As Christians, and especially as United Methodists, we are all too often painfully aware of our differences. Our socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, race, sexual orientation, professions, interests, and beliefs may separate us. Even attitudes and beliefs about aging and the elderly can fragment us. We all age differently.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, church leaders have experienced great change in how we do effective ministry. In some cases, the loss of face-to-face gatherings with social distancing, changes in the way we greet people (without hugs and handshakes), celebrate Holy Communion or holy baptism, or even in passing of the peace during worship services can be troublesome. Problem solving in …

Declining memberships, dwindling finances, and efforts to reach a new generation may consume church leaders so that learning to appreciate the unique challenges and gifts of aging get in the way of emphasizing older adult ministry.

By Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., DMin When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, he carried with him the Ten Commandments.  These laws were to govern the beliefs and actions of his followers.  The Fifth Commandment proclaimed that the people were to “honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God …

By Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., D.Min. “In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap” (Psalm 92:14) Many congregations are graying! Due to better health care, nutrition, job safety, physical fitness, and medical technology more people are living longer than ever before. As a result, many of our congregations are enjoying the blessing of …

By Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. As you plan for intentional older adult ministry, keep in mind that every older adult is a unique individual and one ministry idea does not meet all needs.  Be sure to identify needs and plan ministry accordingly.  Listed below are selected ministry ideas or “Best Practices” with older adults. Adult Day Services: Develop a …