Thursday, October 22, 2015

Reaching out to older adults

 On September 25, 2015, Chambersburg Mall held their annual Senior Fair. As in years past, Rev. James Fox, retired, set up a display representing Older Adult Ministries of the United Methodist Church with materials provided by Discipleship Ministries.

Brochures about “Normal Aging” and “Boomers,” especially the “Boomer Quiz,” were among the top draws. The display also included a selection of books on older adult and intergenerational topics, and some lens wipes with United Methodist logos, which disappeared quickly.

The United Methodist display was selected as a place where people could get a card stamped for a special prize giveaway, which generated more visitors to the table and more opportunities to reach out on behalf of the church. “We drew people’s attention to the materials on intergenerational ministries, care giving, and “normal aging,” said Rev. Fox, who estimated over 500 visitors to the display, with at least 50-75 people engaging in one-on-one conversations.

In addition to Fox, Bruce Gowe, pastor of Conococheague Charge, and a seminary student at Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C., manned the display table. Gowe is also a leader in Young People’s Ministries in Susquehanna Conference. As Gowe’s mentor, Fox was able to dialogue with him on intergenerational ministry issues. “As a conference, we need more emphasis on intergenerational relationships in the home and at church.”

“All in all it was a wonderful day,” said Fox. “It’s my prayer that we may have brought a few folks closer to inquiring about the United Methodist Church.”

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