Thursday Luncheon at Muncie High Street UMC will celebrate its 35th anniversary on November 19. Each week, at least 110 people, representing around 30 different churches, gather for lunch and a program, devotions and fine fellowship. The ministry continues to be vital and growing.
The late Dr. A. Hunter Colpitts was Senior Pastor at High Street Church when he and the Parish Visitor, Helene Soper, had the vision of an intentional older adult ministry. This ministry includes the luncheon, High Street Travelers, Update Learning (we just concluded our fall program of six weeks of learning: 35 classes and 265 enrolled), and more. Located in the heart of downtown Muncie, High Street UMC is known to be an advocate for older adults in the community.
When the luncheon began in 1974, the idea of older adult outreach was very new. In fact, the Area Agencies on Aging were first established just one year earlier.
We use the UM logo of Older Adult Ministries: God’s Gift of Long Life. I have learned much from Rick Genztler of the General Board of Discipleship, having attended several of his workshops, and in 2007, I attended the Older Adult Symposium in Nashville.
Our society and certainly our church is aging. We are blessed with the wisdom of our older members. Providing a ministry like this is a wonderful privilege and opportunity.
We have an anniversary luncheon each year, and an important part of that is honoring our 90+ year old participants. I don’t know the figure yet for this year, but we often have 12 or 15 of that age group in attendance.
One couple has made plans to celebrate their 60th weding anniversary with us – providing cake and paying for a special program. They are not members of High Street, but the luncheon group is an important part of their lives.
Obviously, I am passionate about this ministry and would love to have the opportunity to share more about it with you.
Charlotte Overmyer, associate pastor and director of Older Adult Ministries High Street UMC.