Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Sarah Erickson, recipient of the 2023 POAMN Legacy Award.

Hand-in-hand with partners from POAMN, Sarah started the Older Adult Ministry Certificate Program at Columbia Theological Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Since 2015, the program has offered 17 classes in which 130 people have participated. More than 40 have earned the certificate by completing four required courses.

On August 31, 2023, after 20 years, Sarah retired as director of the Center for Lifelong Learning. As director, she led a department providing practical, post-graduate opportunities to educate and nurture leaders for the sake of the Church and world.

In addition, she served on the POAMN board, helping to shape the programs and activities we offer to those interested in learning about older adult ministry.

“POAMN is thankful for the dedicated service of Sarah Erickson through her work at Columbia’s Center for Lifelong Learning and her involvement with POAMN,” shared Pat during the presentation of the award at the 2023 POAMN annual meeting.

“She is an honest, straightforward woman who has contributed so much these past years to make POAMN the great organization it is today. Sarah carefully thinks through everything and has excellent organizational skills! I consider her a true friend and colleague.”

Other Voices

POAMN board members are not the only ones who value Sarah’s contributions. Here are others who chimed in at the meeting.

“When I think of Sarah Erickson, the word ‘TRUST’ immediately rises in my consciousness. Sarah, I have learned that whenever we are working with you on a challenging project, we can trust and be confident that the task will be done right. Sarah, your work ethic, intellect, leadership skills, empathetic personality, pastoral concern, faith, and passion for older adult ministry have brought new life and vigor to the Certification Program, as well as elevating the entire scope of POAMN’s ministry. POAMN has been blessed by your work with CLL.”

Rev. Steve Aschmann / Asheville, NC

“Sarah is a dynamo! She is intelligent, witty, writes beautifully, sings well, and is a delight to know. Her direction and guidance has been so helpful throughout her years of service and friendship. I’m thankful God had our paths mingle.”

Pepe Bowman / Fayetteville, GA

“Sarah was very helpful to me as I proposed a relationship between CLL and POAMN to provide training for folks interested in leadership in older adult ministry. She has helped in making appropriate connections, in tweaking the proposal to meet the expectations of CLL, and in her follow-up with others in our network. Sarah has been a great promoter of older adult ministry and has been active in our POAMN family. My instinct was that this relationship was an excellent “fit” and I was never disappointed! Giving thanks for her steadfast commitment, wishing her the best retirement has to offer!”

Jan McGilliard / Blacksburg, VA

“Sarah whistles at work. It’s not uncommon for me to hear tunes of glee in the morning as she walks past my office on the way to hers. Her rare passion for learning shines through. But Sarah never walks past anyone. As so many of her colleagues and friends confirmed, Sarah stops to engage. She pauses to learn about your latest happenings, gauging how she can support you, offer a heads-up on work in the center, or rejoices in your life’s good. Her steadfast commitment to lifelong learning and efforts to undergird the Church through practical education is evident throughout her career.”

Dedication to Sarah on Columbia’s blog