Grants Given to Support Caregiving Ministries for Older Adults
United Methodist congregations, annual conferences and UM-related institutions have received grants totaling $75,000 to support a variety of caregiving ministries that help older adults directly and provide assistance to family members and local churches who minister to seniors. The grants were administered by the Center on Aging & Older Adult Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). Grant funding was provided by the United Methodist Committee on Older Adult Ministries, which is administratively related to GBOD.
“The Committee on Older Adult Ministries encouraged congregations and conferences to provide training, oftentimes for volunteers and caregivers,” said the Rev. Dr. Richard H. Gentzler Jr., the center’s director. “With an increasing aging population and the likelihood of federal spending cutbacks, churches will need to train volunteer caregivers and other volunteers who are in ministry with older adults.” The grant program was a way to bring the need for more elder caregiving to the forefront and to assist those who are willing to be creative and to become more intentional about caregiving, Gentzler said.
A total of 76 grant applications seeking more than $234,000 for caregiving ministries with older adults were submitted by congregations, annual conferences and UMrelated institutions, Gentzler said. The committee approved and funded 45 applications, including 10 for the North Central Jurisdiction, four for the Northeastern Jurisdiction, eight for the South Central Jurisdiction, 21 for the Southeastern Jurisdiction, one for the Western Jurisdiction and one for the Central Conference.
In the Iowa Conference, the Older Adult Council received a grant for the “Caring Hearts Need Care Too” workshop, which will provide help to family caregivers and local churches addressing issues of caregiving Morrison UMC in Leesburg, Fla., received a grant to expand an outreach ministry to seniors who are homebound or living in assisted living and healthcare facilities. The Ruth Sheets Adult Care Center, a ministry of Edenton UMC in Raleigh, N.C., received a grant to support its Weekday Respite Care program.
GBOD’s mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping worldchanging disciples.Visit www.gbod.org or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.