I’m writing to connect with those of you who have been involved with the ministry of CHAT over the years. I want to update you on CHAT’s activities and to inform you of plans for the 2019/20 year. We, the CHAT committee are grateful for your interest and support over the past few years as we have developed seminars and resources to respond to the significantly growing number of middle/older adults in our communities and churches, creating new possibilities for pastoral and missional ministries.
A SEASON OF TRANSITION
Over the past year the committee has been in a season of review and discernment concerning the various ministries that have emerged since the beginning of CHAT in 2012. The three ministry partners (Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, Carey Theological College and Beulah Garden Homes Society) are committed to continuing to work together in responding to the challenges and opportunities of ministry with this unprecedented aging population.
CHAT Canada was initially developed as a ministry agency of the founding CBWC-affiliated partners, with an eye toward other potentially interested parties who may want to cooperate in shared initiatives. Now, a new web site has launched along with a “Virtual Centre” which can be accessed for resources, consultation and promotional purposes relevant to anyone in their mid-to-later years of life. We are grateful for the past contribution of Carey in providing the necessary administrative and financial services (i.e. receipting and distributing of CHAT funds) in the development of CHAT. Now, as a result of some changes at Carey, Beulah Garden Homes Society will be supporting CHAT in managing the financial services and providing some administrative support as needed.
In cooperation with several community and church agencies CHAT has hosted a number of seminars and other educational events in the Vancouver region related to better understanding dementia, dementia care and ways to respond. Two Alzheimer Cafés have been established, meeting at Beulah Garden Homes and First Baptist Church of Vancouver. A number of other “dementia friendly” cafés are also beginning to emerge. We are currently developing a Canadian web site for Alzheimer Café. In the meantime, you can learn more about the Alzheimer Cafés through the official UK site by following this link.
Thanks to Carey Theological College, the seminars facilitated by Dr. Paul Pearce over the past few years across Canada on Reframing Retirement has now been produced into a 10 session video series with a discussion guide that can be used for individual study or as a small group resource. You can find it through the Carey web site.
There are currently plans for more seminars and retreats for those who desire to live purposefully into the later years of life as people of faith. We are also preparing to facilitate support and training sessions for caregivers of those who are facing the challenges of aging in body, mind and spirit. Some are highlighted in this letter and others will be added to the website at a later date.
CHAT appreciates the encouragement and support we have received from you and many others in these early years of forming a ministry network with those who are living and learning about aging well in facing the various transitions that occur in the mid-to-later years of life.
We would love to hear from you! You can contact us through any of the methods linked here. Watch for newsletters, blog posts, and on-line events. We also invite you to plan a seminar for your church and neighbourhood. Join in the conversation!