Faith Formation

Churches and Communities Need to Work Together to Address Issues Around Aging

November 6, 2014
Lifelong Formation

We welcome back as guest blogger Warren Frelund, who serves on the Lifelong Formation Advisory Council and has served as a deacon in The Episcopal Church for 20 years. 

How is your church dealing with aging issues?


In a previous blog post I mentioned that Iowa Bishop Alan Scarfe and I would be attending a meeting in Des Moines. The meeting would be sponsored by Calvin Community, which is a faith-based, not for profit retirement community. The facility is staffed by a team of professionals who deliver individualized care to older adults.

On June 3, 2014 the first meeting of a newly created Foundation Advisory Board was held. Several of the invited denominations attended the meeting.

Following a presentation by the Iowa State Director of A.A.R.P., an interesting and spontaneous discussion concerning the issues surrounding Older Adult needs. Those gathered offered very meaningful questions and answers. It soon became clear that all the churches and communities are in this together and that we need to address the issues soon.

One statement really caught my attention, “The primary source for connectedness is the church.” Several thoughts were offered in this context?

  • How can Older Adults be relevant to their community and their church?For those who are not connected to the greater community, the quality of life soon deteriorates.
  • What is a livable community that includes Older Adults? Those living in a livable community are folks who are well, engaged in their surroundings and experience authenticity in their environment.

This certainly was an important step in creating an Advisory Board which will take the time and make the effort to discuss these important questions. Our next gathering will be held in early September. I hope that more of those who were invited will be able to attend.

I would really like to hear your thoughts concerning the issues I have mentioned so that I can share these thoughts with the group when we meet in September.

Also, I would love to hear how your church is dealing with aging issues. Is your congregation really willing to discuss Older Adult issues?

Share in the comments below.

David Stickley

Formation Associate