How to use this site

Welcome!    Please use this site to discuss our online Pilgrimage retreat – as well as  the information, programs and resources on the Never Too Old website.NTO home page 110712

Your questions and suggestions – as well as posts about your struggles and successes – are most welcome!

Use the menu at the top of this page to see what others are posting about the  Never Too Old topics  (e.g  Affording What’s Best;  Devotion and Worship; Finding More Love, Online Retreat)  Please comment on these posts  …or start a new discussion if you like.

Professionals (e.g., ministers, church leaders, social workers, healthcare professionals and senior service providers) are encouraged to contribute to this site.

Professionals may also wish to join more in-depth discussions and networking  about training, inter-faith programs, grants, funding and other topics at the Northeast Forum on Spirituality and Aging (NEFOSA) blog on Linked-In.

2 Responses to 'How to use this site'

  1. Winona Stonebraker says:

    Writing a mini-grant to the UNY Conference Older Adult Ministries can help your local church to zero in on specific goals that will enhance your church ministry to seniors in your community. Put together a team of several interested members that will review the needs of older adults in your church and community and plan how it is possible for your church to accomplish these goals. Preparing the grant application will enable your team to develop a structure that you can use even if you do not receive the grant. The plan can be adjusted if you do not get the grant. But let;s look positively that your application will be successful.

    Small churches (or churches of any size) should consider opening you older adult ministry to other churches in your community and to the community at large. Opening your programs will provide more numbers, greater fellowship, and more ideas for discussion within your group. Also, your ministry will be more successful if you have a team of several members who will share the responsibilities. The pastor can be a part of the planning but the leadership should come from the laity.

    An important factor in a successful older adult ministry is that the leaders should not do all the work. When the members contribute they will take a greater role in the program. A good older adult ministry program will provide opportunities that are by, for and with All older adults.

    Several books provide suggestions for programming. We recommend Richard H. Gentzler;s “Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century” and “Designing an Older Adult Ministry.” Dr.Gentzler is the director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.

    Also recommended is “Joy Boosters, 120 Ways to Encourage Older Adults” by Missy Buchanan. The 120 ideas include suggestions such as: Using Photographs to create smiles, making music for older ears, finding laughter, bridging the generation gap, and many others. Each of these books is available through Cokesbury or Amazon.com.

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    Ann Monroe, the president of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York recently wrote on article for the Buffalo News, “Isolation increases risks of ill health and death.” She feels that too often aging is accompanied by increased isolation. Those who are isolated may face increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and infectious illnesses. She states, “Social contact….aids health management.” About 28 per cent of all non-institutionalized adults over 65 live alone. Several ideas that Monroe suggests in assisting seniors are to help them learn about home modification projects such as railings on both sides of stairs, providing opportunities for fellowship groups, informing seniors about available activities and services and helping older adults obtain financial help for services. She states “Let’s look out for our seniors to keep them from growing isolated. It may be as simple as playing cards with an older neighbor, checking in when the weather is bad or offering a ride to church or a community event. We owe our seniors this, at least.” What better reason is there for building an active and intentional older adult ministry for your community.

  2. Two recommended articles for ideas on how to start an Older Adult Ministry in your church can be found by going to the http://www.aging-umc.org website that is the official site for the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries in Nashville. Then, click – Leading Older Adult Ministry. Dr. Richard Gentzler the retiring Director of the Center on Aging has recently written “48 Older Adult Ministry Ideas” and “Steps for a Vital Older Adult Ministry. Each of these articles can be beneficial in considering ways to improve or begin your local church Older Adult Ministry program. Several useful ideas are to provide in your church library reading material, audio and large print books that address older adult issues and provide spiritual material for OA’s, and to consider compiling a devotional book of scripture readings, meditations and prayers that have been provided by seniors in you community.

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