Older Adult Ministry/ Committee on New and Vital Congregations (OAM/CNVC)
The Older Adult Ministry Council, a long-standing ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual, emotional, social, and logistical needs of older adults, has become an integral part of the Committee on New and Vital Congregations (CNVC). The Council has transitioned to a new structure, but continues its goals through the active participation of two former Council members, the Rev. Dr. Judith Pruess-Mellow, and Jacqueline Finley, and the support of an informal advisory committee of other former members. It is known as Older Adult Ministry/Committee on New and Vital Congregations (OAM/CNVC) and remains faithful to its mission statement: Honor and enrich the lives of older adults by supporting the development of ministries (and serving as a focal point for information) by, with and for older adults.
With CNVC’s focus on developing strong and vital congregations, OAM/CNVC‘s involvement is a natural connection. While older adults (aged 50+) make up the largest number of United Methodist Church members, they are sometimes overlooked as churches strive to flourish and grow. This is unfortunate, as later life is a time when individuals often not only need special support and services, but also have much to offer younger generations in the way of wisdom, experience, service, guidance and courage. Older adults are not only an important component of revitalizing congregations, but they can also be an integral part of forming new and vibrant ones.
As an undertaking for 2014, OAM/CNVC has selected two congregations, Sacramento-Japanese UMC and Castro Valley UMC, to act as model churches in the Churches as Models project. These two churches were chosen based on their successful histories at developing, nourishing and maintaining programs and services for older adults not only within their congregations, but in the broader communities as well. During this year many of their senior programs and activities will be observed and detailed discussions will be held with involved clergy, older adult program leaders, and program participants in order to publicize their strategies for sustaining long-term successful programs and to promote easy ways to replicate programs by other congregations.
Along with a progress report (summer 2014) and a final report (fall 2014), which will be distributed throughout the Conference when complete, ongoing updates will be in Instant Connection, the Vital Signs and Wonders blog and the Conference website under Older Adult Ministry. For more information, please contact Jackie Finley: Finleyjacqueline@gmail.com.