How is the pandemic affecting elders?
We really miss CtK, the people and activities. Most of us are resilient and already used to more limited activity as we get older. We have learned to adjust to a quieter schedule, and in many cases, are quite content that we do not have to go out. Of course, there is loneliness and virus-fear that burdens us. Some of us are bored, depressed and challenged with physical limitations. Those who have computers are deeply grateful for CtK's online worship services. We miss the choir and singing in groups. Zoom is good but without physical contact, the quality of our life together is surely diminished. In the calling of all our members, many expressed gratitude that their congregation still remembers them and cares enough to reach out to them.
What plans does Elders in Action have for the fall?
Normally, we are an active group. For example, we regularly visit Feed My Starving Children and, using Thrivent Action Team money, we support several educational, fundraising, and community service events. We have for several years been major co-sponsors of the Christmas Luncheon. We've gone on several educational trips to religious, theatrical, baseball, nature and athletic events. All of those things have been called off now because of the pandemic. We have recently reached out to Community Partners with Youth (CPY) and are hoping to expand our giving. We have been in service to CPY’s crucial ministry that delivers food and activity supplies to students of families who usually use CtK’s building. During the summer, we have continued our twice a month planning sessions while socially distancing outdoors. We will continue this through the fall and hope to responsibly meet indoors as the weather gets colder.
What have you been doing to keep going through this difficult time?
We have been working on plenty of projects around the home, farm, and cabin. Finally cleaning out closets, shelves and drawers. We watch a lot of television; news, educational shows, or old movies. We read; we're learning a lot about racism and the virus. We mostly stay home, but if we go out, we are learning to wear our masks.
What in your life has prepared you for this pandemic?
Our faith, our church, and our religion has helped to prepare us. You might say it has been a lifelong preparation. We have gotten used to facing difficult challenges. Many of us remember World War II, polio and other health crises, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, depressions and a lot of world-wide turmoil. With God's help and a lot of human persistence and creativity, we have survived many challenges and we are resilient in facing this one, too. We want to be part of the solution. So, we enter into the debate of issues, vote faithfully and intelligently, and do all we can to support our church, our community, our state, our country and our world!