Aging Soulfully – course content

Though your destination is not yet clear,
You can trust the promise of this opening.
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

John O’Donohue, “For a New Beginning”

Wisdom Years studies and gatherings are created specifically for older adults – those in the last third of their lives (in general the 70s, 80s, and 90s). We have found that these years are an entirely different season from other ages of our lives, not merely an extension of adulthood. This is a new season which author Joan Chittister says is “an invitation into a deeper way of life.”

Aging Soulfully invites older adults to learn from the wisdom of wise teachers through essays, articles, videos, and poetry, then reflect on how that wisdom intersects with their own lives. Each session will provide a reading or video with questions for reflection. After individual reflection, participants gather in small groups to offer insights. This is not a typical Bible study in which one person “teaches” the participants; rather, all are teachers and all are learners, building communities of love, respect, and caring. Sessions are 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Weekly materials also include several alternate readings on the topic for individual use.

Modules and Sessions

Module 1 – Recognizing the Immense Potential of Aging

Sometimes it happens when we mark a certain birthday – 70 or 75 or 80. Sometimes we realize we are aging when we see our mother’s face in the rmirror and notice the wrinkles. One day it just hits us – we have reached our later years, and they have a finiteness to them. Author Gerard Thomas Straub calls it kairos time – “a time when I can give myself a chance to let go of everything I know in order to be carried along by the flow of all I do not know, they very flow of the mystery and true reality of life.”

Session 1 – Kairos Time

In this session we will look at what has surprised us – good and bad – about this kairos time. We’ll talk about what frightens us, what brings joy, and what we most look forward to.

Go to Module 1 Session 1

Session 2 – Finding God in All of It

In session 2 we do some harvesting in a short life review. What are the times when we were closest to God? When did we see God’s redemptive power at work? What talents and abilities emerge in this review that we might pick up again now? What feels incomplete that we need to give attention to now?

To Module 1, Session 2

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