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.

     Gordon Memorial’s Best Years Club provides programming, meals, transportation, and everyday necessities while Hillcrest’s Sunny Day Club provides respite for caregivers and a regular outing for club members who are in early stages of memory loss. Both churches received Golden Cross Foundation grants to help fund specific needs.

     At Hillcrest, grant money helped retrofit a 20-year-old Christian life center and fellowship hall, making both more accessible and welcoming. Gordon Memorial used its grant money to provide Best Years Club participants with hot meals, take-home boxed lunches, instructor-led physical activity, transportation for quarterly field trips, and workshops on senior health-related topics led by Meharry Medical College instructors.

     “The opportunity to gather weekly for social activity, exercise, and Bible study has enhanced the quality of life for participants and volunteers alike,” said Gordon Memorial’s Best Years Club coordinator Marie Dunkerson.

     Hillcrest’s Sunday Day Club members and volunteers gather each Wednesday for games, exercise, prayer, singing, and eating.

     “Sunny Day has been a blessing for the volunteers, but more importantly for club members and their caregivers. We all have fun. Members play various games – bingo’s a favorite – exercise, have a sack lunch, and sing songs. But probably best of all is the laughter and interaction with the members. I am inspired each day!” said volunteer Sharon Steeley.

     With Golden Cross Foundation support, both clubs have brought love, usefulness, caring, and inspiration from God’s spirit to many different people.

     “Lives have been improved and activities are enjoyed by all who come,” said Hillcrest’s Sunny Day Club director Anita Wheeler. “I look forward to seeing our Sunny Day Club grow and bless club members, caregivers, and volunteers in the coming years.”

     Dunkerson also expressed gratitude for Gordon Memorial’s Golden Cross Foundation grant.

     “God has used this ministry to inspire and affirm all who participate in the program. It enables persons to feel they have a purpose for living.”

     If your church needs funding assistance for new or ongoing ministries and services with older adults in the Tennessee Conference, visit https://goldencrossfoundation.org/application-guidelines/ for grant application information or contact Kent McNish, executive director of The Golden Cross Foundation at kmnish@goldencrossfoundation.org or 615-479-6175.