An article was recently passed along to me which I would encourage you to read: Reestablishing Rhythms of Remembering by Benjamin Mast, published through Cardus Magazine online. The article explored how the ancient rhythms of the church provide a unique gift for an aging society.
The church has an emerging pastoral and missional season over the next 20-25 years. An aging demographic of people requires increased assistance within their homes and local communities, a need which is more desperate than ever experienced by a past generation. The need for cooperative care services is already a reality and will only become more urgent as the number of older adults inevitably increases.
Additionally, the social entitlement services we have assumed in the past to care for the aging are rapidly dwindling. Many families cannot cope with the added burden of caring for their aging family members. This is a growing concern which cannot be ignored.
In light of this reality, local churches are still one of the best potential resources for a response.
The church can assure that care for the aging is done with compassion and important community-based connections. Most communities still have churches located within them that have potential meeting space, volunteers, and spiritual motivation to care for their neighbours. These are resources which can be shared in new and creative ways. Throughout history, the church has been known for being agents of social compassion in responding to the needs of their time and location.
In this article, Mast reminds us that we have much to contribute out of the resources of our faith and practices. This generational mission with the aging and their families is unprecedented and God is calling us to be his agents to care and share as witnesses of the good news of a gospel that instills hope.
I warmly invite you to consider joining in this conversation through CHAT. Check in on this website regularly for updated articles, websites, films and other resources to help you weigh in on the aging conversation as a Christian. Information on upcoming seminars can be found on our home page.
Additionally, we would love to hear from you! What do you think about the church’s potential role in caring for the needs of older adults today?