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Our aging population is expanding — the number of Americans over 50 will grow by 74% in the next ten years. With 40% of congregational members now over the age of 55, there is a call to help those individuals live healthier, happier, and holier lives. What can congregations do?
They can start by developing a Wellness Ministry. Through a well-organized program of this kind, congregations address all aspects of elderly life.
Addressing the SPIRITUAL Aspect
Encourage weekly worship. Provide Bible Studies, seminars, and retreats. Create support groups and prayer chains. Deal with end-of-life issues.
Addressing the PHYSICAL Aspect
Promote nutritional eating and exercise. Encourage smoke-free lifestyles and regular visits to health care providers. Sponsor a health fair. Develop a parish nurse ministry.
Addressing the SOCIAL Aspect
Organize fellowship groups, sporting activities, field events, and out trips.
Addressing the INTELLECTUAL Aspect
Provide educational programs, computer labs, and intergenerational activities.
Addressing the EMOTIONAL Aspect
Create an environment that fosters communication. Affirm life’s goals.
Encourage fun and laughter. Provide peer counseling.
Addressing the VOCATIONAL Aspect
Plan for short-term mission projects, volunteer activities, home chore
services, minor home repairs, and respite care.