“Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you”. Isaiah 46: 4 (NIV)
Welcome to the March Faith in Later Life newsletter, and thank you for your continued interest and support, which is so encouraging. In our newsletters we aim to provide a blend of relevant national news and updates around what we are doing, and hopefully in doing so encouraging you and your church in your vital ministries with those in later life. As ever, if there is any content you would like to see in our newsletters that is currently missing, then do get in touch– and please do invite others to sign up to receive our news.
One of the goals of the secular Centre for Ageing Better is to see an increase in the proportion of people aged 50 and over, who report they feel they strongly below to their neighbourhood- and we think this is a good thing, (whatever your age!) It could be said however that relationships and community become even more important in later life, whether relying on people close to us when we experience ill health, loss of independence or bereavement, and that even those often mundane social connections can have a positive effect, with many people feeling isolated and lonely.
At Faith in Later Life we want to encourage churches to be at the heart of providing community for all in later life- and of course ultimately our desire is that as people are met with friendship and fellowship, that all would be encouraged; and those who don’t know the Lord Jesus would come to know Him as their Lord and Saviour, and enter into the best relationship. Does your church hold an activity which welcomes older people in the local community? If so please let us know, so we can add it to our national directory. You can do that by clicking here.
Communion and community
Earlier this week in the Christian Press there was a lovely story about Beechgrove Care Home in Lanark, Scotland, who live streamlined the weekly church service from their local church. What made the story was the decision of the church Minister to actually physically take the church service into the home (including with congregation), rather than just live stream it. As you can imagine this was a very positive experience for the residents.
Does your church have any involvement with a local care home? We have a number of resources to support church engagement in a care home, but we are currently working on a pack which we will look forward to making available to churches to support and encourage them in what is a wonderful witness to the wider community, and a great encouragement to those older Christians who are often unable to get from their care home to church. To see the resources we currently have, do visit our website resource hub by clicking here.
How do I share Jesus with my parents?
We were recently invited to write an article on the Evangelical Alliance ‘Great Commission’ website, relating to how to share faith with (older) parents. The article is based on the experience of a young couple and their disinterested parent, who came to faith weeks before he died. We suggest that there are five essential keys or principles to abide by when seeking to share the Lord Jesus with your parents. To read the article on our website, please click here.
For guidance and suggests relating to evangelism with those in later life, do visit the section of our website which is dedicated to this. We are currently working on further materials regarding evangelism, and will keep you updated. https://faithinlaterlife.org/evangelism/
In the news
The Centre for Ageing Better (mentioned earlier in this newsletter) has recently highlighted the importance of the Church’s role in caring for the elderly, and in response to this I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on Premier Christian Radio. If you would like to read the associated article following my radio interview, you can find it on our website, by clicking here.
Firm foundations for later life
If you are interested in attending what will be an excellent day of Bible focused encouragement relating to many aspects of later life, do consider joining 100s of others on 11th May at the Pilgrims’ Friend Society annual conference. With speakers including Dr Jennifer Bute, author Louise Morse, and a keynote address from Professor John Wyatt, this is a day not to be missed. See their website for more.
Yours in Christ,
Director, Faith in Later Life