Will Willimon quotes John Wesley as saying, “Christianity is a social religion; to turn it into a solitary affair is to destroy it.” These timely words, however, are not about quarantines or shutting down churches due to a pandemic. Instead, they refer to just one of the many challenging realities of our retirement years—and Aging wants to take on all of them.
Willimon, the retired dean of the chapel at Duke Divinity school, tells it like it is. He’s like a doctor who walks into the exam room and bluntly tells you some unfortunate diagnosis: “You’re old!” He delves into a long list of crises, including health, finances, isolation and faith. Aging tells many stories from literature and life to make some very difficult, even harsh, observations about the last chapters of life.
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Aging: Growing Old in the Church
Seasoned pastor and church leader Will Willimon excels at creating thought-provoking, accessible books for working pastors and seminarians. In Aging, he takes a theologically rich look at numerous aspects of growing old. Drawing on Scripture, literature, current research, and his experiences as an aging adult, Willimon reflects on aging as a spiritual journey.
He explores the challenging realties as well as the rewarding joys of growing old and shows pastors how to help their congregants grow old gracefully
and in good Christian hope. Willimon also offers practical advice on helping church members as they encounter retirement, aging, caring for the aging, loss, bereavement, and finding faith in the last quarter of life. This eloquent, delightfully Christian perspective on aging will be of interest to all who care for aging souls—not only pastors but also chaplains and other ministers in hospitals, hospices, and extended care facilities.
Will Willimon has carried the faith throughout his entire life, and here he offers an incredibly touching, poignant, and compelling account of growing old, experiencing God in new ways, and finding hope in the life that Jesus offers. A must-read for Christians of any age.Jim Wallis, New York Times bestselling author, president of Sojourners, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine
[A] bracing sermon of a book. . . . Besides his thoughtful theology, Willimon offers practical suggestions for what Christian churches can do for aging people and their caregivers, and prompts the aging with ways they can serve. Older Christians, those who attend to the elderly, and congregations in general will find this to be a valuable pastoral resource.Publishers Weekly starred review