Heritage Ministries Creates Hope During a Dark Time


“As difficult as the past months have been during the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted people to know that there was hope,” Larry Petry, the Senior Chaplain at Heritage Ministries stated.

Petry, who joined Heritage in May 2018, recently launched the “Worship Wednesday” series, which he shared is a “weekly word of encouragement and a way for our Heritage family to stay connected with each other.” Petry shared, “Throughout our senior living residences, at all levels, I see residents living in community with one another even in the midst of a global pandemic. What a privilege and blessing it is (Psalm 133:1). At the same time, I see the difficulties our residents, family and staff have endured in living with the constant regulation changes that we have faced during COVID-19. I have always seen that encouragement is deepened and multiplied when someone offers it to their neighbors on a daily basis, and I thought that perhaps we could do that through a virtual gathering each week.”

The Chaplain’s talks, which are shared weekly on Heritage’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channels, often spend time focusing on Bible scripture and applying it to everyday life and challenges that both residents and their families, and staff, face daily. He credits Heritage as a strong, faith-based organization who has a history of over 130 years of finding a way to remain positive, and centered in Christ, throughout the years.

He continued, “During these challenging times, like any issue Heritage has faced, we wanted to find a way to help all of our residents, staff, and families feel connected together. Worship Wednesdays allow us to join from wherever on the globe you may be located. For that brief time, we can share in our faith together.”

Lisa Haglund, Heritage President and CEO, echoed Petry’s sentiments, “Our seniors, the Elders that we serve, deserve the very best from us during this difficult time. Our teams, from chaplaincy to activities and everyone in between, are committed to using love, imagination, innovation, and faith to find ways like Worship Wednesday to encourage and provide hope, in the midst of this pandemic and missing family and significant moments.”

Petry concluded, “I am humbled at the legacy of godly men and women who are a part of the Heritage Ministries community in any form, and at the impact of the faithful commitment that is demonstrated at Heritage. I prayerfully hope that I, and others of my generation, may honor our staff and residents, and live the Heritage mission to promote Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.”

Heritage Ministries was founded as the Orphanage and Homes of the Free Methodist Church in 1886, and has grown from its original campus in Gerry, NY, to six locations in New York, with additional affiliations across the United States. As a not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, Heritage is a leader in the industry, employing approximately 1,500 team members, and serving over 2,500 individuals annually. With locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Washington, Heritage and its affiliates provide rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, independent retirement housing, memory care, and assisted living. In addition, childcare is provided at two campuses, allowing for intergenerational programs. For more information on Heritage Ministries, please visit www.heritage1886.org.