Unleash the Power of Age: Resources for Older Americans Month
More than one in three Episcopalians is over the age of 65, and another 41% of Episcopalians are between the ages of 45 to 64. Three of every four members of the Episcopal Church are age 45 or older. In terms of economic stressors alone (retirement age, technology gaps, social services, Social Security, and Medicare) the impact of this demographic group on local congregations is profound.
In recognition of this, the 2003 General Convention passed resolution A007, establishing the Task Force for Older Adult Ministries. In 2009, General Convention passed a further resolution, D004, recognizing the church’s need for Older Adult Ministry and the importance of endeavoring to answer the following questions:
- How do we recognize, honor, and utilize the experience, wisdom, and gifts of “older” adults?
- How do we develop ministries that integrate and weave multiple generations together spiritually?
- How do we cultivate Christ’s message of hope and service for older adults, families, and their caregivers?
- How do we examine, explore, and create innovative and contemporary liturgical, spiritual, and service ministries by, with, and for all generations in the Body of Christ?
Older Americans Month is a national initiative to honor the value of elders in the community and to recognize the unique challenges of aging in contemporary culture.
The Episcopal Church offers several resources for use both during Older Americans month and throughout the year.
Resources in English:
- Bulletin Insert: 6 Easter (C)
- “Is Your Church Older Adult Friendly?” checklist list of questions to help congregations think about the inter-generational aspects of their church in reference to an aging society. The ideas range from the basic to more innovative and are meant to be thought-starters.
- “Aging Is Changing,” A congregational resource for ministry with and by older adults. Note this resources is in five sections available for download as pdfs.
- Resources from National Episcopal Health ministries
- Spiritual assessment tool for older adults (from a presentation by Matthew Ellis, National Episcopal Health Ministries)
Please add any additional resources or ideas you have for Older Americans month below.