman associate, Lori and
Pitman resident, Irma. When Lori saw how
much Irma enjoyed Tastykakes, it reminded
her of her grandmother, sparking a bond
that the two will never forget.

Watch the video here:
Matt Weinbaum is Digital Marketing Strategist.


Check out United Methodist Communities’ blog posts. We feature a new blog every Wednesday.
Upcoming topics include:

Let Your Light Shine These Roots Run Deep
Chrissy and Mabel – Dynamite Double Act
APRIL Understanding, Empathetic and Patient
Creating Awareness Around Parkinson’s Disease



By Alice Coghill

When her co-workers saw the residents’ response to
this simple gesture — they quickly offered to help.
Some have come and gone, but the group now consists
of Housekeepers, Cindy Kern and Phyllis Murphy,
along with LETS, Maria Garcia and Debbie Guida.

“They are amazing,” said Director of Memory Support
Services, Denise Fasano. “I asked them what they call
themselves and they did not have a name. Because they
jelled together so well, I dubbed them the Get-Along
Gang and the name stuck.”
Housekeepers, Phyllis Murphy and Cindy Kern, take a break from
serving lunch to soak up some sunshine during the Get-Along
Gang’s summer picnic. Denise comments, “When I found out they were
Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that come from buying all the food and drinks with their own money,
the heart. Such is the case with the Get-Along Gang, I tried to reimburse them, but they refused.”
five United Methodist Communities at Pitman The members select party themes that correspond to
associates who share their love for the Tapestries’ each month. For example, Christmas in December;
residents they serve by hosting themed monthly events. Saint Patrick’s Day in March; Red, White and Blue in

Two years ago, Life Enrichment Team Specialist July; etc. In September they chose to celebrate back-to-
(LETS), Eileen Lindmeier, thought they might like a school with a tribute to bag lunches.
party to celebrate Halloween. Without a second “Of all the parties we hosted, this was the most
thought, she decided to bring in treats to share one rewarding. From opening up the bags, hearing the
Saturday afternoon. crinkle of the paper, checking out the contents and
sharing childhood memories — it was so enjoyable.
The stories about attending one-room schoolhouses,
using the outhouses or their favorite teachers, were
priceless,” reflects Eileen.

“We placed personalized love notes in the bags, signed
‘Your loving daughters Cindy, Phyllis, Marie, Eileen
and Debbie.’ It was so touching to see the smiles on
their faces as they read them. Some don’t have
children, so for one magic afternoon we were their
daughters,” adds Cindy.

Debbie Guida plays the role of pool lifeguard.

When the weather cooperates, the Get-Along Gang
takes to the courtyard for a barbeque or picnic. They
plan every detail in advance, including simple games or
activities guaranteed to generate lots of laughs.

“What amazes me is that these ladies put so much
thought and planning into these parties. They are
incredibly generous and simply want to show their
love in a warm, personal and fun way,” concludes Denise.
Residents dip their toes in the cool water during the Get-Along
Alice M. Coghill is Sales Counselor at United Gang’s summer pool party.
Methodist Communities at Pitman


Share your experience about any of our four full service communities. Google reviews are
permissible only with a Gmail account. Here’s where you can leave your feedback:

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Your brand is what people say about you when you’re

not in the room.

— Jeff Bezos

Almost three years ago following a two-year process, United Methodist Communities rolled out a new brand.
Going forward, engage! will highlight some aspect of our brand.

Brand is intangible and exists in the mind. Your brand is what the public thinks of when they hear your name.
It’s everything they think they know about your organization, factual, emotional and experiential.
First, we bring you a tangible symbol — our logo, which evolved from the roof shape of our previous logo. This
shape became four richly colored houses, merged to form a cross. It conveys that we are faith-based, diverse,
united in community, and look outward as we expand our ministry.

The Gift of Care Circle provides support when residents of United
Methodist Communities, through no fault of their own, have
exhausted their financial resources. The Circle is a compassionate
group of friends, made up of family members, associates, and
individual donors, along with UMC’s corporate sponsors, area
churches, and other partner organizations. Through the Gift of Care Circle, residents are able to remain in the
communities they call home and continue to experience life in abundance.

It’s easy to join the Gift of Care Circle!
Checks can be made payable to United Methodist Communities Foundation, with “Gift of Care Circle”
designated on the memo line. Online donations are quick and secure at

For more information, please call 732-922-9800 and ask for the Foundation, or visit


By Janet M. Carrato

During her formative years, Gertrude Kehleay attended
school and church in Ganta, Liberia. Although born into a
large poor family, her father encouraged his children to
achieve. In consideration of his high hopes, she worked hard.

A missionary couple fell in love with Gertrude and paid for
her tuition, books and clothing from 7th through 12th-grades.
She received a college-prep education and teacher training.
Following graduation, Gertrude taught for four years.

She describes her next teaching position in a self-contained
iron ore mining company town as “a life and a faith
journey.” Later, she married. Her husband immigrated to the
At The Wesleyan’s annual Black History Month celebration,
Gertrude (center) greets Lawrence Johnson, III (right), member US and after saving funds, she followed. Together they had
of the community’s governing board, 9 Wall Street Corporation,
and his wife, Terita (left). two children, but divorced after 18 years.
Determined to be independent, Gertrude earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. However, her student
teaching experience propelled her toward another career. While raising two children,
Gertrude worked full-time and attended college part-time, paying her own tuition.

In 1989 while at church, she heard an announcement about a job opportunity at Bishop
Taylor in East Orange. After applying to become the housing administrator, interviewing
and praying, she accepted the job. Gertrude remained there from 1989 until 1998. In
1997, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Kean College.

In preparation for The Wesleyan’s opening and becoming its housing administrator,
Gertrude completed training in Red Bank and at the Newark HUD office. With 29 years’
service to UMC, she treats others as she wants to be treated and acknowledges that UMC
has been a good partner.
In the spirit of “paying it forward” Gertrude paid a younger sister’s nursing school tuition
and still sends money to relatives and several charitable organizations in Liberia. She
happily sacrifices for others and compares it to the Lord’s sacrifice. According to
Gertrude, “These vital funds help with everything imaginable.”

Gertrude realized another dream six years ago — homeownership. Another blessing
arrived in 2017 — a grandson. She beams, “I thank God for everything. Let your light Gertrude attends R.I.S.E. Church,
shine so people will see what He has done. God always answers prayers.” an international United Methodist
community in East Orange, New
Janet M. Carrato is Director of Communications and Public Relations. Jersey.

A longer version of this article will appear on the UMC Blog in March.




By Jeanette Edghill

The partnership between United Methodist Communities at Bishop Taylor
and Joi’s Angels promotes a shared goal to serve the community with
compassion so that all are free to choose abundant life. The two organizations
are non-profit, faith based, mission-driven and focus on helping community

Joi’s donates various snacks to Bishop Taylor’s Senior Space and contributes
food and personal care products for their Food Pantry to benefit residents,
their families and seniors in the surrounding community. Bishop Taylor
lends space for Joi’s Angels to host a monthly farmers’ market and the staff
organizes, sorts and bags food items for distribution. Joi’s Angels appreciates
Bishop Taylor’s outreach to the greater community and views it as a second
home for their ministry.

Joi’s Angels, founded by Mark and Joi Smith, provides support services to underserved and housing-insecure
populations in Essex and Union counties. They house up to 16 chronically homeless individuals within Essex
County. Far more than a shelter, this loving home was created to assist people from various backgrounds who
need to get their “wings.”
Mark and Joi work diligently together in ministry to deliver refuge, shelter, food, clothing, as well as advocate
and counsel. Using their personal resources and some assistance from the local church community, the duo
restore hope for many people and have touched hundreds of families. In addition, the program helps individuals
through sustained support due to limited permanent affordable housing and social services in the area.

The organization’s revenue comes from out-of-pocket expenses paid by the founders and generous donations from
businesses, corporations, and places like Bishop Taylor, which solicit donations from vendors and others to support
their mutual mission. Most households in these communities have annual incomes of less than $15,000, making it
difficult for residents’ resources to last throughout each month. Joi’s Angels eases these situations by distributing
food and toiletries. They also pass along any resources they may come across to Bishop Taylor residents.

Jeanette Edghill is Corporate Manager of Housing.

We welcome your comments and questions

about engage at [email protected]



By Kathryn Speer

She is neither your average person, nor an average associate.
She does good deeds because she is a good person, not for the
pat on the back.

She is Kerileigh, “Keri” Sherman, the social service
coordinator, who began her career working in The Shores’
kitchen while in high school and continued while earning
her undergraduate degree. Later, she interned at a youth
shelter and became a case manager before coming to Wesley
by the Bay.

Last year, Keri completed her Master of Social Work at
Stockton University, balancing a full load of graduate courses
and working full time. In addition to her duties as the social
service coordinator, she simultaneously serves as the resident
wellness director. For the benefit of the wellness program, she
is forging community partnerships, conducting in-depth
social service assessments with residents and working with
the wellness nurse to develop healthy aging plans.
Keri patiently goes beyond and truly wants to help everyone.
For example, residents faced challenges regarding cell phones.
Keri delivers surprise birthday gifts to a resident. The process required more than just finding an affordable
program. Keri patiently helped them to fill out forms, unbox
and set-up the phones and then became the technical support. Regardless of the issue, she takes the time to
understand, troubleshoot and provide one-on-one education as needed for each resident.

To facilitate clear communication among the housekeepers and residents, Keri created a chore list in English and in
Spanish. When residents request cleaning assistance, they point to the chores they want done so the service
associates easily understand.

Keri has empathy for any and every situation that arises. She is able to listen, comfort and support residents in
matters big and small.
Kathryn Speer is Housing Administrator of United Methodist Communities at Wesley by the Bay.

A longer version of this article will appear on the UMC Blog in June.



There’s nothing like experiencing one of our
communities in person. You’re invited to an Antique
Road Show, Barbecue, Healthy Summer Exercise
Program Presentation, Blueberry Festival, Proud
Neighbors Luncheon, Build Your Own Banana Split,
Info and Go, Lunch and Learn, Peach Festival, Dinner
and a Movie, and more. Visit any of the full service
community websites (back cover) and click events to
see the current calendars.



Planning quiet time in a cool secluded mountain resort,
sunny beach or simply catching up on a stay-cation?
Call United Methodist Communities to explore respite
options. Visit us on the web or call to discuss the ways
we can assist.


Do you know that one ton of paper made completely from recycled
scrap saves 7000 gallons of water, 4100 kilowatt-hours of energy,
3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 17 trees? Please recycle your
printed engage! or sign up for a digital engage! subscription
at Current and future
generations thank you!

Please Remember United

Methodist Communities

in Your Will.



By Rev. Kimberly Wecht

“For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as
an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”

- Galatians 5:13
Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative, said, “Loneliness, Helplessness
and Boredom. Those three plagues account for the bulk of suffering among our

elders today. What we have to do is create an environment where we fight those
RESPITE FOR SPRING three plagues every day so our elders can continue to engage in the world. In a

AND SUMMER facility, love doesn’t matter, what matters is compliance with published schedules
and routines. In a human habitat, in a home, love matters. That’s the difference.”

It fills me with much pride that we, at United Methodist Communities, continue to
aim through person-directed care, households, and living out our mission, to create home-like environments
where our residents feel loved. One of the essential ways that residents are made to feel like our communities are
their home is through the relationships they form with our associates.

I am inspired by our associates’ demonstration of our values of compassion, respect and service. These are just a
few examples of how I have seen associates connect with our residents and exemplify love and compassion:
• A transport CNA follows up with a resident whom she had taken to the doctor the previous day;

• A housekeeper attends a beloved resident’s funeral;
• A nurse sits down to comfort a resident who breaks down in tears while receiving medication;
• A maintenance worker helps a resident find the way to their intended destination;
• A dining server patiently waits for a resident to order when they experience difficulty getting
out the words; and
• A community life associate strives to bring joy to all of the residents.

Not only do these bonds, created in the daily interactions, greatly improve the well-being and overall health of
our residents, but also help our seniors to feel less helpless, less lonely, less bored and, most importantly, loved.

Rev. Kimberly Wecht is Director of Mission and Pastoral Care, United Methodist Communities at Pitman.


Compassionately serving in community so that all are

free to choose abundant life.


3311 State Route 33
Neptune, NJ 07753

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Full Service Communities
Offering a continuum of care for adults 65-years and over.

Independent Living | Residential Living | Assisted Living | Tapestries® Memory Support
Respite Rehabilitation | Long-Term Care | Bridges Hospice and Palliative Care
Bristol Glen Pitman
Newton, NJ | 973-300-5788 Pitman, NJ | 856-589-7800

Collingswood The Shores
Collingswood, NJ | 856-854-4331 Ocean City, NJ | 609-399-8505

Affordable Housing Communities

Bishop Taylor PineRidge of Montclair The Wesleyan
East Orange, NJ | 973-676-9057 Montclair, NJ | 973-746-0003 Red Bank, NJ | 732-936-0760

Covenant Place Wesley by the Bay
Plainfield, NJ | 908-791-9430 Ocean City, NJ | 609-399-6701


In-Home Personal Care | Case Management | Live-In
Haddonfield, NJ | 856-300-2424
Newton, NJ | 973-940-6300
Ocean Grove, NJ | 732-838-1950

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