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In light of the issues facing the aging, such as ever-changing health issues, changing circumstances, and issues surrounding work and relationships, it is incumbent upon the Christian community to help the middle-aged and older to stay abreast of what is taking place in the arena of self-care and holistic living. The Church, according to the New Testament, has a mandate and a command to preach and teach, to convert and to renew. As part of these commands, the Church should offer opportunities for information and renewal in the areas of health, well being, and self-care. With the need for better self-care as the focus of this paper, the aim of this project is to develop an effective ministry to encourage self-care for people fifty and older at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Puyallup, Washington through focused teaching and small group interaction.

This project is comprised of three parts. Part One will determine the need for more fifty-plus ministries at Immanuel, based on the number of potential participants and the current lack of adequate program for this age group. This section will include a discussion of the location of the congregation and current outreach to the fifty-plus generations in the community. Part Two will discuss the theological implications to help members of the church and the community to recognize the need for treating the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Part Three will present the strategy for providing avenues of teaching and sharing that enhance healing and well being for the individual and the church through forums and small groups. The topics will include dealing with the aging process; healthy relationships with adult children; responsibilities of grandparenting; care of aging parents; making preparations for retirement and living in retirement mode; finding meaningful relationships in the church and community; and aging and sexuality.

Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

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Immanuel Lutheran Church (Puyallup, Wash.); Church work with the baby boom generation; Church work with older people; Small groups


Missions and World Christianity


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March 2018

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