Francis Street First partnered with other churches in St. Joseph, MO to prepare a retreat for retirees. The idea is that lay people will share how to plan and start the second half of life to find a new purpose and meaning. Several of our members, who studied Richard Rohr’s book “Falling Upward” with the Coping with Sudden Life Changes group, are already familiar with the concept of the second part of life.

Al Brown shared about joining St. Joseph Police Academy for Citizens to help people understand what does it take to be a police officer in the times of school and church shooting, increasing burglaries, and the threat of terrorism. Al Brown chose a Christian approach to stop the cycle of violence to gain a better understanding of how police department provides services to the community.

Our members can teach others! Look at Virginia Chandler, who just turned 93 this month, she is still active, she still drives, and does not plan to slow down. The fact that Virginia volunteered for the hospital for over 20 years and is still active in our church made me connect her longevity with her selfless ministry. Often, you can see Ann Hannah working in the church garden. She has already managed to plant pansies this spring right before the snow. Rilla Henman picked up her cell phone while she was delivering Meals on Wheels in Kings City, MO. “There are not enough people to deliver meals here,” Rilla explained. Cindy Allen and Mary Buckler serve as lunch buddies and mentors at Carden Park Elementary School. Al Brown and Bud Barr helped Habitat for Humanity to repair houses. Dan Madinger shares his passion to preach. Carlene and Neal Makawski, Virginia Chandler, Fred Hannah, Betty Walkup, Phyllis Brooke, Wanda Barr, Nancy Reed, and Karen Gibson serve lunches at the Open Door Kitchen. Sherril and David Lewis and Fred Hannah sing in the Community Chorus & Chamber Choir. Candy Sheehan is actively involved with AFI-CIO and Teachers Association. David Lewis leads St. Joseph Museum Association. Karen Gibson is involved with Imagine Eleven and many other programs in the city. Our passion is to see our city renewed.

All of you support our growing ministries and help our community in so many ways. Francis Street First Members know the secret of loving God and loving our neighbors, but did you know that this secret has another hidden benefit of longevity and youthfulness? Having a purpose in life in the second half of life opens new channels in our minds and bodies for a longer and happier life. Francis Street First holds keys to longevity! It was just a quick look around to make me learn what our members are doing in the community. Please share your works of kindness that others could find the new meaning in life in its second half.

Pastor Lydia

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