Our churches are graying. But aging and growing older shouldn’t be thought of as a negative life stage. Aging can be the path leading toward maturity, growth, and wisdom.
On October 26, 2023, ENCORE Ministry – in partnership with engAGING Communities TN, UT Chattanooga’s School of Nursing’s older adult initiative – is hosting an event for older adults and older adult ministry leaders.
Each May, congregations are invited to observe Older Adult Recognition Day – the same month our nation observes Older Americans Month. Ideas and links to resources are provided in this article.
Free resources to help church leaders plan Older Adult Recognition Day.
Sunny Day Club® provides respite for family caregivers and a regular outing for loved ones in the early stages of memory loss.
Franklin (Tennessee) First United Methodist Church offers a monthly worship service intentionally created for people who are living with mild-to-moderate dementia symptoms.
Older adults often say they want to stay in their own homes as long as they can. We describe such thinking as aging in place — defined as living in the home and community of your choice as you age. It is a place where one feels safe has the ability to control and enjoy life experiences.
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!
With 65 percent of active members older than 65, Millington (Tennessee) First United Methodist Church (FUMC) is a graying congregation. However, the church is located in a diverse neighborhood with a high school, intermediate school, and single-family starter homes. In March, church members began an inter-generational outreach ministry — pickleball for all ages.
Before the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference’s birth in January 2022, the legacy Memphis and Tennessee conferences had senior ministry programs: GOLDEN CROSS Senior Ministry (GCSM) and ENCORE Ministry (EM) While each ministry lives on in the TWK Conference, they have distinct functions and characteristics.