GO-GO-GO with Senior Adult Ministries at Hopkinsville First UMC

October 29, 2009

First United Methodist Church in Hopkinsville (Madisonville District) has been very busy this year with a variety of programs for our senior adults. Our largest and perhaps most successful event was held in March 2009.

With approximately 82 people throughout our community attending, we hosted a caregiver educational forum entitled, “Let’s Talk About It.” We had five professional speakers covering the following areas: Physical Needs, Psychological Needs, Legal/Financial, Spiritual Matters, Conflict Resolution, and Caregiver Needs. This forum was intended to address matters from two perspectives, that is, to reach out to families who haven’t yet begun preparing for the time when their parents might need care and to focus on the needs of those already caregivers. It is important for all families to discuss these issues prior to an unforeseen crisis, and we felt this event planted the seed for that to occur with some families in attendance.

From this event, we are launching a monthly Care Giver Support Group that will be open to our entire community. We want to offer a safe place to share emotions and experiences, seek and give advice, and exchange practical information. We believe now is the time to extend an olive branch to those who may be in need.

Grief Support is an ongoing ministry. This group meets weekly to help with the grieving process for those who have lost loved ones.

Our PEP (People Enjoying People) group is an enthusiastic group of seniors who take monthly one-day trips to a variety of interesting locations. They also find fun and different places to dine, along with hosting a luncheon for our newly appointed senior pastor and her husband.  This group travels together on the church bus to such places as local museums, factory tours, train rides, park tours, plays, retreats, and historic home tours.

The Buddy System gives aid and companionship to older adults who are shut-in or in nursing homes. It involves volunteers who take on the role of being a “buddy” to another adult in need of companionship or caring by providing dependable regular visits.

Helping Hands is a free service provided to adults starting at the age of 65. Individuals may call the church office to have volunteers offer assistance with minor home repairs, basic legal consultations, accounting services, healthcare, and assisted living policies. 

Keenagers, a mission-minded group of older ladies, bring their own lunch and meet every Tuesday for Christian fellowship. Throughout the year, they have made significant monetary contributions to our missions, youth groups, and the Methodist Children’s Home.

On Monday mornings, you can find a group of retired men enjoying coffee, cookies, and fellowship.  The Retired Men’s Coffee group not only enjoy each other’s company each week, but also support the Salvation Army, various church memorials, and other church projects.

PEP Tappers enjoy exercising together by tap dancing.  This group of 60+ year-old women with previous dance experience meet every Thursday morning to practice their skills. They perform periodically at civic clubs, nursing homes, county homemaker groups, Western State Hospital, and other senior adult programs. 

AARP Driving School was just offered with great success. This defensive driving course was made available to our community for folks age 50 and older. The completion of this program may allow drivers to obtain a discount on their automobile insurance. 

At First UMC, we prayerfully consider many opportunities to reach out to our members and those of our extended community to offer a variety of ways to lend a helping hand, provide fellowship, and grow in our faith.  If you would like to contact us for further information, please call at 270-886-0277.

Sherri Turner

A caregiver support group meets at the church