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Older Adult Council

The purpose of the Older Adult Council is to strengthen older adult ministries in the local churches and districts of the annual conference.

The Council offers resources for intentional ministries of the Virginia Conference “providing a place of welcome, spiritual nurture, discipleship and empowerment in ministry to, for, by, and with older adults.”

By our definition, older adults are those persons age 55 and above. However, programs of the Older Adult Council will never be restricted by age – minimum or maximum – as there is always something for each of us to learn and ways for us to grow in our individual and corporate spiritual journeys no matter what our age. We recognize the wave of Baby Boomers are entering older adulthood and have unique needs for discipleship.  We encourage intergenerational ministries. 

Current program offerings:

  • Olde Time Revival (regionally held)
  • Sacred Circle Dance
  • Spiritual Legacy Boxes
  • Older Adults and Their Aging Parents
  • Experiencing God for Older Adults
  • Grief Ministries

Help for the Grieving During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is often quite difficult for those who are grieving whether from a recent loss or even of many years past. Frequently, folks say they do not feel equipped to minister to those who are grieving. They just don’t know what to say. The ministry of presence is often the best ministry of all. Want to know more? The Older Adult Council offers presentations on Grief Ministry. Representatives are available in person or by Zoom. Contact person is Suzanne Spencer at

Holiday host etiquette

If you’re inviting someone to your home and they’re grieving, be sure you’re inviting their grief to attend, too. It will be there, anyway.
Don’t invite someone with the goal of cheering them up for the holidays. Don’t expect them to put on a happy face in your home. Don’t demand they fake it til they make it or do something they don’t want to do, either.
Invite them with the loving intention of offering cheer and companionship and unconditional care during the holidays. To do this, you will need to honor and be responsive to their needs and emotions.
You can do this by privately acknowledging their grief when you make the invitation:
“I know this season is extra hard and you’re heart is hurting. You and your grief are welcome in our home. Come as you are, we’d be honored to have you with us.”
It’s also incredibly loving to honor the reality that it’s often hard for grieving fol ks to know what they will want, need, be up for, or able to tolerate at the holidays.
Giving them an invite without the need for commitment and permission to change their mind is extra loving:
“You don’t have to decide right now. If it feels good to be with us, we will have plenty of food and love for you-just show up! I’ll check in again the day before to see if you’re feeling up to coming over and if there’s anything you’d like me to know about how we can support you.”
Your grieving friends and tam need attentive care and responsiveness at the holidays, not plans to keep them busy, distracted, and happy.
If they’re laughing, laugh with them.
If they’re weeping, ask if they’d like your company or your help finding a quiet place to snuggle up alone for awhile.
If they’re laughing while weeping, and this is more common than you’d think, stay with them – this is a precious moment of the human experience that is truly sacred.
We don’t need to protect ourselves or each other from grief at the holidays. In fact, the more we embrace grief as an honored holiday guest, the more healthy, happy, and whole our holidays will be.

grief #holidaygrief #holidaycheer #holidayblues #feelings #emotional #griefcoach #communitycare #mentalhealth

Worship Service from Older Adult Council for Older Adult Recognition Sunday 

In the United States, we honor older adults, through Older Americans Month each May. To spread the news and to provide pastors with a Sunday “off,” the Older Adult Council made available a recorded worship service for churches to use for Sunday, May 9, which is Older Adult Recognition Sunday in The United Methodist Church (see below). 

All churches within the Virginia Conference are invited to support older adult ministries by sending prayers and taking an offering to support ministries with older adults. This year’s offering will go to support Pinnacle Living’s Samaritan Offering. The Samaritan Offering is from Mother’s Day-Father’s Day annualy and your gifts go to ensure the personal security and peace of mind of Pinnacle Living’s most vulnerable residents.   

Learn about the Partnership between the Virginia Conference and Pinnacle here:

Learn more about the Samaritan Offering here:

Learn more about the Older Adult Council here:

Learn more about Older Americans Month here:

For more information about the Older Adults Council, contact Nickie Moreno Howard, Associate Director of Learning, (804) 521-1136,, or contact the chair of Council, Suzanne Spencer at

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