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Most congregations today are blessed with having many older members. A church filled with older adults is not necessarily dying. Nor does it mean that ministry cannot happen in that setting.

Older adults present faith communities with a variety of challenges, but they also bring tremendous resources that should not be ignored. In many situations, older adults will be the growing – and in some cases, primary – population in our communities.

As we face the prospect of an aging society and congregations, we must begin to find new ways for ministry.

Dr. Gentzler | Bishop Carder

Dr. Richard H. Gentzler Jr. – an internationally recognized leader, speaker and writer on aging and older adult ministries – and Bishop Kenneth L. Carder, who is now a chaplain at a memory care unit, will lead “Exploring the Longevity Revolution: Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century.”

The seminar is scheduled for March 10, 2018, at The Methodist Oaks, 1000 Methodist Oaks Drive, Orangeburg.

Registration is $25, which covers all materials and lunch. By attending this workshop, you may receive .5 continuing education unit.

Register online by March 1.

Download/print pdf registration form.

The four-session seminar’s goal is to provide tools and skills necessary for effective ministry with older adults. Upon completion, participants should be able to:

  • Appreciate the unique challenges of aging and older adults
  • Discuss congregational vitality involving mid-life and older adults
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the myths and realities of aging
  • Recognize the variety of changes that take place in people as they age
  • Articulate basic needs for spiritual well-being of older adults
  • Identify a variety of models of church ministries with older adults
  • Show proficiency in planning a comprehensive ministry with older adults
  • Understand the longevity revolution with the Boomer Generation

About the speakers

Dr. Richard H. Gentzler Jr. is director of Encore Ministries, a ministry funded by the Golden Cross Foundation of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is the former director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Gentzler has written many books and hundreds of articles on aging concerns and ministry with midlife and older adults. His latest book, “An Age of Opportunity: Intentional Older Adult Ministries,” published by Discipleship Resources, will become available in May 2018.

Retired United Methodist Bishop Ken Carder served the Nashville Area of the United Methodist Church from 1992 to 2000 and the Mississippi Area of the United Methodist Church from 2000 to 2004. He is the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School.  Bishop Carder is the Chaplain at Bethany, the memory care unit at The Heritage at Lowman Senior Living Community in Chapin. He is also caring for his wife, Linda, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2009.

Download/print seminar flier.

Questions? Please call 803-268-1707.


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