Earlier this week the folks who run the Shepherd's Center of Kansas City, called the Central Shepherd's Center (there are several Shepherds Centers in the KC area), asked me to sit down with them over lunch and help them think about how to let area clergy know more about what the center offers so they can tell their older adult congregants.
As we talked, I realized that even though I have spoken a number of times to the "Adventures in Learning" program the center offers, I wasn't fully aware of everything the center is doing to help make the lives of seniors more fulfilling.
The primary founder of the Shepherd's Center was the late Elbert Cole, who served for many years as pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Kansas City, next to which the Shepherd's Center has it headquarters. From its founding in 1972 to now, the Shepherd's Center idea has gone national, though in each location it takes on different forms.
I hope you'll surf around on the Shepherd's Center Web site to which I linked you in the first paragraph above and see if there are programs that might interest either you or people you know. I don't want to take up space here talking about each of the programs, but I might advise you to check out "KC Caregiver" and especially the support line it offers.
Because people are living longer than ever nowadays, some of the burden of caring for older adults often falls on their adult children, who become, bit by bit, their caregivers. This can be both joyful and terribly difficult -- sometimes on the same day. The KC Caregiver program seeks to support caregivers in all kinds of ways. It's a wonderfully valuable program and one that more people should know about.
So if your faith community (or even just your neighborhood) doesn't know about KC Caregiver, spread the word. And, while you're at it, look at what else the Shepherd's Center has to offer -- even for folks as young as 50.
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'UNDER GOD' SURVIVES A TEST
A federal judge in Texas has ruled that it's OK to keep "under God" in that state's pledge of allegiance. One reason to keep it there, apparently, is that it's in the national pledge. Yeah, well, you may remember your mother asking you if you'd jump off a cliff just because everyone else did. Isn't that sort of the reasoning here? Isn't the broader question whether the state has any business either promoting or discouraging a belief in God?
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P.S.: Do you know about Imago Dei, a KC-area organization that calls itself "Friends of Christianity & the Arts"? It's a good group that has done lots of good programming in recent years. If you don't know about it, surf around a bit on the Web site to which I've linked you above. But I also wanted you to know that the group's annual art auction will be helpd Oct. 29 at the Granada Theatre in Kansas City, Kansas. The link I've given you in the previous sentence should tell what you need to know about the event, including images of some of the work that will be for sale. If you want to go, you can get more information by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.