The Older Adult Ministries (OAM) is without a doubt one of the most active ministries within First Presbyterian Church. OAM is for individuals 50 and older, though Sandie, OAM Coordinator, says younger people are welcome. “Bring your grandkids. We love to see the generations interacting together.”
As OAM boasts participants of a wide range of ages, it also boasts a wide range of activities. Most people won’t be interested in every opportunity, but most people will find something they enjoy.
“We have wonderful fellowship time at all of our events,” Sandie says. “The goal of OAM is to nurture the body, mind, and spirit.”
With that goal in mind, the OAM opportunities are created, working to appeal to a variety of personalities, and keeping in mind that some of the OAM participants are still working. “You don’t have to be plugged in all the time to enjoy OAM,” Sandie says. “We make sure we have evening and weekend opportunities so that people who are working can still participate.”
The group takes evening trips to see plays at the theatre in Winter Haven, day trips to places like Tampa and Winter Park, and multiple day trips to places like Savannah. They have monthly Saturday Game Days and Spirit of Service (SOS) luncheons on the second Friday of each month, during which speakers from outside groups come to speak on topics of interest (the November speaker will be talking about the Flight to Honor for Veterans).
In seeking to nurture the spirit, Dr. Paul Suich teaches a weekly Bible study specifically targeting the OAM group at 4 p.m. each Wednesday afternoon, aptly named the “Get You Home Before Dark” Bible Study. The group meets early enough to make sure that those individuals who don’t want to drive after dark will be home before sunset each week.
Sandie also works to cultivate speakers and events to bring resources to the OAM group to nurture the ‘body’ aspect of the goal through things such as the new PraiseMoves Gold fitness class and the Health and Resource Fair each spring.
“OAM is a wonderful way to make new friends and to fellowship,” Sandie says. “It’s a good way to stay active and to learn about things in the church and community.”
Sandie invites everyone to join OAM in caroling on Tuesday, Dec. 19. “We go with the youth to various homebound members’ homes, and it is always a rewarding time.”
When you consider your stewardship commitment this year, consider that you are assisting with the OAM ministry with your commitment.