News & Events

The Coronavirus, the Elderly, and the Church

by Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., director, ENCORE Ministry

How can churches get ahead of this public health crisis in light of increasing reluctance of people to gather in groups of any size?

This question was posed by my friend, Dr. Richard Bergstrom, in his recent newsletter article “I’m thinking about giving up church for Lent”. Bergstrom is president of ChurchHealth, a non-profit organization focused on renewal, coaching, and church consulting (www.re-ignite.net).

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Golden Cross Foundation Awards More than $100K in 2019

The Golden Cross Foundation, awarded more than $100,000 to churches and organizations throughout the conference in 2019. Grant money was used to start an iPad pilot project for older adults, retrofit churches with ramps and lifts, broaden an older adult choir’s outreach to the surrounding community, provide financial assistance for feeding ministries and older adult ministry programs, and help launch an intergenerational home sharing program.

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Feeding Ministries Provide Needed Relief to Middle Tennesseans

According to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, one in eight Middle Tennesseans struggles with hunger on a daily basis. Factors contributing to food insecurity include job instability, overwhelming medical bills, inability to drive, and lack of access to programs available to help such as federally supported SNAP and WIC programs.

Thanks in part to funding from the Golden Cross Foundation, two Middle Tennessee United Methodist churches are reaching out and helping individuals and families in their communities through food ministry programs.

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Learning to Grow Old

Recently, when I was consulting with a local church in my role as director of ENCORE Ministry, I was approached by an older woman with a big smile on her face. She said that she was looking forward to my visit with leaders of the older adult ministry in her church. And then she said, “Now, someone can tell me how to grow old!”

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Martin Methodist College’s Health Initiative Continues to Keep Middle Tennesseans Healthy

In October 2017, the Jeanette M. Travis School of Nursing at Martin Methodist College (MMC) received a $93,000 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation. The grant helped fund a rural health initiative through which  MMC nursing faculty and nursing students provide health screenings and wellness information in various rural and urban communities in Middle Tennessee.

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Golden Cross Foundation Launches Golden Cross Connections

Welcome to the first issue of Golden Cross Connections, a free bimonthly electronic newsletter published by the Golden Cross Foundation (GCF). Founded in 2013, the GCF is a non-profit corporation and extension ministry of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. It provides funding assistance for new and ongoing ministries and services with older adults in the Tennessee Conference and provides expertise and strategic planning to the conference for the expansion of innovative and effective ministries with older adults.

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Hillcrest and Gordon Memorial UMC’s Clubs Minister to Senior Adults

Ministry with senior adults isn’t just a Sunday-morning calling for two Nashville-area United Methodist churches. Weekday clubs for senior adult member and community residents are key ministries for Hillcrest and Gordon Memorial.

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ENCORE Ministry: Intentional Older Adult Ministry

We are living in a world of rapid change. One of the greatest challenges church leaders will face is our growing aging population and the graying of our congregations. Since older adults have historically been the most religiously active of all age groups, this shift in demographics is having a significant impact on how we do ministry.

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Golden Cross Foundation Celebrates Four Years of Ministry and Service

Since 2013, I’ve been blessed to serve on the Golden Cross Foundation’s board of directors. During that time, we’ve provided grants and training to help United Methodist churches and organizations in the Tennessee Conference meet the needs of our conference’s fastest-growing demographic group – midlife and mature adults.

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ENCORE Ministries

ENCORE Ministries is a new, valuable resource that is now available in the Tennessee Conference to help congregations meet the needs of the fastest growing demographic group in our conference.  And, because this ministry is funded by a grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, there is no cost to congregations for its service.

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Book: “Designing an Older Adult Ministry”

Building on the success of Designing a Ministry by, with, and for Older Adults, author Rick Gentzler gives readers new ways to develop and strengthen ministries with older adults.

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Helpful Websites Related to Ministry with Older Adults

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