Is your church looking for ways to engage the baby boomers in your community? Here are some programming ideas that align with their needs and interests:
Host a memoir-writing class. Boomers are asking important questions about who they are now that their lives are changing with retirement and empty nesting. An opportunity to reflect on where they have been, and the lessons they have learned along the way, can help them to discern the meaning of their lives.
Offer health and wellness programming. Boomers’ most crucial concern is health. Congregations can help by providing quality fitness programs, meditation and yoga classes, or diet and nutrition seminars.
Care for the caregivers. Support groups for boomers taking care of aging parents could provide friendship and a listening ear. Volunteers could also alleviate some of the boomers’ burden by providing their parents with meals, regular check-ins or rides to medical appointments or the grocery store.
Make use of boomers’ wisdom. Baby boomers have accrued a wealth of knowledge from their lives and careers. Churches can organize boomers to become mentors for younger people, and share their life lessons in worship or church newsletters.
Create meaningful rituals. Rites of passage help us prepare to take on new roles in life. Why not celebrate retirement in Sunday worship, or honour first-time grandparents with a special ritual? This could start with a class on grandparenting and finish with a celebration. Will Randolph, one of the founders of Boomerstock and Director of Aging and Older Adult Ministries Leadership Ministries Discipleship Ministries in the United Methodist Church, says that the key to reaching the next younger generations is through their grandparents.
This post originally appeared as part of an article published in the December 2016 issue of the United Church Observer.