Guest Contributor

by Dr. Jim Clardy

Several months ago, the Senior Adults Growing, Exploring and Serving (SAGES) Ministry Team at Murfreesboro’s St. Mark’s United Methodist Church asked how they might respond to the pastoral needs of the congregation during the pandemic. Adapting a survey developed by Belmont United Methodist Church, 25 church members called a large number of St. Mark’s members to check on them and respond to various needs.

Many of St. Mark’s members, especially senior adults living alone, welcomed the initial call. Some even invited the callers to call back regularly to check in with them.

At each SAGES Ministry meeting, team leaders Laura and Noel Hinote ask for reports and feedback. Those placing the calls are faithful in initiating calls to members, conscientious in following up on needs, and respectful of each member’s privacy.

While the SAGES of St. Mark’s have a long tradition of caring, this outreach program has taken the ministry to a new level.

Dr. Jim Clardy is a retired United Methodist minister serving as executive pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is also an ENCORE Ministry Committee member.