On 8th September 2019 a very special service of Worship was jointly led by Pastor Steve Mayo, our minister, and Eileen Simmons, Methodist Local Preacher and Anna Chaplain at Wesley Methodist Church, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. We called it a Celebration of the Contribution of Older People and every effort had been made to ensure that all our Older People were in church. Some find it difficult to attend regularly, but most were involved in some way.
There had been extended visits in the previous weeks to their homes to learn more about their life stories and these were a delight; learning more as we did about their activities past and present. Although we were not able to use all the requests, we did include favourite hymns and Bible readings, down to such detail as a Music Group singing 'For the beauty of the earth' to the Rutter tune.
There was a large congregation and it was a joyous occasion, as we honoured all that had been contributed in the past and in so many cases continuing. Not many churches have a boxing coach still active well into his eighties working with local youth in a town centre club.
One of the highlights was when three Pastoral Visitors spoke about three elderly ladies, and related their life stories in their absence; just so moving and fascinating. What Christian blessings have been shown by these individuals in our Wesley family.
Our Minister, Pastor Steve Mayo spoke about the celebration not only being about what older people had contributed in the past, but also a celebration of what they can still contribute to church life both present and in the future. Their wealth of experience and knowledge has been, and can still be such a gift to the church and the younger generations and would be sorely missed if not utilised. Job 32:7 says; 7"Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom." NIVUK