Disciples News Service

California church creates connections for seniors

by Rev. Aaron Todd, special correspondent

For years, the people of First Christian Church have sensed a call to enhance the ministry to the senior adults in their congregation and community. After an extended period of waiting and prayer, they received just the gift they needed in order for them to be able to put that call into action.

In 2015, the congregation received a monetary gift from a pair of longtime members who desired to help jump-start this new ministry. Thanks to this gift and the enterprising spirit of a committed committee of senior adults, First Christian Church, Concord now hosts a thriving and active senior adult ministry that is serving not only the congregation, but the surrounding community as well.

The past two years have brought the development of a new Sunday school class that is specifically designed for the older segment of the congregation. In order to be able to reach out beyond the walls of the church, FCC-Concord offers bi-monthly classes on Saturday mornings. The classes offer participants the opportunity to design and create things such as greeting cards, jewelry, and even calligraphy. Additionally, FCC-Concord has held a “Grandparents and Me” dance and they offer enrichment opportunities such as Tai Chi, meditation, and walking groups that are helping to connect both the young and the young at heart.

Furthermore, First Christian Church is offering educational opportunities to help address the needs and questions of the senior adult community. Recently the congregation has offered classes on topics such as identity theft and what to look for when selecting a nursing home.

Spearheading the efforts of this vibrant ministry is Ellie McDougal, the Director of Senior Adult Ministry for the congregation. A retired elementary school teacher who remains active in the local schools, McDougal is proud of the work that the church is doing to serve the older members of their community.

Though her official role as a minister of the church only asks of her 10 hours per week, it is readily apparent that McDougal has invested much more than that into this ministry.

“My role is to to be available to our seniors,” she says. “I make daily contacts and communicate their needs to our senior pastor.”

This fall, a group from the congregation and the surrounding community, guided by the instructor of the Tai Chi class, will be taking a trip to China.

For more information about the senior adult ministry of First Christian Church, Concord, please visit their website at http://www.concordfcc.net