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October conference seeks to address joys and challenges of aging

Two Presbyterian organizations for older adults, POAMN and ARMSS, to co-sponsor national event

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – Unified under a theme inspired by John 13:34-35, Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope, the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) and the Association of Retired Ministers, Their Spouses, or Survivors (ARMSS) will co-sponsor a national conference for persons engaged in ministry with older adults from October 11-14 in Richmond, Virginia.

Dianna Wright of Salem Presbytery leads the workshop "Keeping Cultural Practices Alive for Older Adults," at the 2014 Joint POAMN/ARMSS Conference in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Photo credit: Michele Hendrix.

Dianna Wright of Salem Presbytery leads the workshop “Keeping Cultural Practices Alive for Older Adults,” at the 2014 Joint POAMN/ARMSS Conference in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Photo credit: Michele Hendrix.

Conference participants will have a unique opportunity to engage in fellowship, networking, sharing resources, interactive and participatory workshops, creative worship, recreation, mission tours, entertainment, and an inspiring keynote address by the Rev. Dr. John Carroll of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Other key leaders include the Rev. Tom Tickner, minister of Spiritual Life at Grace Presbyterian Village, Dallas, worship leader; and David McCollum, minister of music at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, Blowing Rock, N.C., music leader.

As a network of persons engaged in ministry with older adults, POAMN strives to tackle the challenges of aging with expert solutions, and to redefine aging as a journey of spirituality, strength, growth, care and compassion. POAMN addresses the increasing need for older adults to deal with the plethora of issues that face them. “We inevitably face mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual changes as we age,” says Michele Hendrix, POAMN’s president. “POAMN is focused on helping all of us to age wisely and gracefully.”

POAMN, which is in covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is celebrating its 34th anniversary of providing conferences with the framework for recognizing the gifts and challenges of growing older in the life of the church.

Leaders gathered at the 2016 GA in Portland, Oregon: Michele Hendrix, POAMN President; Rev. Dr. James Foster Reese, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for ARMSS and past President; Jan McGilliard, POAMN Certification Leader, Bette Young, and Bill Young, POAMN GA Liaison. Photo provided.

Leaders gathered at the 2016 GA in Portland, Oregon: Michele Hendrix, POAMN President; Rev. Dr. James Foster Reese, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for ARMSS and past President; Jan McGilliard, POAMN Certification Leader, Bette Young, and Bill Young, POAMN GA Liaison. Photo provided.

The purpose of ARMSS is “to discern and help meet the needs of honorably retired ministers, their spouses, or survivors, by providing opportunities for worship, major presentations on contemporary issues, discussion groups, and fellowship.”

“Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries was a lifeline for me when I joined the network 25 years ago,” says Hendrix. “POAMN recognizes that leaders and older adults are trailblazers in today’s culture—advocating for themselves, their peers, and their communities—paving the way for future generations and the church to promote and engage in activity, wellness, care and social involvement.”

The conference planners encourage attendees to arrive early or stay late “to enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves in a city filled with historical sites.”

Both ARMSS and POAMN are extending an early conference registration fee to their members until August 21 and September 21 respectively. Visit the POAMN website to download the complete conference brochure as well as find information on available scholarships.


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