February 9, 2016
Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
I want to tell you about an exciting new ministry designed to support local churches in their ministry with Baby Boomers and Older Adults. The Golden Cross Foundation has established a program called ENCORE Ministries to provide training, support, networking and encouragement to local churches and charges seeking to establish new or grow existing ministries with Boomers and Older Adults. The Foundation has hired the Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler to be the Director of ENCORE Ministries. He will be a consultant, trainer, and coordinator for districts and local churches who are seeking to develop dynamic ministries with midlife and older adults.
Rick Gentzler served as a local church pastor for 17 years before being appointed the Director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship. He earned his M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry in the area of Older Adult Ministries from Boston University School of Theology. Rick also has a graduate certificate in Aging Studies from Boston University Institute for Geriatric Social Work. Rick is a national leader in the area of Older Adult ministries and is the author of 6 books and numerous study guides, booklets and articles addressing the issues of midlife and older adults. He serves on the Governor’s Task Force on Aging as the sole representative of the faith community and on the Board of the Council on Aging for Middle TN. Rick recently retired from the Board of Discipleship, and we so fortunate to have him as a resource person for Tennessee Conference churches.
Older adults in our communities are often an overlooked mission field for the church. They have health, social and spiritual needs that are going unmet in many cases, and after retirement many are looking for places to get involved and some are ready to reestablish their relationship with God and the church.
If you are in need of a person who can help your church respond to this mission field of Older Adults, I encourage you to contact Dr. Rick Gentzler the Director of ENCORE Ministries. The Golden Cross Foundation has made his services available to the churches of the Tennessee Conference. His contact Information is: Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler, Jr, 909 Hot Springs Court, Gallatin, TN 37066, Phone 615-400-0539, Email: Richard.Gentzler@tnumc.com.
Your Servant in Christ,
Bishop Bill McAlilly