Seniors affirmed at retreat
BY LINDA WORTHINGTON
Moses was at least 60 years old when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, the Rev. Ianther Mills, Annapolis District superintendent, told about 75 women and men over the age of 55 who gathered at West River Camping Center for the spring "Older Adults Day Away."
"The first two-thirds of life is practice for the last one-third," she said. "God often calls us to a new vision in later life."
"You’re old," said plenary speaker, the Rev. Daryl Williams, pastor of Nottingham Myers UMC, who was rescheduled to late in the day because of a funeral. The stark statement caused the audience to gasp, then he went on: "That means OverLooked and Dangerous."
Williams reiterated the church’s need for its senior members, "not for disposable income to get the apportionments paid, but we need you to show us the way."
"We need you for prayer," he said. "Pray us through our mistakes."
Attendees chose two of four workshops to attend during the day. The Rev. Mary Dennis, BWC Director of Discipleship, explained the Immersion Series and how churches could use the resource.
Frank Robert, associate director of the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation, advised on "Alternative Giving and the ABCs of Giving." He was assisted by Jack Brooks, the Foundation’s Executive Director.
The conference Advocate Consultant, Beth Reilly, gave methods and techniques of being an advocate for social justice, especially on ways to influence the Maryland General Assembly. "Work with others," she said. "You’re more effective in a coalition."
The Rev. Charles Harrell, pastor of Trinity UMC in Prince Frederick, spoke about the Russia Initiative and encouraged churches to support the effort.
Most of the participants left encouraged and uplifted by the day. As Williams said, "Aging is a good thing. When you stop, you’re dead."
The fall Day Away will be Sept. 20.