A Call to Action
The Task Force on Older Adult Ministries convened for the first time during the 2010-2012 triennium by an act of the 76th General Convention. The Task Force evolved from the Task Force on Senior Ministries formed in 2003, which was a ministry of The Office for Ministry Development. The Task Force on Older Adult Ministries is mandated to determine programs currently being offered by congregations, dioceses and provinces, to establish a method of sharing this information, and to explore ways the church can connect with each other in intergenerational opportunities. The Task Force is also directed to create a comprehensive plan to raise awareness of issues related to older adults.
The following resolution is part of their Blue Book Report which has been submitted to the General Convention Office:
A Response to the Call of The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation: A Call to Action
Resolved, the House of ______ concurring, that the 77th General Convention adopt the following text as A Response to the Call of The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation: A Call to Action by the Task Force for Older Adult Ministries Our vision for The Episcopal Church is that each congregation will be a place where people of all ages are welcomed and valued, where The Episcopal Church will provide resources and assistance to its members as they go through the lifelong process of aging, particularly those times of change when new callings need to be discerned, and where the grace and fellowship of the local congregation will surround each of its members, wherever they may be in the aging process. Our vision for our Episcopal Church is that we will support dioceses and congregations in their ministry with older members, and that this support will be reflected in policies, worship, and training for all the ministers of the church.
We Invite The Episcopal Church:
- To embrace older adults in all parts of the life of the Church.
- To recognize our almost universal fear of our own aging.
- To examine our own individual process of aging.
- To encourage all generations to make their own discoveries in the journey of lifelong aging.
- To foster liturgical rites and traditions that embrace older adults.
We Inspire The Episcopal Church:
- To celebrate and learn from the individual, intra-cultural and inter-cultural diversity in aging.
- To understand that spiritual discovery and discernment is a lifelong process.
- To respond to injustices toward older adults.
- To recognize that all older adults have the right to be loved, accepted and included.
We Challenge The Episcopal Church to become a transforming community that:
- Includes people of all ages as participants in baptismal ministries.
- Responds to the changing culture as it relates to aging.
- Confesses that no one has the “whole truth,” or completely understands the aging process.
- Believes aging starts at birth and ends at death—it is a life process.
- Allows for ultimate freedom, individuality in aging.
- Provides a place of resource and solace for families dealing with aging.
- Understands there is a wholeness in aging, including mind, body and spirit.
This call to action is grounded in our understanding of the Baptismal Covenant and our identity as Episcopalians. Lifelong Christian Faith Formation in The Episcopal Church is lifelong growth in the knowledge, service, and love of God as followers of Christ and is informed by Scripture, Tradition and Reason. Developed by the Task Force for Older Adult Ministries in response to GC2009 A087.
This Call to Action was developed in response to a need expressed in the Church and by the 76th General Convention in D004 for additional resources and encouragement which celebrate lifelong Christian formation for older adults. Informed by our exploration and engagement with the Baptismal Covenant, the Five Marks of Mission, and the Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation the prophetic voice of the Task Force for Older Adult Ministries emerged and this Call to Action reflects the urgency of the need of the Church to engage with depth and breadth the education and formation of people of all ages. All generations working creatively, sharing wisdom and perspectives can enrich formation. The church is most especially enriched when all ages are connected in formation and there is no graduation from our work as Christians. To assist the Church in the implementation of this Call to Action a guide to facilitate conversations and action in congregations, dioceses and provinces has been developed.