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Another new year and another issue of our magazine. Time rushes on, and this seems faster the older we get! I know I am not the only person to have noticed this, and when commenting on this other people usually add something about the need to ‘slow down’! I find this quite annoying, although I also know that it is true! So however we pace ourselves, how can we work with older people?
Robert Grieve, a Reader who has a part time role as a Lay Worker for Older People based at his local church, suggested this theme to me and his article sets the scene for us. Interestingly people call this phase of life by various different names and Robert chose to call his article
A journey into the third age. The Seventh Age is the title Wendy Plant, another Reader, gives her article. Ministry in the long ‘gap years’ is the title the author and broadcaster David Winter, now in his 80s, chose for his article and Rosey Feuell calls hers Embracing the older ones.
Debbie Thrower, another broadcaster who is also a Reader, tells us about a new movement: Anna Chaplaincies. As you may guess, the name echoes the story of Anna in Luke. Anna Chaplains become advocates for this age group, arguing that a rapidly ageing society is both a challenge and a blessing. Anyway, whatever you call those of us ‘older’ people who are 60 plus (or should that be 70+, or 80+…) we are still people, and still loved by God and in need of God’s embrace through his people.
Refugees and immigration are, as I write, at the top of the news, as is the situation in the Middle East and the working-out of this in the west. Writing in December for you to read in the early spring, I feel that these two issues will still be with us then. I have therefore moved some material I was planning to publish in this issue to the following one. So please look at the two articles The famine, the foreigner and the threshing floor, by Guy Brandon and an article from the Barnabas Fund entitled The Church in the Middle East.
Including these means that some people who were expecting their articles to appear in this issue will be disappointed, and I am sorry about this. Regretfully there are limits on the space available, so please be patient as you wait for your article to appear! However I hope that you will keep articles coming and we will publish as many as we can. Themes for the rest of 2016 are Celebrating 150 years of Reader Ministry followed by Ethics and finally one on the Old Testament. You can find my contact details on the publication information. Preferably you should get in touch before writing!
Life for me is just about to get easier as a sub-editor has been appointed. So a warm welcome to Richenda Milton-Daws, a Reader from Bristol Diocese. I am looking forward to working with her within a more collaborative framework set up by CRC. We have also decided on a new approach to the design of the magazine, as you can see, and wait to see how this develops further.
I take it as a compliment that we have had contact from the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, where Elaine Fourie has asked me to help her in thinking about some of the practicalities of producing a magazine for their equivalent of Readers.
So turn the pages and have a look at all these things and some more which I don’t have space to mention here.
THEME – MINISTRY TO OLDER PEOPLE
A journey into the third age - Robert Grieve
Ministry to the long ‘gap years’ - David Winter
Anna Chaplaincies - Debbie Thrower
The Seventh Age - Wendy Plant
Embracing the Older Ones? - Rosey Feuell
Need to Know More?
Could you not watch with me one hour? - Trish Lindsay
Anna - Nicola Slee
Poetry PS - Rupert Bristow
I was a stranger in a strange land - Emma-Dawn Farr
Action for imitation -Thomas O’Loughlin
Ideas from Worship on Wednesday - Rona Orme
The Church in the Middle East - Caroline Kerslake
The famine, the foreigner and the threshing floor - Guy Brandon
‘Crossing the borders’ in Southwark Diocese - Brian Robins
Last Word - Alan Wakely
Following through formation - Rosemary Walters
Introducing John Marshall
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