Loneliness haunted Norma Potter when she returned to Rochester, N.Y., after 20 years in Florida. The 74-year-old retired secretary needed to make new friends. She read in the newspaper about the Wellness Center of Incarnate Word Lutheran Church. "I went all by myself," she says, "to give it a try."
Since that day in 1995, the people she meets every Friday at the center have become an important part of her life. "I love them all," she says, "They are like family to me."
Potter's attitude is shared by most of the Wellness Center's 60 regulars. Lillian Adams, a 95-year-old member of Incarnate Word, "likes everything" about the program, but especially the fellowship.
The center emphasizes friendship because friends are essential for a healthy life. But it's only one dimension of the ministry. In fulfilling its mission to help older adults "enhance physical and spiritual health by offering new ways to take care of one's health and the fellowship of others," the center also offers exercise programs, basic health checks and nutrition and wellness education.
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers