Many people in our culture encourage us to defend ourselves from aging. "Aging is inevitable," they admit, "but we needn't welcome it, try to understand it, or endure it; instead, we should postpone, deny, and control it." But, how should Christians think about the coming of old age? Does aging play a profound and mysterious role in our calling and identity as Christians?
Our contributors remind us that our congregations are called to be countercultural institutions, "soul communities" in which the young and old are soul-mates bound together as an extended family of God.
Informed by our biblical heritage and a realistic look at aging, we can take seriously the losses we suffer as we grow older. Yet we continue to listen for God's call to contribute to the Kingdom, and rejoice with gratitude whenever one enjoys "a good old age, old and full of years."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore the contours of faithfulness as we grow older. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Aging issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
- "The Gift of Years in Christian Art," by Heidi J. Hornik
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Come, Let Us Worship," by Terry W. York
- Gil Rendle, The Multigenerational Congregation: Meeting the Leadership Challenge
- Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
- John Westerhoff, Will Our Children Have Faith?
- Hugh W. Sanborn (ed.), Celebrating Passages in the Church: Reflections and Resources
- Thomas Long, Beyond the Worship Wars: Building Vital and Faithful Worship
- Nancy T. Ammerman, et al (eds.), Studying Congregations: A New Handbook
- "Caring for Aging Parents," by Dennis R. Myers
- Peter Jeffery, Going Against the Stream: Ethical Aspects of Ageing and Care
- Harold Koenig and Andrew Weaver, Pastoral Care of Older Adults
- Grace Ketterman and Kathy King, Real Solutions for Caring for Your Elderly Parent
- Houston Hudson, Circle of Years: A Caregiver's Journal
- "Spirituality of Aging," by Mark A. Peters
- Joan E. Lukens (ed.), Affirmative Aging: A Creative Approach to a Longer Life
- Andrew Weaver et al, Reflections on Aging and Spiritual Growth
- Kathleen Fischer, Winter Grace: Spirituality and Aging