Our Help in Ages Past: The Black Church's Ministry Among the Elderly

by Bobby Joe Saucer, Jean Alicia Elster. Judson Press, 2005.

Faithful congregants in their senior years deserve gratitude for what they have given in the past and continuing opportunities to contribute their gifts. In addition, their congregations can offer crucial support for the practical contingencies of growing older, such as reduced income and declining health. This thoughtful guide by a denominational retirement benefits officer and a faith-based author encourages congregations to recognize both the gifts and the needs of older adults and offers tips and tools for a meaningful response. Of particular interest is the chapter on the older pastor. It discusses the issues that make retirement difficult, from inadequate pension benefits to a lack of succession planning. Each chapter ends with a discussion and action guide. While Our Help is addressed to African American congregations, it could be a help to any congregation that wants to strengthen its ministry with and by elder adults.