• Advocacy: on behalf of older adult ministry needs
  • A Catalyst: for "jump-starting" and sustaining intentional ministry by, with and for older adults
  • Consultative Service: providing training and support, resources, and networking opportunities
  • District Team Leaders: who are trained and empowered to serve
  • Events: regional seminars and workshops on older adult ministries
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  • Training local church leaders in older adult ministries
  • Consulting one-on-one with local church leadership teams
  • Supporting local church leadership teams in older adult ministries
  • Establishing and working with networks of interested local church leaders in older adult ministries
  • Providing resources that assist local churches in their older adult ministry
  • Assisting in grant funding through the Golden Cross Foundation
  • Providing conference-wide leadership in older adult ministry
Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. (Rick) is the director for ENCORE Ministry, a ministry of the Golden Cross Foundation of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is recently retired from the Susquehanna Annual Conference and is the former director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.
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“The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon...
In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap”

Psalm 92:12, 14

How can churches get ahead of this public health crisis in light of increasing reluctance of people to gather in groups of any size?

This question was posed by my friend, Dr. Richard Bergstrom, in his recent newsletter article “I’m thinking about giving up church for Lent”.

With increasing numbers of cases of coronavirus and the vulnerability of many, especially among the elderly and young children, it behooves church leaders to rethink how we worship and gather together and to begin cultivating community in creative ways.