History and Modern-Day Ministry Celebrated During EdenHill Community’s Altenheim Day 2017

A recreation of a 1910 farmer bringing provisions is part of EdenHill Communities’ Altenheim Day.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, more than 100 residents and friends of EdenHill Communities in New Braunfels, Texas, are expected to join in and help celebrate EdenHill’s Altenheim Day 2017.

“We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the rich pioneer heritage and tradition of giving in our community that helps sustain EdenHill,” says Larry Dahl, EdenHill’s CEO. “The event will be an opportunity to fellowship and remember both our history and the most needy among us.”

Altenheim Day is patterned after annual celebrations that have been staged throughout EdenHill’s history, dating back to the first Das Altenheim Fest more than 100 years ago. A series of Eden Home Days were staged from the 1960s through the 1980s, and an EdenHill gala was staged between 2002 and 2012.

“The aim is to provide a fun and sensory experience for everyone who is affiliated with EdenHill, to recognize and acknowledge our residents, volunteers, donors, and employees, and to lift up and celebrate all things EdenHill in a public and spirited way,” says Dahl.

Altenheim Day features a historical re-creation of a 1910 farmer bringing provisions by horse-drawn wagon to help stock the pantry at EdenHill’s original location, The Protestant Home for the Aged in San Antonio.

The wagon procession will start from New Braunfels Presbyterian Church and wind its way through Landa Park enroute to EdenHill Chapel. Fred Fey’s calliope truck and a hay wagon drawn by a vintage tractor are being added this year. Guests are asked to be seated in the Chapel by 9:45 a.m. to enjoy social time and music provided by a four-piece ensemble, Bustin’ Loose.

The procession will arrive at EdenHill Chapel at about 10:30 a.m. Provisions will be offloaded  and placed at the altar, followed shortly by a special prayer ceremony led by Chaplain Sarah Currie and a program that will conclude at 11:30 a.m. Food, fellowship, campus tours, and more music will conclude the day’s activities, which will end at 1 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to wear 1910 period attire to help set the tone for the day’s fellowship and fun.

Members of Community United Church of Christ, the San Antonio church that made the initial gift to develop EdenHill’s 8-acre nature area and parking amenity, will serve as honorary event chairs. Others honorees include recipients of EdenHill’s annual volunteer awards, all resident council presidents, EdenHill’s Employee of the Year and all retired employees, and EdenHill’s board leadership. Alice Jewell, executive director of the McKenna Legacy Foundation, will be the guest speaker.

An ample and varied pot luck style buffet will be prepared by residents of Edenhill’s The Village and The Pinnacle. Morrison, EdenHill’s culinary partner, will furnish the main dish and beverages.

Altenheim is German for “a place for seniors.” It was EdenHill’s colloquial name 100 years ago during its formative years as the Protestant Home for the Aged. (1910-1933). The Altenheim Fest was routinely held up through mid-century when our name changed to Eden Home (1933-2009). These were festive occasions involving the church communities and families who nurtured and cared about the seniors in Eden Home’s care. EdenHill Communities brought the concept back in 2016.

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