The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin’. Psalm 146: 9 (ESV)
Welcome to our September newsletter, we hope you enjoy reading it. Next month we will be trying a new design and look forward to hearing your feedback. As ever, please do invite others to sign up to receive our news, so we can share our work more widely. Anyone can sign up to this newsletter by visiting our website here.
As Society ‘reopens’, are we forgetting about older people?
This week saw a very distressing article about a recently widowed older man who was so lonely he placed two adverts for friendship in his local newspaper, and didn’t receive a single response. Loneliness and isolation was a problem pre Covid19 but how are we coping now? During the week church buildings used to be excellent places for community engagement, lunch clubs and the like, and were often places many older people felt comfortable. But things are different now, due to Coronavirus. How can we as Christians ensure that as church buildings re-open, our older members are not forgotten, as well as older people in the wider community? Read more in our latest blog by clicking here.
New FREE resource for churches in the value and support of older people
Last month we mentioned an excellent new resource we have produced in partnership with Professor Keith Brown, (a Christian), who is the founding Director the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at Bournemouth University. This resource focuses on the “older old” so called ‘fourth agers’, and provides guidance and expertise relating to a wide variety of subject areas, including valuing older people, ageism in society and the church, and ministries among older people; as well as practical guidance on matters including dementia, loneliness and isolation, financial scamming, and care home engagement. To have a look and to download for free, visit our website by clicking here.
‘Faith in the Second Half’ – Free online seminars
As you know, we have postponed our Keswick Ministries ‘Faith in the Second Half conference’ until May next year. But we are pleased to announce that we will be running a day conference with two online seminars on October 15th. Our morning seminar is for church leaders or those involved in ministry with older people, and the afternoon session is for anyone who wants to think about God’s plans for older age. With speakers including Dr Garry Williams and Revd Ian Knox, this should be a worthwhile and helpful day. To book your FREE place on either seminar (or both), do visit the Keswick website by clicking here.
Is retirement approaching for you or someone you know? Retirement is a wonderful opportunity and a time of significant change. There are many ways to approach retirement and much to consider. ‘Retiring Well’ is a course for those retiring within the next 2 years, and is led by Helen Calder, who previously held senior positions at All Souls Langham Place and the Evangelical Alliance UK. This course aims to inspire you to start praying and planning for a purposeful, fulfilled retirement. It runs in a variety of formats including as a residential weekend at the lovely Penhurst Retreat Centre (UK) from 30 October to 1 November 2020. Penhurst have worked hard to implement the relevant Covid guidelines & regulations. For more information or to register, click here.
It is such a privilege to be involved with continuing to support the ‘Daily Hope’ initiative; have you told anyone about it yet? The phone line, free to all UK mobiles and landlines, has received almost 250,000 calls totalling 3 million minutes, which we are very pleased about and thank God for. For more information about the Daily Hope initiative, do visit our website by clicking here. Who can you share this phone line with today? The number is 0800 804 8044 and operates 24/7.
We have had a busy time recently, with media opportunities across Premier Radio, UCB and TWR Christian radio stations. To listen to our most recent interview on Premier radio click here.
We filmed a 30 minute discussion with myself and Revd Ian Knox, discussing his ‘Faith in Later Life’ commissioned book ‘Finishing Well’, as well as chatting about general matters relating to older age. To watch this do visit our website, it is an enjoyable and informative interview. Click here to head to the website page.
Partnership update from Neighbourhood Prayer Network
A year since we launched our partnership, Faith in Later Life and NPN have worked well together over the last year, including on the first ‘Neighbour Sunday’, as well as sharing our news and stories in our other events.
Earlier this week, the Government announced it’s new rule of six, so our forthcoming ‘Neighbour Sunday’, which is still going ahead on Sunday 18th October 2020, needs to change in some part. Do still keep the date in your diary and keep an eye out on social media in the coming weeks to see our new plans.
As a partner of Faith in Later Life, we love the work being done to support older people, especially in our communities. The recent pandemic has shown community spirit at it’s best, but we believe that must not stop – rather grow as we move into this new season. We would love to encourage Faith in Later Life supporters to also become part of the Neighbourhood Prayer Network. By signing up, for free, you are committing yourself to praying for your street in an intentional way.To find out more about our work, visit www.neighbourhoodprayer.net or search for our Facebook group ‘Neighbourhood Prayer Network’.
If you are praying for us and our work, thank you! We would love to try and inform your prayers a bit more specifically. Below are three prayer points at this time:
- Please pray for our Church Champion webinars later this month, as well as for the ‘Faith in the Second Half’ seminars, that they would all run well and be a blessing to those attending.
- Please pray for financial planning for Faith in Later Life, and financial provision to enable the charity to continue to move forward.
- Thank God that the ‘Daily Hope’ phone line continues to comfort and bless so many, during this time of Coronavirus. Please pray for those who are fearful in this continued time of pandemic.
Yours in Christ,
Chief Executive, Faith in Later Life