The annual Outstanding Older Adult awards program of Presbytery of New Hope (North Carolina) recognizes active Christians age 60+ who are doing amazing things in their communities.
Each congregation in the presbytery can nominate an older adult for consideration by the presbytery’s Older Adult Ministries. In May, the presbytery holds a ceremony to celebrate chosen honorees in front of their families and pastors.
Bob Inskeep, moderator of New Hope Presbytery’s Older Adult Ministries, has volunteered to help with the project for over 10 years.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s aways so genuinely inspiring to hear about and then meet the annual recipients,” he shared.
He added, “[Each nominee’s award] may have been a lifelong thing, or something that just caught fire when they retired and had time to do what they really wanted to do!”
The significance of the award to the recipients is immense.
One honoree told her pastor after the ceremony, “Other than my wedding day, this was the most glorious day of my life.”
Bob recalled an awardee whose response particularly touched him: “He was a retired military officer, had held all kinds of leadership roles in the church and Stephen Ministry. When they started reading why he was selected as an Outstanding Older Adult, tears came to his eyes.”
“I asked his wife about his reaction, since I presumed he would have received many recognitions in the past. She replied that, growing up, he was never told he was doing a good job or was a good person.”
People of every age appreciate positive feedback and recognition for their contributions. Try holding an Outstanding Older Adult celebration in your community and see who you honor.
Holding an Outstanding Older Adults Award Ceremony
- Select around 30 recipients to honor to keep the ceremony to a manageable hour.
- Condense biographies so that they are approximately 90 seconds or less when read aloud.
- Create a booklet of the honorees and their biographies as a commemorative souvenir for each attendee.
- Choose a location for the ceremony with few steps and multiple rest rooms.
Bob Inskeep is a semi-retired Presbyterian minister who enjoys supply preaching and coordinating the Outstanding Older Adult Awards in the Presbytery of New Hope. Much of Bob’s pastoral duties over the past 28 years have been looking after older adults in his community. He draws on his previous career in broadcasting to deliver the award show. Bob is grateful for the talents of the presbytery’s administrative assistant, Rene Baker, who is critical to putting on the awards event each year. Visit Presbytery of New Hope online at nhpresbytery.org.
This article originally appeared in the 2023 Older Adult Ministry Planning Guide.