A Good Time Was Had By All
By NMC - November 25, 2015
Posted in Adult Ministry, Stories from NMC
Whether you are six or 66 years old, community is essential. We were created to do life together, and in each stage of life our community looks different. In grade school we formed friendships on the playground and on field trips. We had slumber parties and played capture the flag. In middle school and high school we formed community around the lunch tables and at Homecoming. We teepeed houses together and worked up the courage to ask each other to Prom. As life continued we bonded with newly married couples, parents trying to juggle young kids and parents trying to handle teenagers. Finally we did life together with people who were retired and empty nesters.
One group at NMC is proving how important community is even in the retired stage of life. NMC’s Senior Adult Ministry is for anyone 60 years or older and can sometimes fly under the radar. They’re not a Small Church or a group that meets on a weekly basis. They’re people from all over the church who come together multiple times a year to take a day trip. Put away your images of Ponderosa Senior Citizen’s night and AARP commercials. These high-energy senior adult bus trips could be NMC’s best-kept secret.
A couple of weeks ago this group took a trip to Chicago. Although not everyone knew each other, the group soon bonded on the bus through the many activities provided by Sherry Tuttle and Pastor Justin. They began by writing their names on name tags, simple enough. But they were also told to write a nickname people called them. For the next half hour they laughed together as each person introduced themselves and explained why they were given that nickname. The most notable nicknames included “Crazy Grams” Edna and “Glory Be” Renee.
The journey to Chicago continued with stickers of race cars and conversations about first cars, dream cars and favorite cars. A giant grumpy man mask made an appearance or two as the group laughed together and shared bits of their lives. They scolded one another for not calling a person by his or her nickname. They put on silly Minion goggles provided by Pastor Justin and talked about how funny other people looked. They were up for anything, thankful to share this experience with each other.
Among other things the trip included a visit to the Field Museum of Natural History where they visited China and Africa, walked beside dinosaurs and mammoths and learned about the history of our world. They wrapped up the trip with deep dish pizza at the world famous Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Much like the ride to Chicago, the ride back to Nappanee was full of surprises and laughter as the group played bingo and won prizes like Play-Doh and glow in the dark glasses.
Perhaps the most notable part of this trip wasn’t the activities, although they were exciting and a bit unpredictable. As people interacted with each other, it was evident this group desired to connect with and care for one another. Some knew each other from Small Church or from different prayer groups. Yet, they got to see a different side of their friends when they heard the story behind a person’s childhood nickname. They got to hear about people’s first cars and the cars they loved or hated. They got to hear about one woman’s testimony of leaving the Amish church. They listened as she explained how difficult it was, yet how thankful she was that she made that difficult decision all those years ago.
In every stage of life we need people we can identify with; we need those who are walking in a similar phase of life. This group is a perfect example of this. Through a short day trip, relationships were formed and deepened and experiences were forged that could be the foundation of lasting friendships.
This trip to Chicago wasn’t the first bus trip the Senior Adult Ministry has taken, and it won’t be the last. Next on the schedule is a Christmas Dessert Party. Those who are 60 years or older are invited to attend this event on December 11 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the Fieldhouse. Performing during the dessert party will be Northwood’s Dawning Generation Show Choir. If you would like to attend this event, please sign up at the Ministry Center.