Aging Well

Aging Well term image

Aging Well is a series of articles on ministry by and with senior adults, written by UMR Columnist Missy Buchanan.

Aging Well: Eldercare mediation can help stressed-out families

The middle-aged woman rolled her eyes and abruptly turned away from her younger brother so she wouldn’t have to see him caress their frail elderly mother. As usual, he had popped in with an armload of expensive gifts for his holiday appearance. Moments before, she had tried to talk privately with him in the kitchen. […]

Aging Well: Seniors need more than our quick-and-easy gifts

Not long ago I sat in a restaurant and watched a young-adult grandson cradle the elbow of his grandmother while she pushed her walker across the uneven brick floor. It seemed obvious that they were having a special grandmother-grandson date. As they neared their table, he moved ahead to pull out the chair then helped […]

Aging Well: Listening can help bridge generational divide

An 84-year-old grandmother and lifelong Methodist shared a family situation that was troubling her. Her 22-year-old granddaughter had just moved in with her boyfriend. The grandmother was heartbroken, especially when she learned that her granddaughter did not view her decision as a moral or biblical issue. The older woman wanted me to know that her […]

Aging Well: Intergenerational dialogue – a challenge for churches

Not long ago a friend told our adult Sunday school class about a training program her work organization was undertaking. The purpose of the program was to help different generations of employees communicate more effectively with each other. At the heart of the training program was a book, Ties to Tattoos: Turning Generational Differences into […]

Aging Well: Practical, theological reasons to value older people

Sometimes you read something that sends chills down your spine. It happened recently when I read the words of Stephen Sapp, chair of religious studies at the University of Miami in Coral Cables, Fla., and former chair of the governing council for the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging: “People in the United States don’t […]

Aging Well: Why the church is no place for age group wars

By Missy Buchanan, UMR Columnist Lately I have been wondering, when did aging become a sport in the United Methodist Church? To participate in this cockeyed game it seems you must pledge allegiance to only one age group—young or old. Not only that, the rules state that you must fiercely oppose the other generation, all […]

Aging Well: If church doesn’t value frail seniors, who will?

Each week I visit older adult friends in three different senior care communities. Not long ago when I went to visit one of my friends, I saw a frail woman sitting in a wheelchair, looking out the window at the parking lot. She looked dressed for a special occasion with white curls framing her thin […]

Aging Well: Older adults are vital to ‘vital congregations’

I’d like to be a fly on the wall of the Tampa Convention Center during the United Methodist Church’s General Conference which begins April 24. If I could, I would make myself practically invisible and just listen to the 900-plus folks who will gather to consider modifications in church law, policy and resolutions. No doubt […]