Engaging in Ministry with Older Adults

by Dosia Carlson. The Alban Institute, 1997.

Drawing on Dosia Carlson's quarter-century of ministry field work with older generations, 'Engaging in Ministry with Older Adults' challenges both personal denials and congregational evasions of aging. At the practitioner level, Carlson takes us from theory to proposals to practice to real life within the context of a demographic defined as "the elderly," so that we might better understand the aging process. The book asks what it might mean to keep maturing, or “growing up,” as we grow older and as we try to relate faith and life. Using uncomplicated text, Carlson is matter-of-fact and direct about examples. With contact information, she cites churches and leaders around the country who are living these examples in specific ways. Carlson's low-key approach notwithstanding, at the end of her book we have a remarkable set of options for approaching and engaging in new ministries. Clergy and boards can find their congregational demographic easily in these pages, and within weeks develop responsive programs that engage the elderly in their own circumstances and in multi-generational settings.