Thinking about moving to personal care?

Are you or a loved one considering a move to a Personal Care Home? One of the region’s newest options is Hopewell, which is the most recent edition to the Enhanced Living neighborhoods at Messiah Village. Check out the Top 10 Reasons to consider why a move to Hopewell might be the right choice for you.

  1. Hopewell embodies a new living option in personal care for individuals and couples. 26 new private apartments offer some of the largest personal care apartments in the region with four floor plans ranging in size from 532 to 767 square feet.
  2. Messiah Village offers a full range of daily living support options. Gain independence by obtaining your care needs without sacrificing your social needs.
  3. The Hopewell neighborhood is the newest addition to Messiah Village’s comprehensive care continuum – when skilled nursing or rehab needs arise, there’s no need to worry. A skilled team of outpatient physicians, clinicians, and therapists are available to meet your post-hospital needs.
  4. Your care will never be compromised, even if down the road financial worries loom. Our $16 million Endowment Fund for Benevolent Care means there is financial assistance if needed.
  5. Three well-balanced, chef-prepared, daily meals in the Asbury Room offer a delicious reason to leave your apron and skillets behind. If you crave a cappuccino or want to celebrate a special occasion with family, you can conveniently dine, at your own expense, in one of our four restaurants (3 of which you can access without ever going outside).
  6. Messiah Lifeways is a non-profit ministry governed by a local board of directors who live, work, and volunteer in Central Pennsylvania. You can rest assured that strategic decisions about your home are being made by people who believe in our mission.
  7. As a Messiah Village resident, trusted services from health professionals are available to you; no need to drive. You can schedule podiatrist, optician, audiologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist appointments on campus.
  8. Hopewell’s Asbury Room and Great Room are designed to resemble the inviting gathering spaces of private homes. Whether you’re entertaining family or playing games with neighbors, you will find a perfect spot to relax.
  9. Need a massage or manicure? Time for a new hair style? Leave the car keys aside and enjoy all-weather access to campus salons including the new Cerise Day Spa.
  10. So much more than your average retirement community…Amenities include a new Center for Vitality & Wellness with a warm salt water pool, lifelong learning courses, organized trips and more.

    Call 717.790.8201 for a private tour today!

       Adapted from the March 2018 Messiah Lifeways Preview Guide.


Messiah Lifeways® at Messiah Village Announces $80 Million Expansion Now Complete

MECHANICSBURG, PA (January 26, 2018) – Messiah Lifeways®, the faith-based non-profit that provides a network of services for adults aged 55 and better, is celebrating the completion of the first phase of Project Envision with an open house & tours on Saturday, January 27 from 11 am through 3 pm.

“To say this is a bright new chapter in retirement living & vibrant wellness and lifestyle venues for older adults would be an understatement,” says CEO Curt Stutzman. “Beyond offering a large number of beautiful residential and personal care apartments, this grand opening includes incredible wellness, lifelong learning, day spa, and dining amenities for anyone age 55 and better to enjoy.”

The public is invited for guided tours of Village Square, including model apartment homes, the John N. Hostetter Enrichment Center, the Center for Vitality & Wellness with its zero-entry saltwater pool, and Cerise Day Spa, which features a salt wall relaxation room, manicure/pedicure stations, and more. Visitors can purchase lunch at Café 100, proudly offering Starbucks coffee and tea beverages, or at Kathryn’s on the Square, two new dining venues in Village Square. Tours will also highlight spacious personal care apartments in Hopewell, a new Enhanced Living neighborhood with 26 apartments.

In 2017, Messiah Lifeways served 2,955 persons through 12 service lines; only about 750 of those persons live at the Messiah Village or Mount Joy Country Homes resident campuses. “This expansion gives physical space to continue our legacy of serving older adults in many ways – whether they choose to live in a resident community or age in place in their home,” states Kristen Heisey, Senior VP for Mission Advancement. “Hundreds of our neighbors already enjoy our Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® classes and our existing Wellness Center was bursting at the seams! It’s a great time to be 55 and better in Central PA.”

Follow us on Facebook (@MessiahLifeways), Twitter (@MessiahLifeways) and/or Instagram (@MessiahLifewaysPix).

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About Messiah Lifeways®
Messiah Lifeways offers a network of opportunities for adults 55 and better in South Central Pennsylvania. Recognizing that there are many ways to experience life, Messiah Lifeways offers life coaching, enrichment opportunities, community support services,and resident communities. Founded in 1896, Messiah Lifeways originally operated a home for widows and orphans in the city of Harrisburg, first on Bailey Street and later on Paxton Street. Messiah Lifeways, now based in Mechanicsburg, is a non-profit sponsored by the Brethren in Christ Church.

New Private Nursing Rooms Set to Open

The first phase of Project Envision is ready to be celebrated!
On Sunday, July 30, guests are invited to Messiah Village for self-guided tours of the brand-new Engle and Greenwood Nursing Neighborhoods. The open house will run from 2 pm – 5 pm. Each neighborhood will be home to 16 residents who will enjoy private suites with a personal bedroom and bathroom with shower. Each neighborhood boasts an open concept kitchen and a great room and living room with fireplaces and built-ins to provide plenty of bright, common space. The views from these new areas are spectacular!

The Engle Neighborhood is named in honor of former Messiah Village residents, the late Dr. Harold H. Engle and the late Miss Alma Engle. The siblings were both well-known medical professionals and their combined estate gifts were among the leading charitable gifts for this project. A special art commission by noted calligrapher Timothy Botts honoring the family and celebrating their naming gift will be unveiled at a private reception in late July.

Residents should begin moving into these private rooms in August. At this time, there are still a few private rooms available for qualified applicants. If you are interested in a loved one moving to one of these new nursing neighborhoods, please reach out to the Messiah Lifeways Welcome Center at 717.790.8201 or email

The Value of Foresight

I’ve always been impressed with the writings of management consultant, author and former professor at the Claremont Graduate School Peter F. Drucker. He once said that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” In these times when the world is changing at such a rapid pace, it is difficult just to stay on top of what is happening. Giving attention to foresight, or thinking critically about what is coming down the road so that we can prepare for it, is not easy. One of the key functions of the Messiah Lifeways board of directors and leadership team is to spend time being educated about what is coming in our industry and society at large. That is important because often the preparations to make ourselves ready for the future may take many years to accomplish. Because of this, board members and leaders who set plans in motion often are not around when the plans become reality. In a sense, exercising foresight is a selfless action to assure that others are served in a better way in future decades.

Here’s a practical example of this kind of foresight. Several months ago our township replaced the sewer line across the Messiah Village campus. This resulted in a 30-foot wide strip of bare ground that took out a number of trees that were quite large. A group of residents with an affinity for gardening took it upon themselves to work with our grounds director to plant 79 small trees and seedlings, with more to come. How appropriate, especially since it is Arbor Day when I am writing this blog. I find it inspiring that these persons in their older years have the foresight to prepare shade and color for the next generations here. It will likely take several decades for these trees to grow sufficiently to benefit others. The value to the gardeners is primarily intrinsic, but that was not a deterrent for them. That is a good outcome for having a foresight focus. That is creating the future, as Drucker speaks of.18193250_10155087706756221_6273867156493351205_o

In the next few months we will be opening the first phase of the Project Envision plan that the Messiah Lifeways Board of Directors and others had the foresight to begin planning almost a decade ago. This year, the board and leadership will make a focused effort to look further into the future and layout plans for the next 3-7 years and beyond. I find the process of discerning the future, establishing plans to prepare us for it and laying out steps to get us there as a stimulating exercise. With the end in mind, it is easier to persevere and flex plans when challenges arise along the way. We are laying foundations that others will build upon and the fruits of which even others will enjoy. Like the dedicated volunteer arborists above, we are creating the future we hope to see!

Fitch Ratings Affirms Messiah Lifeways as Stable through April 2018

In a press release dated April 5, Fitch Ratings affirmed the Messiah Lifeways ‘BBB-‘ rating on the following bonds issued on our behalf:
–$24,080,000 West Shore Area Authority Revenue Bonds (Messiah Village Project), Series A of 2015;

–$10,000,000 Cumberland County Municipal Authority Revenue Bonds (Messiah Village Project) Series A of 2008.

“This is great news,” stated CEO Curt Stutzman. “It’s good confirmation that we are remaining financially stable during the Project Envision expansion. I’m grateful for a solid team that manages our finances with great care.”

The bonds mentioned here are related to the first phase of Project Envision, a major Messiah Village campus expansion.  Construction on three separate sites is now over 60% complete with some spaces expected to open in late July or early August.  Village Square, the Hopewell personal care neighborhood, and the Engle and Greenwood private nursing neighborhoods are all expected to be fully operational by the fall of 2017.

To read the entire release, visit the Fitch Ratings website here.

Campus Expansion in the News

The campus expansion at Messiah Village made front-page news in the February 6 edition of The Sentinel. Reporter Phyllis Zimmerman interviewed VP Kristen Heisey and others to bring readers all the latest news from Project Envision. If you missed the Sentinel’s great coverage, catch up here. It’s estimated that the project is at nearly 60% completion. The Greenwood & Engle nursing neighborhoods could open  as early as August 2017.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

Back in the turbulent 1960’s, folksy troubadour and recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan wrote a song entitled “The Times They are a-Changin’.” While Mr. Dylan wasn’t referring to the scope of services available for older adults, this thought holds true for Messiah Lifeways as well. Construction is in full swing on the Messiah Village campus as we enter the autumn season.

VSQ renderingWhere small cottages serving 16 resident families once stood, a four-story building is rising that will serve as 84 resident homes, a Wellness Center, Enrichment Center, and two more dining environments. At the same time, the Hopewell Enhanced Living apartments are rising up containing 26 resident homes, and a third building providing 32 private nursing rooms is taking form. These changes are important for us as we address the wants and needs of the market we serve now and in the future. They help us better achieve our mission as a ministry to responsibly enhance the lives of older adults with Christ-like love.

Paxton-Street-front“With Christ-like love.” I believe that is the one thing that will never change here, amidst all the changes listed above. From our beginnings 120 years ago, the inspiration for serving older adults came not just because it is a nice thing to do, but because the love of Christ compelled a number of people to create something better for a population in need.

It is what still binds us together and gives us purpose for our work. I believe our leaders and our board of directors take this mission-charge seriously. It gives us a reason for looking to do things better and for wanting to reach more people—to express the love of Christ. This is the constant for Messiah Lifeways and for many reasons. Here are some scriptures which provide instructions about how and why to do the business of caring out of Christ’s love within us.

This first one (Ephesians 3:17-19) gives us a picture of the vastness of Christ’s love for us, which is why we want to share it in all we think, say and do as His representatives in the world. “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

From I Thessalonians 1:3, we see further reason for our service. “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And how we should walk out this way of doing things can be seen in the “love chapter,” from I Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

II Corinthians 5:14 says that “for Christ’s love compels us…” “Compels us” can also be read as forces us, or requires us, or obliges us, or constrains us. I get the feeling that expressing Christ’s love is something that just naturally comes out in our relationships because of a deep need to express itself. I believe this way of serving older adults has been part of who we are at Messiah Lifeways for 120 years. And I am committed to continuing to provide our stakeholders opportunities to express this kind of love as we walk out our mission together.

Yes, “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” but some things stay the same!

Project Envision Moves Ahead!

October 29, 2015 (Mechanicsburg, PA) More than 200 dignitaries and community leaders joined Messiah Lifeways executives for the Project Envision ceremonial groundbreaking today. President & CEO Curt Stutzman noted that this event is a milestone in the organization’s 119-year history. “Today we symbolically and literally dig in and embark on a comprehensive $77 million expansion that will bring nearly 160 new residents and a vast array of amenities to our Messiah Village campus. Years of strategic planning have brought us here and we are grateful for all the advisors, partners, and friends who have made it possible.” Stutzman and others, including George Book, Jr., President & CEO of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the fact that this project will result in up to 30 new permanent jobs and will increase tax revenues to Upper Allen Township and Mechanicsburg Area School District. Construction is slated to begin before the end of this calendar year and will last for at least 18 months.

In addition to a large number of current Messiah Village residents who joined in the celebration, a group of Village Square depositors were specially acknowledged during the ceremony. Village Square will include 84 apartment homes with underbuilding parking. More than 40 couples and/or individuals have made financial deposits to reserve their new home at Village Square, expected to open in summer 2017.

Messiah Lifeways Board Chair Glenn Heisey underscored the importance of Project Envision’s first phase as a comprehensive three-part expansion. “Beyond new residential living accommodations at Village Square, we are looking ahead at how to best serve future generations. We live in one of the nation’s ‘grayest’ states so our new private nursing rooms and spacious personal care apartments will be key to meeting current and future demand.”

Some of the key professional project team members were also recognized during the program.

Development Consultant — Greenbrier Development, Dallas, TX

Architect– Stewart & Conners Architects, Charlotte, NC

Landscape Architect — RGS Associates, Lancaster, PA

Builder — Whiting-Turner, Baltimore, MD

Interior Design — Interior Design Associates, Inc., Nashville, TN

Advertising Agency — LevLane, Philadelphia, PA

Financing Consultant — Ziegler, Chicago, IL

Financing Bank — BB&T, Winston-Salem, NC

Legal Counsel — Latsha, Davis & McKenna, Mechanicsburg PA

Kristen Heisey, Vice President of Strategic Development & Marketing, applauded this group’s talent and effort. She also shared high praise for Upper Allen Township officials who have “gone above and beyond” in helping this project plan become a reality. “It’s a great day – the years of meetings, planning, and collaborating have brought us to groundbreaking and we are anxious to begin.”

Project Envision is a 20-year plan for a mission-driven Messiah Village campus. Phase one includes the building of Village Square with apartment homes, dining, wellness, and enrichment venues. Phase one also includes adding 26 Enhanced Living apartments and 2 new nursing neighborhoods with 32 private rooms. Plans also include renovating and privatizing an existing 32 nursing rooms so that when this project is complete, Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village will have 64 of its 184 skilled nursing beds designated as private accommodations.

Artist’s rendering of two new nursing neighborhoods, each with 16 private rooms, that will be added to the existing Village Center building.


This view, from the existing Village Center lobby, shows an addition of 26 spacious new personal care apartments, along with new living and dining areas and outdoor space. The addition will connect, via covered walkway, to the existing Village Center.



Village Square and Central PA: A Great Place to Call Home

VSQ rendering

Village Square – Opening 2017

As Messiah Lifeways embarks on a 20-year journey known as Project Envision, Village Square will be an integral part of the growing Messiah Village campus and community located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Rooted in Cumberland County, currently the state’s fastest growing among all 67 counties, Village Square is poised to attract older adults both locally and out of town looking to settle in this exciting, historic and charming region. Upon its completion in 2017, Village Square will consist of 84 new apartment homes in a 220,000 square-foot complex that will also feature two new restaurants, a state-of-the-art pool and fitness club, spa, and 300-seat enrichment center.

The Harrisburg Carlisle region was recently named by Milken Institute as the 31st best large metropolitan area for successful aging based on quality of life indicators and services available to older adults. [click to see full report]

Older adults who have lived in this area, who will soon call Village Square “home,” can tell you that the Cumberland Valley/Capital Region is a very vibrant, burgeoning and friendly community. And for those age 55 and better not as familiar with South Central Pennsylvania who are also looking to make the move to Village Square, this area truly offers the best of both worlds – offering “big city” features while being charming and livable no matter your age.

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A multitude of amenities, activity and interest abound within minutes of the Messiah Village campus – from fine arts and fine dining to farmers’ markets and fly fishing. This area has a rich history and a budding future. Our friends from and provide a tremendous view of things to do, to see, to experience and to be a part of stretching across the Mid-state, such as:

As I personally learned, having moved here nearly 20 years ago, another great advantage of this area is that it is truly centrally located and convenient to many big cities and attractions.

For instance Harrisburg to:

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – 1½ hours

Gettysburg Battle Fields– 45 minutes

New York City – 3 hours

Philadelphia – 2½ hours

Pittsburgh – 3 hours

Washington DC – 2 hours

Making a move at any stage in life can be a challenge. But I truly believe as people begin to examine their options and opportunities as they grow older, Village Square coupled with the charm, comfort and location of Central PA, one can feel very good about deciding to move here and calling it home.


If you would like to learn more about Village Square, please call 717.591.7224 or visit