First Unitarian Society tries to provide a welcoming environment for all age groups, and our congregation features a wonderful mix of young families, empty-nesters, youth and elders. Support and programming tailored to each age cohort is routinely available, but we also strongly encourage all ages to participate in intergenerational worship, educational and social events. A faith community such as First Unitarian Society is one of the few places in our contemporary age-segregated culture where young and old can connect in appreciation and mutual respect.
Many older adults continue to participate actively in the life of the larger congregation. They are some of our most enthusiastic life-long learners and committed volunteers. But in at least some respects, the interests and concerns of elders differ from those of their juniors and we make an effort to address these as well.
The Alliance – an internal organization with a 125 year history – is comprised largely of mature women (and a few men). Its members meet on the second Wednesday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 for food, fellowship and inspiration. Although men and women of all ages are welcome to attend these meetings, The Alliance’s daytime schedule has always been particularly appealing to retirees.
Noon Musicales, forty-five minutes of live music performed weekly in the Landmark Auditorium October-May, is another program of particular appeal to elders. These free mini-concerts are held Fridays from 12:15 to 1:00. Most guests bring their own lunch but complementary coffee and tea are provided. Stylistically diverse and well-rehearsed, FUS musicales provide a reliable lift at the end of the week.
In keeping with contemporary trends, many of our older members have relocated from their homes to retirement communities. Several years ago FUS established an outreach ministry in two locations where significant numbers of UU elders had settled. Our ministers facilitate monthly programs at Oakwood West (fourth Wednesday at 2:30 in the Heritage Bldg.) and Capitol Lakes (First Wednesday at 3:00 in the Chapel). Non-residents as well as residents of Oakwood and Capitol Lakes are welcome to attend.
First Unitarian Society’s three ministers are generally available to address the pastoral care needs of elders and can be contacted at their offices. In addition, the Society’s lay ministers provide assistance when members are hospitalized, transitioning to skilled nursing facilities or are facing other difficulties. To enlist the services of a lay minister, please contact one of the professional clergy.