27 September 2023
Silver streamers: Introducing No Age Limit
Outreach Mission Partner Ali Thornton-Dean (Older People’s Services) talks to Salvationist about the new Salvationist Radio show No Age Limit.
What is Older People’s Ministries?
We’re part of Older People’s Services and provide resources that support older people and help equip corps and communities in understanding and meeting older people’s needs. Our resources have been translated into other languages for use around the world, including French, German and Chinese.
Ageing is a topic that people can be wary of, isn’t it?
Some people don’t want to talk about it. We acknowledge that growing older has got its challenges, but we want to make the most of it: there’s no age limit to what we can do for God or what he can do for us.
No Age Limit is the name of your Salvationist Radio show – what inspired it?
There really is no age limit in God’s Kingdom! When we heard about the radio station, it was a natural fit.
What’s the format of the show?
It’s an hour of music, chat, testimony and devotions with me and Andy Wileman, the assistant director of Older People’s Services, and guests.
What guests have you got lined up?
We have a guest segment called ‘This Is My Story, This Is My Song’. Our first broadcast featured Commissioner Freda Larsson. Our next is International Staff Bandmaster Steve Cobb. We hope that listeners, whether inside or outside the Army, will hear someone’s story and be blessed by it. People listening who may not even know Christ might come to know him – God can do amazing things.
Andy and Ali’s devotions are also available in Salvationist Radio’s new Silver Linings podcast.
What’s it like hearing yourself on the radio?
It’s embarrassing! But what we’re trying to do, me and Andy as two Yorkshire people together, is to be natural, so people feel like they’re sat around the kitchen table with us having a cup of tea. We finish each episode with the Lord’s Prayer and we picture people listening and praying with us.
You recently launched A Closer Look at Ageing. How did that resource come about?
We had officers and local leaders ask, ‘What does Scripture say about this?’ And so we created something that could look at different aspects of ageing and what the Bible has to say. And Scripture has something to say about everything, doesn’t it? We’re not the font of all knowledge, but we can help people and signpost them to some other amazing organisations, such as Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK.
What topics does it cover?
Death and dying, dementia, retirement, social care, and befriending – with more topics coming later this year. Take retirement, for example. There’s no real mention of it in Scripture. There was a change of duty for older priests in the Temple, but they were still needed – you don’t get to a certain age and then God’s done with you. Anna and Simeon at the Temple waited and waited, and they were the first ones to recognise the Messiah.
You include practical responses as well. Why?
It’s like it says in Micah 6:8. ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ I love Scripture because it’s not enough to read it; you have to respond to what you’ve read.
What else is Older People’s Ministries up to?
We run a course, Changing Seasons, which equips people for ministry with older people. It’s currently running until February. We look at the theology of ageing, at the beautiful story of Naomi and Ruth, at listening to community needs and at change and how difficult it can be. Some modules are face to face and some online. You can find out more about that and A Closer Look at Ageing on the Older People's Ministries webpage.
Who is the course for?
We get a good mix of corps officers, divisional officers and local leaders, as well as volunteers – without older people in those roles up and down the territory, we couldn’t run a lot of our programme. There’s no age limit to volunteering!
What’s the response like?
We’ve had lovely feedback from people saying it’s helped them rethink their ministry with, and view of, older people. After all, an older person is just somebody who’s lived on the Earth longer with a lot more wisdom, aren’t they?
Supporting corps and the communities they serve in understanding, reaching and meeting the needs of older people.
Resources to support older people and those that work with them.
Join Andy and Ali for an hour of inspiring music, informative chat, testimony, devotions and special guests.
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