"Pillars" Event at Baylor University Will Focus on Senior Adults

May 10, 2010

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Pillars: A Celebration of Seniors, the first conference and retreat for senior adults held by Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will feature speaker Grant Teaff, Baylor's former head football coach, and workshops on missions, grandparenting, estate planning and overcoming the "evangelism jitters."

Conference theme will be "Affirming Our Heritage." The event will be Monday, May 24, through Wednesday, May 26, at the seminary at Dutton and Third streets on the Baylor campus.

"The mission of Truett Seminary is to serve the church, and in most churches, the senior adults have been the pillars of those congregations," said Dr. Dennis Tucker, associate dean of the seminary and associate professor of Christian Scriptures.

"We wanted to host an event that would serve those who have spent their lives serving the church. This will be a rich time of fellowship, laughter, worship, and education," he said.

Besides Teaff, speakers at general sessions will be:

• Dr. Bill O'Brien, former executive vice president with the Foreign Mission Board and past president of the American Society of Missiology

• Dr. Paul Powell, Dean Emeritus of George W. Truett Theological Seminary

• Dr. Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, Baptist General Convention of Texas

• Cindy Wiles, executive director of Global Connection Partnership Network

The conference name is a reminder of the pillars that stand in Independence, Texas, Baylor's birthplace, and represent a rich history of tradition, commitment and shared purpose.

O'Brien's address will be "Unknowns in Our Family Tree."

"There have been unknowns, both in Scripture and in modern times, who were faithful to the end -- the host of non-celebrity types who finished strong and can be a great encouragement to all who feel they have no special talents, no high visibility, no special attention but are just faithful day in and day out," O'Brien said. "These, too, are pillars of the church. It's a heritage that we must pass on."

Wiles, whose address will be "Pillars of Strength for a New Day in Missions," said she will focus on the strong foundation senior adults will continue to provide as God shapes the Church.

Lefever's topic -- "That Just Happened" -- will take a look at Baptist heritage, including the denomination's foundation in 1609 by British separatists in Holland.

"Four months later, they split -- and we've been doing that ever since," he said. "I'll tell some funny and some serious stories. I'll talk about the first Texas Baptists and about the impact Baptists and Baylor have had."

Cost of the event is $49, which includes snacks, all meals on Tuesday and breakfast on Wednesday.

EVENT SCHEDULE

Monday, May 24

• 1 p.m. -- Speaker Dr. Bill O'Brien in Paul W. Powell Chapel

• 2:45-4:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions Keith Lowry, family ministry specialist and adult Sunday School consultant with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dr. Terry York, a Truett Seminary associate professor of Christian ministry and church music, and Dr. Dennis Tucker, Truett associate dean and associate professor of Christian Scriptures.

Lowry's session, entitled "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" will focus aiding senior adults in overcoming nervousness and timidity in outreach and evangelism. York's session will be "Hymns: Alive & Well," an exploration of familiar hymns and new hymns in Celebrating Grace, a recently released Baptist hymnal; and the Tucker session will be a Bible study, "Living in and with the Psalms."

• 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. - Free time

• 6:30 p.m. - Concert by Joyce Jones, Joyce Oliver Bowden Professor of Music and Organist-in-Residence at Baylor University, in Paul W. Powell Chapel

• 7-8:15 p.m.: Grant Teaff will speak on "The Best Is Yet to Be" in Paul W. Powell Chapel, following a performance by the senior adult choir of First Baptist Church in Georgetown

Tuesday, May 25

• 8 a.m.: Continental Breakfast in Paul and Katy Piper Great Hall

• 9-10 a.m. Cindy Wiles, executive director of Global Connection Partnership Network, will speak in Paul W. Powell Chapel, with music by the senior adult choir of First Baptist Church, Georgetown.

• 10:30-12:15 p.m.: Breakout sessions by Van Davis, assistant director of campus recreation and fitness; Chris Holmes, associate general counsel of Baylor University, and Susan Wommack, gift planning legal counsel of Baylor; Keith Lowry, family ministry specialist and adult Sunday School consultant with Texas Baptists; Dr. Dennis Myers, associate dean for graduate studies in social work and professor of social work and gerontology.

• Workshop topics will include fitness and nutrition, estate planning, church growth, and the joys and challenges of being grandparents

• 12:15 p.m.: Lunch at Piper Great Hall

• 1:00-4:30 p.m.: Tours of Baylor and Waco, with choices including Mayborn Museum Complex, Armstrong Browning Library, Texas Sports Hall of Fame and Dr Pepper Museum

• 6-8 p.m.: Dinner and General Session with speaker Dr. Alan Lefever, director of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection, Baptist General Convention of Texas

Wednesday, May 26

• 8 a.m.: Continental Breakfast in Paul and Katy Piper Great Hall

• 9-10:30 a.m.: Speaker Dr. Paul Powell, Dean Emeritus, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, in Paul W. Powell Chapel, with music by Senior Adult Choir, First Baptist Church, Georgetown

• 10:30 a.m.: Closing reception.

For more information or to register, call (254) 710-6080 or contact: angela_bailey

Contact: Terry Goodrich, Assistant Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-3321

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