Home Keeping the Faith - Issue #93

Keeping the Faith - Issue #93

This is an excerpt from a PDF download. To download the full text of this document click: Keeping the Faith.

Many people who worked hard to acquire wisdom would like to share what they have learned about life in general and about their spiritual lives in particular, but have no way to convey their messages.
From Keeping the Faith: A Collection of Proven Devotions From Catalina Senior Adults

Over a two-year period, older adults at Catalina United Methodist Church in Tucson, Arizona, were invited to describe where they turn in times of trouble and what has helped them grow in faith. Reflections of comfort, pain, joy, and hope were expressed time and again. The stories seniors told illustrated how they gained spiritual strength in spite of losses and transitions — how they maintained their faith over the years through bad and good times.

As they recounted their life experiences, it became clear that other people would benefit from hearing these stories. The resulting collection of devotions is more than an expression of how people have kept their faith in the face of illness, sadness, and loss; it is a living testimony that as we grow in age we can continue to grow in Christian faith.

The book provides an opportunity for older adults to leave a legacy to their faith community — to be remembered and to make a difference. As people of all ages read and reflect on each devotion, they not only become familiar with the life story of one of their older church members, but they experience sustenance and encouragement for their own faith journeys.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • How is your congregation helping people of all ages tell their faith stories and learn from one another?

  • How are you helping older adults create a legacy for succeeding generations?

  • What media, in addition to print, might you use to enable people of all ages to share their faith stories with others in the congregation?

  • What opportunities are available within the flow of the church year for people to tell their faith stories?

Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. is the Director of Older Adult Ministries at the Discipleship Ministries. He may be reached at [email protected]. You may read more about Catalina UMC at www.catumc.org.

In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #93. © 2011 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.