I’ve written in this space (here, here and here) about the challenges some over age 40 have when it comes to maintaining meaningful connection with their local churches. I am always on the lookout for people and congregations doing some creative thinking about how to nurture spiritual maturity for those at midlife and beyond.
Dr. Gail Bones has written a very helpful exploration on the subject of transition in Living Cross Wise: Hope and Help For Navigating Transition (Treasure House Publishers, 2013). This 12-chapter, 200-page workbook is a thoughtful, Biblically-rooted study of the uprooting, disorienting nature of change, loss and new growth in our lives. She notes, “As painful as it is to be stretched, both in labor and in life, (transition) is an essential part of giving birth to something new.” Each chapter includes a helpful, wise reflection, a set of discussion questions that would work in a small group or to be used as journal prompts, five days of Bible study questions, some thoughtful quotes, additional reading suggestions and a memory verse. A couple of excellent appendices are designed to assist readers in prayerfully naming their priorities during a time of change. She includes a word of instruction on how to run an intergenerational group to walk through this excellent material.
Peace Lutheran Church in Joplin, MO ran a Vacation Bible School for seniors. Activities included Wii and iPhone instruction, greeting card making, a class focused on helping participants write a personal history, crochet and choir groups, a space to simply hang out and talk and more. [Read more]