Worship, spiritual growth the focus of annual Older Adult Retreat


Older adults in the South Georgia Conference have an exciting opportunity for spiritual renewal, worship and education at the 2011 Older Adult Retreat.

Set for April 11-13 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, the annual retreat has been a gathering place of older adults for many years.  Worship and spiritual growth are the main focus of this retreat, and participants are able to totally immerse themselves in the atmosphere and become spiritually renewed.

With a theme of “Outrageous Joy,” the retreat will focus on the book of Ephesians and will offer senior adults an opportunity to discover, develop, and fulfill their God-given purpose.

“The purpose of the Older Adult Retreat is to have a time for older adults to get together and have a good time, enjoy life, learn a little bit more, do some Bible studies, listen to wonderful preaching and have a time of renewal,” said Wade Barr, administrator of Magnolia Manor’s Macon campus and a member of the South Georgia Conference Older Adult Council.  “This is a wonderful time for peers to get together.”

The retreat is not just designed for older adults, however.  It is open to anyone who works with older adults, is interested in older adult ministries, is an older adult or plans on becoming an older adult.  Included in the retreat are workshops designed for people who work with older adult ministries in the local church.

“One of the purposes of the retreat is to help people go back to their local church and understand that local church ministries need to address these issues (that older adults face),” Barr said.

Highlights of the retreat include guest preacher Rev. Mike McAfee, Bible study leader Mildred McAfee, and speaker Rev. Doug Watts.

The Rev. Mike McAfee has served in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church for 42 years. He is retired and continues to serve in ministry through preaching and teaching.

Mildred McAfee is well known and loved for her in-depth Bible studies and workshops.

Rev. Doug Watts is the Minister of Christian Education at Sedge Garden United Methodist Church in Kernersville, N.C. He will discuss how to engage more people in older adult ministry, what works and doesn’t work, and what a ministry to older adults looks like in today’s culture.

“Too often, people seem to think that older adults already have all their spiritual needs met, but that’s just not true.  We – speaking as an older adult – have to constantly be renewed just as younger people do,” Barr said.  “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that when you hit 80 you can quit.” 

For more information, contact Diane Giles at the Connectional Ministries Office at (888) 266-7642 or by email at diane@sgaumc.com.  Click here to download a retreat brochure.