On the final day of 2023 and every day, I give thanks for all the hard work of persons in ministry who feel the call to nurture and care for those who are challenged as they face their later years, as well as the persons who are caring for them. I’m also giving special thanks today for the legacy of Dr. Miriam Dunson’s ministry. Her passion, publications, newsletters, conferences, and leadership formed POAMN early on and influenced many individuals to pursue older adult ministry.
My term on the board of directors ends today after holding a few different positions since 2016-2017. The theme of this newsletter is from Genesis 18:14 (NRSV): “Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” when the Lord is talking to Abraham about the miracle of Sarah bearing a child in old age.
I believe POAMN, which started out as an informal group of individuals doing older adult ministry in the 1980s, is one of those “wonderful” things led by the Lord that continues to be strong forty years later. It became an official organization in the early 1990s under the guidance of Dr. Dunson. I’m proud and feel blessed to have been one of those early individuals doing older adult ministry who helped inspire the PC(USA) to make it a part of their mission.
My tenure as vice president and president has been wonderful as well as challenging. As the “pandemic” president, I faced some interesting times trying to lead a national board. I often felt inadequate in that role, as I’m sure many did during that time. Those few years seem like ages ago, and I believe we all came out better for our struggles. I thank each and every one of you for your support during my tenure.
I’m excited to announce that in early 2024, a few POAMN board members, plus others whose passion lies in older adult ministry, will be doing some strategic planning and visioning about the future of POAMN. POAMN wants to remain the go-to resource for Presbyterian churches, as well as other denominations, who want to start older adult ministries or enhance what they are already doing. The questions before us are: Are we doing enough? How should POAMN function in the future for all generations to feel “wonderful” about ministering to, with, and for our older members? And how do we encourage participation and interest in older adult ministry?
I pray you are blessed in all your endeavors in 2024 and that your ministry, no matter what form it takes, includes older adults in your congregations and community.