Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Offering pays tribute to elderly


Senior Living Ministries Sunday

By Holly McCray

Her hair is gray in all my memories. She was already in her late 40s when she moved in with us, and I merely a toddler. I remember her singing in the church choir, and her hands turning Bible pages as her head bowed to read at home.

Yet I know her hair wasn’t always white from age. She married at 17, survived the Great Depression, hand-picked cotton alongside her husband to send their only child to college, and filled a long widowhood with devotion to other family members.

From her I learned to make meringue topping for pies—and to endure in tough times.

In honor and support of older adults like my Grandma, a new Special Sunday offering will be received May 13. Mother’s Day has been designated annually as "Senior Living Ministries Sunday."

Life stories such as my grandmother’s abound in the four Oklahoma retirement communities with special ties to The United Methodist Church.

Their residents were once our schoolteachers and church pastors, described one administrator. They are veterans who fought for our freedom. They healed our sicknesses and built our businesses.

When retirement communities become their home, they continue to give. The administrator shared a testimony about a 95-year-old woman who sought out and found good in all situations through her faith in God.

As a newlywed of only five months, she worked for the Draft Board during World War II. She was the one to tell her husband that he was going to war. He was able to go home after their daughter was born, and the family spent three days together before he returned to duty. He later was killed in France.

The woman’s faith enabled her throughout her years to cherish those three days.

Just as a UM-related retirement community became home for that Oklahoma woman, another such Church-affiliated center welcomed my grandmother when her years truly matched her hair color. A military pension and Medicare covered her care costs.

But some residents outlive their financial resources.

The Oklahoma retirement communities seek to provide care in all situations. That’s where the Special Sunday offering will honor the elderly through a practical way.

Donations will be directed to each retirement community’s benevolence fund, to support residents whose own resources have been depleted.

The four communities are: The Commons (Enid), The United Methodist Retirement and Health Care Center (Clinton), Oklahoma Methodist Manor (Tulsa), and Epworth Villa (Oklahoma City).


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