Younger Seniors Reach Out to the Very Elderly
In Marietta, Ga., it’s not uncommon to witness dreams come true.
One elderly woman was flown to California to reconnect with her sister after 30 years apart. Another senior woman got to fly an airplane again. Other seniors go to the symphony or ballet for perhaps one last time. Currently, a blind senior with cataracts and no insurance is receiving assistance in her quest for surgery so she can read her Bible again. The program, called Second Wind Dreams, is just one of many in the Silver and Gold Ministry at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta. The ministry is a community of adults 60 and older who seek to bring loving kindness, support and the gospel to seniors older than them.
Peggy Fulghum, Boomer/Builder Ministry director (for the baby boomer generation and its elders) at the church, which has about 4,000 weekly worshippers, said when she started 16 years ago she quickly saw the need to focus senior ministry on folks in three different phases: Go-goes (young and active seniors), Slow-goes (those just beginning to slow down) and No-goes (the very elderly).The Silver and Gold Ministry emerged from that need.
Currently the church holds Sunday worship services at five local assisted living communities, delivers 100 vases of flowers with scripture attached every other week to homebound residents and hosts an annual Magnolia Ball for 200 senior guests, complete with live Big Band music and photographers to capture the night.
“This may be one of the last times some folks may have to hear the gospel, rededicate their lives to Christ, or nourish in the love of Christ,” Fulghum says, emphasizing the importance of working with youthful seniors to ensure the oldest among them is treated with dignity, compassion and Christlike love.