Living U

It is no secret that Living Branches residents enjoy learning something new. When someone from the community offers to share about a vacation or mission trip, the auditorium is standing room only. When a new fitness class is offered, like chair yoga or Zumba, there are immediate sign ups. And the Expanding Horizons educational series is one of the most highly anticipated and attended programs of the year.

In addition to volunteering and traveling, residents enjoy taking time to do things they didn’t have time for before retirement. And for many persons, that is sharing a hobby or skill, or learning something new! We began to explore ways for residents to dive into new learning opportunities without having to go far from home.

Living Branches is excited to announce Living U, a lifelong learning institute that will begin in Fall 2017. Living U will have two terms each year and the courses will cover a wide variety of topics: literature, science and environmental issues, wellness, hobbies, history and culture, and general interests.

We are excited to involve high-quality instructors from the local area, as well as residents who may be interested in sharing knowledge from their career or hobby. Karen Davis has been hired as the Living U Coordinator and will oversee the institute along with a steering committee comprised of individuals within Living Branches and the wider community. Stay tuned for more information as we roll out Living U this year!

Meet Karen Davis

Karen Davis is excited to join Living Branches as the Living U coordinator. Karen and her husband moved from Chambersburg, PA to Bethlehem a little over a year ago. Karen had served as the executive director of Penn Hall at Menno Haven for nine years prior to moving. At Penn Hall she was responsible for creating an environment where residents live and staff work in a caring Christian community focused on excellence. She has enjoyed the time off this past year and the opportunity to learn about her new community but misses serving seniors.

Karen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Shippensburg University. She has worked in not-for-profit Life Plan Communities for over 20 years and has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1996.

She has appreciated learning about Living Branches and the mission to empower older adults to lead lives of purpose and joy. The new position and program to develop lifelong learning opportunities matches Karen’s desire to positively impact seniors within a faith-based organization.

If you’d like more information about Living U, please contact Karen at