The Peace Family
What does that mean for us as a Church? Do we have an opportunity here?
People are living longer and there are more elderly than ever before. In our neighbourhood there are 1000’s and 1000’s of seniors living in 55 plus apartments or condos. Many don’t like to drive at night. Many don’t like to drive in the winter. Many have friends and families who have died and gone on from this life. For many, the life of a senior can be lonely, restrictive, and depressing as they near the end of their earthly life. The Bible tells us to “take care of the widow and orphaned” because God sees and knows those who are losing their health, mobility, and freedom. Take care of those who may fall through the social crack that widens with aging. Add that to the fundamental needs of humanity, which are a sense of security, a sense of belonging and a need to be loved. The Church has long provided the safe and sacred place to grow old, together. Family and friends to grow old with, a social outing, a chance to be with others. No one should die alone. Yes, many tell me they watch some kind of church on TV on Sunday mornings and that’s good, but it’s not the same. It’s never the same. People need people. God said “it’s not good for man to be alone.” We need community. And God provides our aloneness need with the Church. We are the Church. We are family. Are we willing to be a family to more than just ourselves? Yes. Of course. So often when we think of evangelism we think of reaching the young and then having them for the rest of their lives. What about the old? So many have been forgotten or displaced when they have to move from their home of 50 years to a simpler life in an apartment or assisted living facility. For some it’s a great transition. For others a huge adjustment. For others they get lost in the move.
What if we as a Church reached out to the thousands of seniors living in the apartments and condos in our neighbourhood and invited them to church? What if we did one better than that, offered to pick them up and drive them home. Think about it. Picture it. A shuttle service that would stop at the various 55 plus apartments on the Henderson strip, for example, and pick people up. They get to ride together (community) and visit with one another and not have to worry about parking, not have to worry about the weather, and worry a lot less about falling, because of door to door service. Think about it. They would come to church and enjoy filling themselves with God’s Word in worship and a few snack afterwards. Wow! An outing other than a doctor’s appointment! Think about it. Is it time for us as a church to look at a mobile ministry? What this would mean is the purchase of a 10-20 passenger van (size dependent on cost and need), perhaps using some of the funds in savings (which we have). Even more important than the funds, we would need drivers (class 4 and above required), members who would be willing and wanting to make this their job in the church, the driving of seniors to and from church. Is this something our church should explore? Please think about this, and if you are passionate about something like this then please let us know.
There would, of course, be many other occasional uses for this van, such as group outings like seniors to Stonewall and area restaurants, youth to their activities, ladies, men, Sunday school, VBS. The van could be used for our annual mission trip north, youth retreats, by our musicians to haul there instruments to local gigs, etc. Please give this some prayerful thought. 1) We’d like to hear from seniors who would really like this service and know of friends in their block too who don’t go to church simply because they can’t get there, and 2) We’d like to hear from potential drivers. Think about it, and let the Board of Lay Ministry or one of the pastors know your thoughts.