by Mary Shannon Profiles in Catholicism
Image Credit: Pixabay
Attending church regularly may lower your risk of depression, but it can also help you connect with fellow senior citizens, especially if you live alone. For most seniors, staying home to watch TV can be bad for their health. It’s really important for seniors to have social support, but for the retired or widowed, it can be difficult to find new friends. Luckily, connecting with fellow seniors at church is easier with the tips below.
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Sign Up for Bible Studies
Capitol Ministries says that studying scripture has 15 benefits. Reading the Bible can guide, enrich, and restore - if you understand what you’re reading. Interpreting this popular religious book can be difficult, even if you’re a long-time churchgoer. Join a Bible study class at your church so that you can delve deeper into each section of the Bible.
Depending on the size of your church, you may have numerous Bible studies to choose from. Churches often offer separate studies for men and women, but you may also have mixed-gender options available. Some Bible studies meet at the church, while others take place at restaurants, libraries, or local homes.
Your Bible study group may include people ranging in age from 18 to 100. If you prefer to study with senior citizens, look for a group specifically designed for your age range, or attend a morning group. Groups that meet in the morning are often composed of stay-at-home parents and elderly churchgoers because other adults are busy with work or school during this time.
Participate in Church Events
Odds are high that your church hosts events throughout the year: potluck parties, fairs or carnivals, women’s luncheons, and outdoor picnics. You may be tempted to skip these events because you’re embarrassed or anxious about attending alone, but don’t! Other seniors are probably in the same position as you, and you can connect with each other at the event. And if you’re a local business owner, church events may even give you the opportunity to network and build relationships with other business professionals.
If you’re attending an event with assigned seating, ask the host if you can sit with other seniors. They will very likely honor your request. If you can sit anywhere, arrive early so that you can choose a spot near the food or beverages. Attendees often choose to sit near the refreshments because it’s convenient, so there’s a chance that you’ll find other churchgoers in that area.
Volunteer Via Your Church
Performing volunteer work can be an emotionally satisfying experience that may decrease your risk of falling prey to stress-related medical issues. Volunteer options for churchgoers are typically available directly in the church, as well as in the community.
Here are some tasks you can volunteer to help with at church:
Directing traffic in the parking lot
Cleaning up after luncheons or potluck parties
Preparing post-sermon snacks or refreshments
Caring for young children in the church’s nursery
Answering telephone calls or emails
Distributing literature before or after sermons
If you prefer to help off site, ask a church leader what volunteer options are available. You may be able to join other seniors on a mission trip to help women and children in poverty-stricken areas, or there might be opportunities for volunteer work in your own community. Many churches connect with local organizations to provide financial help or hands-on volunteer assistance.
Join Church-Sponsored Sports
Does your church offer sports for adults? You may find that your church offers tennis, soccer, or even yoga. Check with your doctor before joining an exercise program. If your doctor gives you the okay, you may enjoy benefits such as increased mobility and improved sleep if you participate in an exercise program.
Not fond of exercise? Your church may offer other socialization options, such as Bingo or card games, that are appropriate for seniors.
As we age, it can be difficult to make new friends. Churches are welcoming to the elderly and by joining a church, seniors can find like-minded people to spend time with long after Sunday’s sermon ends.