Partnerships, Christ-Centered Focus Contribute to 50-Year Success of New Glarus Home

For the New Glarus Home, Inc., a United Church of Christ-related ministry in Wisconsin, it has always been about partnerships –– with a local UCC congregation, the community, and the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries.

In a fitting tribute to its first 50 years, the milestone anniversary New Glarus Home celebrated last year, the stunning 30-acre continuing care retirement community is embarking on several phases of ambitious remodeling, renovation and expansion.

In addition to a new therapy gym and short-term rehab area, the plan will add a 38,000-square-foot addition for updated resident rooms, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, as well as remodeling the existing 44,865-square-foot nursing home. Plumbing, electrical and heating are being installed in the new addition, says Erin R. Francois, executive director.

Some of the renovations, targeted to open this summer, involve the creative reimagining of existing space in order to build a new “Main Street” and “Café” on the first level. About a month later, says Francois, the new therapy and rehab wing is slated to open.

As part of the anniversary celebration, New Glarus, located about 30 minutes south of Madison, Wis., held a ground-breaking ceremony and gathering of community members and supporting agencies.

One of those supporting groups is St. John’s UCC in nearby Monroe, Wis., who built St. John’s Garden Apartments in the 1970s, now managed by New Glarus.

Additionally, St. Clare Friedensheim (“a peaceful home”) was built in 2000 as a joint venture of Monroe Clinic and St. John’s UCC. New Glarus also manages and oversees that community.

Both communities, in addition to the main campus facility, are thriving, Francois says, in part to the wonderful community support. St. Clare Friedensheim’s chapel is used every Sunday as an alternate place of worship for St. John’s UCC members who have family there, and for those who prefer to worship in the chapel’s more-intimate setting.

New Glarus Home opened in 1966, thanks to a group of local community members –– including founding administrator the Rev. Paul Schnake –– who envisioned a place where older residents could receive care and flourish in their golden years. In New Glarus’ own words: “The United Church of Christ has served and continues to serve as the foundation of our mission and drives the care we provide, and all we do. ‘But with God, all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26).”

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