Choosing Hope

A Message from UMA Board Chair, Steve Fetyko

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

For me, the serenity prayer above is a reminder that during this pandemic, while it may feel like what is happening is outside my control, I can focus on what I can take action on and what I can make a difference on. It is now almost 5 months since all our lives, and the lives of those we serve, have been turned upside down. As we weather all the challenges that the coronavirus has brought us, UMA members share a common foundation from which to build toward our next normal. Together, we have leaned heavily on our faith and our faith-based values. In the face of complex, costly and changing regulations and requirements related to COVID-19, we gain clarity and motivation from our faith-based values. We are grounded in our conviction and commitment to provide the safest and most caring environment possible for those we serve.

These are truly trying times. While we are grappling with the impacts of the pandemic, financial uncertainty and social injustice, as members of UMA, we have been able to reach out and support each other in countless ways. Whether through collaboration on obtaining personal protective equipment, sharing best practices or just being able to call a UMA colleague facing similar challenges, I see daily the incredible ways we hold each other up. We are truly stronger together. I encourage you to reach out to the UMA members and staff for support.

Despite the challenges we are all facing, there is still room for hope. At a recent UMA board meeting, Tim Johnson, CEO at Frasier put it best. He reminded us all that during challenging times, we can choose to lead with optimism. That does not mean we ignore the realities we face, but instead we embrace our challenges and use what we are learning to evolve, innovate and adjust how we provide our much-needed care and services. Through conversations with members and a quick review of social media posts, I believe this attitude is built into our UMA member DNA.

My hope is we continue to support each other and lift each other up as we strive to create new and innovative ways to live out our missions. While we all practice physical distancing, we can continue to come together virtually through the UMA networks and the Innovation Summit as just two examples. As we are navigating our ways through unchartered waters, our fellowship and our faith connections provide needed touchstones and guideposts as together we continue to be a positive force in the lives of those we serve.

Steve Fetyko

Steve Fetyko currently serves as the Chair of the UMA Board of Directors and is also the President & CEO of United Methodist Retirement Communities and Porter Hills.