At St. Luke Lutheran Church in Marietta, Ohio, Pastor Steven M. Mahaffey's October newsletter brought up the loneliness of some of the elderly he visits. He encouraged others to "adopt" those who cannot regularly attend worship and to develop a relationship with them. As a result, Keeping in Touch Ministry was begun, supplementing the informal visits of friends, trying to make sure all are included. This ministry is one way that our congregation reaches out to older members (August, "My View: The distracted church").
Listen to elders
The church focus is so skewed toward parading the little darlings and showcasing toddler comedy it has forgotten the corpus of worship, especially for the contemplative and seniors. Being over 65 is a mandate to sit down and shut up. We still search, read, think and inquire. We still need to question, debate and grow. The reflection of experiences through life has been described as emerging wisdom. Wisdom is a part of eudaimonia, but who in the church listens or cares? Seniors can both learn and teach, but non-prejudicial listening is required.
Be prepared to help
"'Disastrous' youth ministry" (August) mentions that some of its members are also pursuing Community Emergency Response Team training. I've been with CERT since 2005, and one of the local high schools will be offering teen CERT classes for those at least 16 years old this fall after the regular school day. The training is the same that we take as adults. Teen CERT is found in several states. I encourage everyone to look into CERT training, both adults and teens, so you can be prepared to help yourself, your family and your neighbors. In most areas, it's free training.
Morgan Hill, Calif.
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