"You hold in your hands a resource of materials designed to help you and your diocese develop a ministry with older adults. It is one of the ways we hope to equip and support your ministry. It is in response to requests for such material from clergy and laity who attended a national consultation on aging in May 1987. It is meant to be a model which you can adapt for your diocese by including such local resources and information which is useful to your parishes. We hope that each parish will receive a copy of your resources manual". -- "Why a Resources Manual", p. 1.
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents divided into sections: Unit on Aging -- Section I : Your Diocese -- Section II : Facts on Aging -- Section III : Planning a Ministry -- Section IV : Program Ideas -- Section V : Resources -- Your Own Parish.
Two brochures from National Unit on Aging entitled "Life Long Living in the Church" in inside pocket of binder.
"Are our churches ready for the 'greying' of Canada ? Last year, Statistics Canada reported that for the first time since 1871, Canadians 65 and older outnumber those under 14. There are 5.9 million seniors, compared to 5.8 million children". "The greying of Canada presents not just challenges, but opportunities, especially for churches". "There has been a tendency to view this demographic change with alarm, as a portent of the church's precipitous decline." "Not all older people are the same". "Some need pastoral care; others want to offer pastoral care". "Churches need too be mindful of these and other differences when introducing ministries and yes, vocations, for seniors. It's important to recognize that seniors have their own unique needs, but they also have gifts to offer. Some are using time regained in retirement to go back to church, rediscover their faith and be of service to others".
"As Canadians age, people with dementia are becoming increasingly common in congregations -- and there's more that can be done to make churches welcoming to them, an Anglican authority on aging says. 'If we knew a bit more as a community, we might be a bit more accommodating' to those with dementia, says Mollie Cole, an advanced practice nurse now managing programs to improve the health care of seniors for Alberta's provincial health authority. Cole, who is also president of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association, gave a talk on creating dementia-friendly congregations last fall  in Calgary, where she attends St. Martin's Anglican Church" (p. 1). "'People who have a circle of support tend to experience aging in what we call a healthier or better way, and it's people who are socially isolated who are particularly vulnerable' to dementia, says Cole. 'So I look at our church communities as a really excellent opportunity for us to continue to support older adults as they age'" (p. 7). "The Rev. Natasha Brubaker, rector at St. Martin's, which hosted Cole's talk, says she sees people with dementia while giving services at long-term care facilities or during pastoral visits. Anglican clergy in Canada generally aren't trained on how to respond to people with dementia and this can be challenging, she says" (p. 7). "It's important to remember, Cole says, that although they may be cognitively impaired, dementia-sufferers continue to have spiritual needs and a capacity for experiencing the sacred" (p. 7).
"The latter years may be a time of loneliness, withdrawal and fears or alternatively a serene flowering of much that has been growing throughout a long life. A skilled and loving ministry to the aging can be an important factor in dispelling the former and supporting the latter and is increasing a challenge and incentive to clergy and people. In meeting this challenge a parish can be greatly enriched through the faith, wisdom and experience of its older members." -- Intro.
Contents: Introduction / Maurice P. Wilkinson -- The Problems of Aging and Old Age / J.R.D. Bayne -- Ministering to the Older Person in the Urban Parish / Paul E.F. Brillinger -- Gaiety and Action / Muriel Hooper -- Bibliography -- A Meditation onAge for use in groups or by individuals -- Addendum -- For Thought and Action.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Edmonton Alberta has developed "Canada's first Messy Church ministry directed toward senior citizens. ('Messy Vintage', a U.K. initiative offers something similar.) 'Messy Seniors' is held in a high-needs home for seniors with advanced dementia and Alzheimer's. Using the core values of Messy Church -- Christ-centred, for all ages, creativity, hospitality and celebration -- [the Rev. Heather] Liddell and her team adapted the program for a new setting". "In fact, at the 'Messy Seniors' Church, kids lead the service as 'trained volunteers'. Empowering children to lead the church activities 'gives them the opportunity to interact with someone they wouldn't have a chance to in their regular lives. 'Is there any better picture of the kingdom of heaven than a little girl helping a wheelchair-bound man in his 90s -- whose family is far away and too busy to visit very often -- tie knots [that his fingers are too arthritic to make] in a simple star mobile while talking about God's promise to make Abraham's descendants more numerous than the stars ?'"