Dec 09, 2015

PECO Building Crown LightsSimpson House, the oldest operating retirement community historically related to The United Methodist Church, will end its yearlong 150th Anniversary celebration this month in grand style, as the star of the PECO Building’s Crown Lights in downtown Philadelphia Dec. 14-16.

Dazzling, illuminated displays atop the PECO Building often announce events, celebrations and milestones.  Simpson House will be featured with the message: “Simpson House–Celebrating 150 Years of Service to Senior Adults 1865-2015.” If you are in or near downtown Philly after dark on those days, be sure to look up and witness the fitting tribute to one our most historic and vital partner institutions.

Simpson House’s Sesquicentennial Celebration has featured diverse, outstanding monthly events all year, including

  • a children’s and youth choir festival;SimpsonHouseFountainRoom,OldeMain
  • an antiques and heirlooms appraisal show;
  • a “throw down” food-tasting competition using historic recipes;
  • a Sesquicentennial worship service with Bishop Peggy Johnson preaching;
  • high teas and ice cream socials with historical presentations by the Rev. David Adams;
  • the release and signing of a new book about the institution’s history;
  • a Simpson House History Bowl featuring teams of contestants led by Adams and another savvy historian, the Rev. Joe DiPaolo;
  • a talent show for residents, staff, volunteers, board members and supporters; and
  • the culminating Embracing Life banquet, including a silent auction, Nov. 13, featuring as keynote speaker Alma Jacobs, Montgomery County Chair of Aging and Adult Services. Jacobs, now 90, was the first woman to serve as Secretary of the PA Department of Aging and also served as Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.


President and CEO Kim Williams greeted the Eastern PA Annual Conference in 2014 and 2015, reminding members of their important relationship with the time-honored institution where many conference members, lay and clergy, have resided in their later years.

A special Sesquicentennial Tree was planted and dedicated in October. A holiday sing-a-long of hymns and Christmas carols delighted residents and others just this week. And another High Tea and History event is scheduled for next Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 2 to 3;30 PM, to climax the yearlong fete.

Historian David Adams will regale listeners once more with “poignant stories about the men and women who made Simpson House possible” through their generosity, advocacy and leadership. The event will feature tea served in Simpson House’s historic tea cups and guided tours. Pre-registration is required. Call Lynn Seay at 610-660-9340.

By John Coleman
Eastern PA Conference Communications Director