One of the things that I most enjoy doing in the area of senior adult ministry is helping organize and participate with teams of deacons that go out to serve the Lord's Supper to our homebound members. The majority of these are living in institutions that provide extended care for the elderly, but several are still able to live at home. They just aren't sufficiently mobile or strong enough to attend church services regularly as they once did.
This morning I joined an 88-year old deacon (I think the oldest of the total of 14 who participated) and we went to two different homes. In the first one lives a couple who has been married for 70 years. The wife told us that they'd never had a fight in their entire marriage and seemed a bit surprised at our own expressions of incredulity and surprise at that statement. She asked us rather matter-of-factly if we had experienced fights or disagreements with our spouses, to which we both responded affirmatively. I hope we didn't burst her bubble. Her husband is 93 and she is soon to turn 89. We had a wonderful visit off almost an hour, sharing conversation and prayer concerns (including a 25-year old granddaughter who is battling cancer), before we concluded by observing the Lord's Supper together.
In the second home, we visited a lady who is 96 and lives with an almost 70-year old nephew who is rarely at home. We've been the team that has taken the Lord's Supper to her for the past few years now so she has gotten to know us fairly well. She expressed as she often has how lonely she feels at times. I assured her that we were in the process of reorganizing our deacons' ministry to provide a more frequent and ongoing point of contact with her for fellowship and prayer support and to attend to any needs around that house that she might have. James' words about pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father consisting in visiting the orphans and widows in their distress (Jas. 1:27) came to mind as we conversed.
I'm grateful for a deacon body that is committed to addressing the needs of our senior adults--especially those widows living on their own.