Observed on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day provides an opportunity for church leaders and congregations to promote dialogue and action on the issues of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

We live in a death-denying culture and most of us would prefer not to think about death and dying. We shove it out of our minds, speak about it only in muffled tones, and keep it at a great distance. But not to think of death is not very smart because we all have a date with it.

If we aspire to grow to be a wise elder, we will recognize that the wisdom of age does not simply happen by living many years and having many experiences. It involves acknowledging and accepting that life requires resilience, flexibility, patience, and sharing this knowledge with others.

An important role for the Church in its ministry by, with, and for older adults is helping older adults age in faith. In other words, effective congregational ministries intentionally invite, nurture, and equip older adults to age faithfully!

While retirement has changes and challenges, it also provides opportunities to embark on new adventures. ENCORE Ministry Director Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler provides an inspiring and alternative view of retirement.

Every May, The United Methodist Church invites local churches to celebrate Older Adult Recognition Day during Older Americans Month (OAM). Church leaders are invited to provide opportunities during May — whether on a Sunday morning during worship or on other days and times — for recognizing the legacy, unique gifts, and challenges of older adults. The 2022 theme is Age …