Two IGRC congregations awarded Older Adult ministry grants


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two IGRC congregations were recently awarded grants for caregiving ministries to older adults by the General Board of Discipleship.

East Alton First UMC was awarded a $1,000 grant, while Godfrey First UMC was awarded a $500 grant. The two were among 45 projects funded with the $75,000 allocation that is part of the Comprehensive Plan for Older Adult Ministries approved by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.
“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 UM-related 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.

During the current quadrennium, the Committee on Older Adult Ministries has made grants to support two specific areas of older adult ministries—caregiving ministry and intergenerational ministry.