11 November 2014
Celebrate the second half of life, say Churches
In today's society, growing older is often seen as a reason for sadness or regret. But the Church of England and the Methodist Church have published a new resource which urges Christians to celebrate and affirm the 'second half of life'.
Through creative discussion material Seasons of My Soul offers people a chance to explore and share with one another key aspects of their lives and experiences. It focuses on eight themes for discussion; identity, memories, transition times, wisdom, roles and relationships, forgiveness and reconciliation, death and dying, and the celebration of life.
"As I approach retirement, I become ever more conscious of the importance of Christians having constructive conversations about this potentially creative stage of life," said the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford. "This invaluable resource could help turn the tide in enabling creative discussion about the second half of life - or, in my case, even the last third!"
"Often when we talk about the demographic of church attendance, we concern ourselves more with those who are not within our church communities than with celebrating and resourcing those who are," added Doug Swanney, Connexional Secretary for the Methodist Church. "Seasons of My Soul is a creative way of redressing this balance. It offers us an opportunity to explore themes which can often be avoided but which, when unpacked, can lead to the most amazing possibilities for us all."
The resource's themes are opened up for discussion and exploration using interactive conversation tools, Bible texts, creative activities, social action topics, prayer and worship. It contains facilitator guidance and helpful templates to accompany each session.