Older Adult Ministry
Welcome to the Kansas District Older Adult Ministry web page! We pray this page will be helpful for our congregations as they look for resources for senior ministry.
In 2019 the Kansas District appointed a task force to investigate ways of assisting congregations in ministering to the ever-growing numbers of seniors in our churches. The comprehensive report of the task force is included on this page. One important recommendation from the report was to find efficient ways of connecting with both the staffs of our congregations and with our lay members directly. This webpage is part of that effort. If you have ideas for additions, please let us know.
Tom Perry (Trinity, Mission and Shawnee), Chair
Older Adult Ministry Committee
Senior Moments Newsletter
In April 2021, the Older Adult Ministry Committee launched Senior Moments, a new quarterly newsletter intended to encourage and help establish enhanced Older Adult Ministry throughout the Kansas District. The publication is being produced at Trinity, Mission and Shawnee and mailed to congregations from the District Office. You can access a digital copy here.
Older Adult Ministry Committee Chair Tom Perry recently wrote about older adult ministry for the NADCE (National Association of Directors of Christian Education); an excerpt of that article appeared in Rich Bimler’s “Rich and Charlie Resources” eblast in June. We’ve included the excerpt below; the full article is available on the Trinity, Mission and Shawnee website.
Open the Treasure
There were two churches, each with a hidden treasure. The first church’s treasure was amassed over many years. They kept the treasure safe and hidden, so that it would continue to be with them for many years to come. As time went by that secure treasure became forgotten and unused. The treasure was still there but, its full potential was not realized.
The second church also amassed a great treasure over many years. They put their treasure out for all to see. They opened the lid of the treasure chest and invited all to partake in its value. As the treasure was used, more treasure was added. As the treasure grew so did the people of the church.
The above illustration points to a choice a congregation has when ministering with and for older adults. They can be cherished by being set aside and cared for, or they can be cherished by being a readily used tool in God’s kingdom. Often a congregation will look to their senior members with love and want to make them comfortable. This is admirable and needed If congregations stop there however, they miss out on a wealth of love, experience and expertise collected for decades. The life experience older adults have gained is waiting to be harnessed and used. Most churches try hard and do an excellent job of spiritual care. They also do what they can to assist in making the everyday life easier for their senior members. A wise church will also try to find ways to incorporate seniors into all aspects of church life. They have so much to give and a willingness (albeit sometimes hidden) to give it.
The Older Adult Ministry Committee is developing a master list of our congregations’ older adult ministry contact persons. Which layperson in your congregation already serves, or would willingly serve, as such a “point person” or “advocate” for this vital aspect of your congregational life? Please email the name and email address of your contact person to District staff person Tami Lierz at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Thank you!
Older Adult Task Force Report
This report, produced in 2019 by our Older Adult Ministry Task Force, includes findings on older adult ministry, a survey of available and recommended resources, and implications for older adult ministry for both smaller and larger congregations. The report also contains sample documents for congregational use, including a comprehensive advance funeral planning document.
Additional Resources/Senior Ministry Page Example
If you’re looking for additional older adult ministry resources or a need a model for a older adult ministry webpage, check out the Senior Ministry page on the website of Trinity, Mission and Shawnee. Of course, every congregation will have its own particular needs and resources. This link is intended to get the conversation started.
Saints Alive After 55
Saints Alive After 55 is a ministry for older adults in the Kansas District. The group holds a three-day gathering each year that features keynote speakers, topical sessions, entertainment, and fellowship opportunities.
The 2020 gathering, which was scheduled for July 12-14 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, was canceled in response to COVID-19 concerns. We’ll keep you updated about future gatherings as information becomes available.
If you’d like additional information about Saints Alive After 55, contact Tami Lierz in the District Office at email@example.com.
Older Adult Ministry Committee
Rev. Dennis Fangmeyer
Tom Perry, Chair
Rev. Cliff Winter
District Staff Contact
Assistant to the President for Education and Youth
785-357-4441, ext. 5001