A Vision for the Aging Church
A Vision for the Aging Church
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A Vision for the Aging Church: Renewing Ministry for and by Seniors
by James M. Houston & Michael Parker

Now is the time for the church to offer ministry to its increasing numbers of seniors and to benefit from ministry they can offer. In this book, James M. Houston and Michael Parker issue an urgent call to reconceive the place and part of the elderly and seniors in the local church congregation.

Confronting the idea that the aging are mostly a burden on the church, they boldly address the moral issues related to caring for them, provide examples of successful care-giving programs and challenge the church to restore broken connections across the generations.

Cowritten by a noted theologian and an expert in the fields of social work and gerontology, this interdisciplinary book assesses our current cultural content and the challenges and opportunities we face. The authors show us that seniors aren’t the problem. They are the solution.

Product Details

Format: paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780830839483
Publisher: IVP Academic
Pub. Date: October 2011

Meet the Author

James M. Houston (M.A., Edinburgh; D.Phil., Oxford) is founding principal, former chancellor, and emeritus professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of some forty books, including I Believe in the Creator, The Transforming Friendship, In Search of Happiness, The Heart’s Desire, and The Mentored Life.

Michael Parker (Ph.D./DSW, LCSW, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Retired [AMEDD]) is associate professor at the School of Social Work & Center for Mental Health & Aging, University of Alabama, and adjunct associate professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine & Palliative Care and Center for Aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Distressed Communities

PART I: An Ageist Zeitgeist
  1. The Aging Church: A Future Katrina?
  2. Is Society Prepared for Its Aging Population?
  3. The Confused Cultural Role of Seniors in Secular Society and the Church

PART II: Biblical and Historical Themes of Aging
  4. Aging in a Biblical Context
  5. Biblical Roles for Seniors-Elders
  6. The Portrait of a Mature Christian Senior-Elder
  7. Elders as Exemplars and Mentors for Christian Renewal
  8. The Lived Wisdom of Christian Elders
  9. Honoring Elders in Early Christianity

PART III: Solutions for an Aging Church
10. The Primacy of Theological Anthropology in an Aging Church
11. Aging Successfully, Myths and Realities
12. Caregiving: The Twenty-First Century’s Greatest Test of Character
13. Local Senior Ministry Associations and Ecumenical Partnerships
14. Important Steps to Unifying Our Communities

PART IV: Late Life Significant Living
15. Faith Is All About Relationships in a Culture of Disability and Depression
16. Facing Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias with Hope in God’s Remembrance
17. Christians, Seniors, and a More Personal Society
18. The Vital Role of Repentance
19. In Summary: Becoming a Christian Elder in Rebuilding the Church

PART V: Finishing Well
20. Facing Death and Bereavement

Epilogue: Dying Elders, Living Church
  A. “The Life Review” Preparation Tips and Questions
  B. Church Survey Questions
  C. Parent Care Readiness Program
  D. Sample Senior Ministry Association Correspondence
  E. State Agencies on Aging

About the Authors
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