A start to 2018

As the first month of the New Year passes, daylight hours are expanding and new growth is emerging as the seasons continue their inexorable progression, reminding us of God’s ‘post flood’ promise: ‘seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease… while the earth remains’.

And, while the earth remains and there is breath in our lungs, there is hope of salvation and a time for Christians to be fruitful; which so many are being if the ever-increasing number of groups; meals; homes; social events, outreach and evangelistic works being added to our constantly expanding directory is anything to go by! You just have time to enter the information of any ‘groups’ you are running with older people onto the directory – go to https://faithinlaterlife.org/inspire/directory/ Public launch is now planned for February.

Today, The Salvation Army has issued a Press Release launching ‘Singing by Heart’ – a dynamic programme for people with dementia – which uses singing to help individuals connect with others and encourage memory recall. The ‘Singing by Heart’ groups have been piloted in a number of the Salvation Army’s churches and community centres and more details can be found under Press Releases in the News section of this website (https://faithinlaterlife.org/news/media/).

In December, Pilgrims’ Friend Society produced a resource entitled ‘Christmas Friendship and Loneliness’. Is it just for Christmas? Often extra time is spent connecting with people over the Christmas period but this resource, subtitled ‘Starting and Sustaining Conversations’, can also be used at other times (available in the Community and Loneliness section of the Resource Hub on this website).

Faith in Later Life is represented on the Christian Coalition to End Loneliness and while the news of the new appointment of Tracey Crouch as Minister for Loneliness is welcomed, we recognise that one individual, in a single role, will not make a countrywide difference. Christians can play a vital role against what is described as ‘the taboo of loneliness’ and in the process be encompassing the thought shared at the beginning of this newsletter: while the earth remains and there is breath in our lungs, there is hope of salvation and time for Christians to be fruitful.