POAMN President’s Letter to the BOP

Dear Rev. Frank Clark Spencer,

The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) is celebrating our 35-year history of educating and equipping leadership and aging congregations to promote and engage in activity, wellness, care, and social involvement. We strive to tackle the challenges of aging with expert solutions, and to redefine aging as a journey of spirituality, strength, growth, care and compassion. As we enter an era where some 10,000 people turn 65, every day, I am excited to announce some significant and vital changes in POAMN’s activities.

First, POAMN has offered successful national conferences for the past 35 years and in collaboration with the Association of Retired Ministers, Their Spouses or Survivors (ARMSS) for the past 7 years. Last year, ARMSS made a carefully thought-out decision to dissolve and join with POAMN.  We believe that the new single organization (called POAMN) can efficiently and thoroughly serve the  needs of retired ministers and the older adult community in general.  We would like to reach out to retired ministers, spouses, and survivors who might not have been in ARMSS to join our combined organization.

Second, POAMN recognizes that today’s needs of older adults are not confined   to specific religious affiliations.  Thus, POAMN has sought to work with other ecumenical groups so that we can learn and derive benefit from these other organizations and vice versa.  We welcome our former ARMSS and ecumenical members as colleagues to the POAMN team!  To that end, we are pleased to share that this year we served as a co-sponsor and a significant participant in the 7th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality. POAMN is sponsoring the Congregational/Chaplains Track.

Third, POAMN recognizes the need to bring its message and offerings to regions of the country for those who are not able to attend a single national conference.  We are thus pleased to announce our first Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network Regional Conference to be held in Winston-Salem, NC on October 19, 2017 in collaboration with Highland Presbyterian Church Winston-Salem and Salem Presbytery.  Our keynoter is Rev. Jill Crainshaw, Faculty, Wake Forest School of Divinity.  The theme of that conference is “Celebrating God’s Gift of Aging” and details can be found at www.poamn.org.

Finally, we were extremely pleased to gain accreditation of our Older Adult Ministry Certification Course through Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA where we are collaborating in a new partnership that will better equip churches and faith-based organizations to address the needs of older participants. The program is open to participants from any denomination or faith tradition.  Four Core classes and a capstone project are required to complete the Certificate Program. We began this collaboration in April 2015 and continue to graduate many people every year through this prestigious and empowering course that equips people to deliver skills, services and understanding to older adults and churches across the nation.

The combined effects of these recent accomplishments are significant and we believe that they put POAMN in an extremely strong position to provide resources and expertise to what is undoubtedly an increasing national and worldwide need.  We are conscious of not only the need to stay abreast of constant changes and emphases in Older Adult Ministry because we are considered leaders in Older Adult Ministry within PC(USA) and beyond. We would very much appreciate your help in achieving these goals by forwarding this letter to all those retired ministers and surviving spouses in your records.   We are aware that there are some 18,000 retired ministers who were not active in ARMSS and because of the recent reorganizational changes described above, we want to sincerely reach out to all of them and invite them to join POAMN.  This is extremely important because retired ministers and their spouses are a very valuable resource to PC(USA), Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), and Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN.) We also recognize that they are also persons who are especially needing and deserving of our presence and care following their retirement.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss the specifics of how the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries can work together to disseminate the information outlined above and would be most appreciative if you could let me know the best point of contact at the Board of Pensions with whom we can work.


Michele Hendrix
Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network

Posted in POAMN News  on Jul 29, 2017    Comments Off on POAMN President’s Letter to the BOP