Older Adult Ministries of Mid-America Presents in the General Assembly Virtual Exhibit Hall

Each year, the National Benevolent Association invites congregations and ministries to apply for a Mission & Ministry Grant. These grants are reserved specifically for projects that will impact older adults as well as historically excluded youth and young adults. Below is a story from a grantee who received funds for their work in 2021. 

For the last three years, the Older Adult Ministries of Mid-America (OAM) has been interested in intentionally expanding their work from advocacy to action by offering resources and entering into strategic partnerships to amplify our message of how the church can support successful aging. When OAM was awarded a Mission & Ministry Grant in 2021, we knew we’d use it for expanding our reach across the denomination by creating new resources for Disciples seniors and inviting speakers and facilitators to virtually talk about the different facets of aging.

Older Adult Ministry of Mid America virtual booth at Disciples Virtual Gathering
The Older Adult Ministry of Mid America virtual booth at Disciples Virtual Gathering in August 2021.

Last summer, OAM participated in the exhibit hall at the 2021 Disciples Virtual Gathering by hosting a booth. The booth gave the ministry the opportunity to connect and chat with members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), to ask questions and share some the resources the grant funding helped us create. The exhibit included links to our many videos, educational and study materials, caregiving advice, and outreach resources.

We had over 200 visitors come to the booth from all over the country. Attendees could view the materials from our website, ask questions, and engage in conversation with our booth representatives, Jan Aerie, Older Adult Ministries Coordinator, and Dr. Kim Leon, Assistant Director of Columbia, Missouri Area Older Adult Ministry.

This opportunity allowed our video resources to be accessed by new people outside of Missouri and Illinois, the two states where most of OAM’s work is done. Our six videos were watched 112 times! Our resources were viewed in depth by attendees 56 times, and we exchanged 130 messages with our virtual attendees. The Virtual Gathering enabled OAM to expand its reach to a national and global audience.

During the pandemic, our ministry of outreach shifted from in-person events, to completely virtual. We used this change as an opportunity to work with different groups of people across the denomination, including Alliance Q and Disciples Women. These new partnerships helped us create a series of webinars that were tapped by churches and individuals across the country.

The first five years of our ministry has been focused on the Missouri and Illinois region, but with NBA’s financial support and the help of new Disciples partners, OAM is now poised to become a national ministry in the denomination!

Are you interested in receiving grant funds for your health and social service project? Consider applying for a Mission & Ministry grant here