Faith, Mission and History
The Faith Community
Founded in 1992, the Faith Community is a Church of the Brethren congregation that offers a home church to those living at Cross Keys Village, and also to visitors and to neighboring communities. We are ecumenical in many ways, reflecting the variety of denominations in our community. Volunteers are vital to this body of believers, serving as greeters, escorts for those with a physical need, ushers, musicians, and more. We worship every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (Sunday School is at 9:00 a.m.). Services are held in Cross Keys Village’s handsome Nicarry Meetinghouse, dedicated in 2000. The Faith Community celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017.
The Pastoral Care Department
Our three chaplains provide spiritual nurture to residents, team members, families and volunteers involved with Cross Keys Village. The department offers pastoral visits, Bible studies, weekly devotions, a midweek Ecumenical Service (on Wednesday afternoon), confidential assistance to individuals with a spiritual need, participation in support groups and more. We engage in traditional expressions of faith, and also in more innovative directions when such an approach is needed to accommodate the unique needs of our residents. It is our belief that mobility or memory impairment should be no impediment to a spiritually fulfilled life.
Our Core Values
Show Compassion – Understand others, give of yourself
Act Responsibly – Own today, plan for tomorrow
Work Together – Achieve more as a team
Celebrate Life – Find joy in every day
Be Innovative – Seek and embrace opportunities
A Brethren ministry dedicated to enriching the lives of older adults
To be a leading innovator offering older adults a life infused with quality and purpose
Admission to Cross Keys Village – The Brethren Home Community is open to people regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or disability. All faiths are welcome.
The History of the Brethren Home
Cross Keys Village – The Brethren Home Community traces its roots to 1908, when church leaders and congregations of the Southern Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren bought a farmhouse near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and founded the Brethren Home for the Aged at Huntsdale. The home was a place where aging widows could receive a compassionate helping hand, under the leadership of matron Wealthy Burkholder.
That small facility, which eventually came to house both women and men, was soon expanded. It operated successfully for more than 40 years until the house was destroyed by fire in 1951. Fortunately, all residents and staff escaped the blaze. Responding to this adversity, the Brethren Home’s trustees and other supporters decided to purchase the Cross Keys Hotel near New Oxford and relocate to this larger building. The new facility opened on October 20, 1952, and soon was serving twice as many residents as had been at Huntsdale.
Since then, we have been expanding continuously and the Brethren Home evolved into a modern Continuing Care Retirement Community. As the facility grew, it attracted residents of all faiths. Since our move to New Oxford, our campus has grown from 19 acres to more than 250. Much of this acreage is devoted to residential housing for more than 500 Villagers who live in cottages, country homes, and apartments of various sizes. In 2006 we changed our name to Cross Keys Village – The Brethren Home Community.
2016 saw the enlargement and improvement of the Harmony Café, our casual dining venue, as well as new Bridgewater Homes. 2017 saw the opening of a brand-new memory care residence specialized in caring for individuals with cognitive impairment, and the purchase of 15 strategically located acres directly across the Harmony Ridge apartment complex (part of the field you can see on the photo above). While the future indicates expansion in size, services and reach, with each new step we take we strive to remain true to our roots and to our mission.