Church Elders: An Untapped Resource for Climate Action

By path2positive

For mainline Protestant churches in America, 23% of the worship community is over the age of 65; most of whom are retired. And, while many rely on this demographic of baby boomers for sage wisdom and an encyclopedic recall of Bible verses, they remain an untapped circle for climate action. In a recent Washington Times article by Carla Hinton entitled, Older Church Members Still Have Urge to Serve, she explores this often overlooked assemblage and how we might better engage them.

Before you design a senior-based climate coalition, to convert that unused parcel of land behind the church into a community garden, you might first want to hone your climate communication skills. With 28% of senior citizens still not believing that climate change is caused by humans, it's imperative to develop a plan of action for talking to them about climate change. Start by checking out ecoAmerica’s new report, Connecting on Climate, which offers some insight on engaging senior citizens. For starters, “one of the greatest challenges that climate communicators face is that climate change is so tightly linked to politics and political identity.” This is especially true in the senior sector so try talking to them about how climate action will create a better world for their grandchildren.

For more tips on elderly engagement, check out ecoAmerica and Blessed Tomorrow, where you will gain insights on how to tailor a senior centered climate outreach program in your church. 

Older Church Members Still Have Urge to Serve

By Carla Hinton for The Washington Times

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Churches often find that the baby boomer population prefers to be on the giving rather than the receiving end of ministry.

Yes, these adults are getting older, but many continue to work well into their 70s and still find time to give back to the community .

That’s the consensus of several local clergy leaders working in senior adult  ministry in Oklahoma churches, The Oklahoman reported.

And part of the challenge of effectively  serving baby boomers is realizing they are older, but they want to stay busy.

“Although boomers are aging, they tend to resist the ‘senior adult’ label,” said Scott Phillips, church and family equipping team leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “Boomers are seeking meaningful use for their time and money at this life stage.”

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