Solidifying a relationship

GAMC, Presbyterian homes agency covenant to support older adult ministries

April 25, 2011

Two men and a woman hold a document together while standing in a room.

Michael D. Moore, president of PAHSA; Helen Morrison of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN); and the Rev. Philip Lotspeich, coordinator of church growth and transformation, celebrate the signing of the partnership agreement. —Photo provided by the Office of Church Growth.


Acting on a recommendation from the 217th General Assembly (2006), two Presbyterian groups have signed a partnership agreement that will help their different older adult ministries stay connected.

The agreement between the Office of Church Growth, part of the General Assembly Mission Council, and the Presbyterian Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (PAHSA) isn’t financial; rather, it solidifies an existent contact, said the Rev. Philip Lotspeich, coordinator of church growth.

“We see our older adults as a very important part of the church,” he said, adding that the office hopes the agreement will be a symbol of that commitment.

The agreement, which was initially a recommendation from the Older Adult Task Force report adopted by the 217th GA, encourages networking, educational and advocacy opportunities between the groups.

According to the agreement, the Office of Church Growth will share related work of the GAMC with PAHSA, monitor GA overtures related to older adults and distribute PAHSA resources at meetings.

For its part, PAHSA will advocate for older adults within governing bodies, provide models for older adult ministry to presbyteries and congregations and report on the status and needs of its members.

PAHSA is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 350 Presbyterian-sponsored residential communities, health care facilities and services to older adults of all faiths.

Most of its member organizations began with a connection to a congregation or presbytery, said Judy Brown, director of PAHSA.

“We want to maintain that connection,” she said. “(Older adults) provide the history, their memories and their traditions — it’s not something you want to lose.”

  1. In the not to distant past, we had a wonderful, very effective older adult ministry program. It was eliminated in the budget balancing battles. It's hard to imagine how a patched together group can provide what that program did. Sad.

    by Sue goodin

    April 30, 2011