The Rationale, Principles, Curriculum, and the Nuts & Bolts of Establishing and “Growing” a True Maturing Adult Faith Formation Initiative in Your Parish, Church, or other Faith-Based site.
This course presents a new vision of Faith Formation for Maturing Adults (FFMA) that calls for a fundamental transformation of how spiritually maturing adults see their true purpose in life as a child of God who has lived longer than most. We can become more intentional in our work to, with, and for maturing adults. We can, and I believe that we must, become more proactive, more assertive, and more focused in the fundamentals of faith formation in the maturing years.
This new vision of FFMA includes an advancing appreciation for this later time of life as having immense spiritual purpose; maturation is specially designed by God to bring us ever closer to God and closer to our true selves. Spiritual development never stops but intensifies as we move through our years … we can learn to see aging more accurately as a gift from God that it is!
The larger Church needs to ‘be fully with’ its maturing children in their final stage; we cannot stand idly aside lest its favored sons and daughters begin drifting away, perhaps not in body, but certainly in mind and soul, devoid of purpose or direction, living unsatisfying life of diversion, personal uncertainty, and spiritual stagnation.
Maturing adults have achieved a time in their lives when they can truly begin to discern a fuller horizon of the presence of Christ in their lives. They’ve arrived at a life space where issues of the heart and soul, issues of the interior, take on new meaning; a place where a new vision of life emerges with a passionate spiritual vigor heretofore unknown. It seems so spiritually wasteful to concentrate only on diversionary activities when real ‘soul food’ is needed, and can now be appreciated with a connoisseur’s palate.
At its core, FFMA is the creation and execution of spiritual development education and ‘peace and justice’ oriented outreach activities specifically designed to enrich the sacred relationship between the maturing adult and God. Clearly, FFMA is the least developed of all age group ministries. This unconscious fear and general oversight drives the anemic approach to FFMA we see so often in our churches.
The course differentiates between and among the three distinct sub-groups of “maturing adults,” and offers specific suggestions for successful ministry with each group.
1. Boomers: ages 55ish to around 72ish.
2. Builders: ages 73ish and above.
3. Elders: physically and/or cognitively impaired maturing adults.
In addition to offering the basic rationale for FFMA and a clear means for initiating and growing a firm FFMA on the parish/congregational level, the course also covers the 13 guiding principles for FFMA as well as the specific content that can make the FFMA program successful.
JI Course 101: FAITH FORMATION FOR MATURING ADULTS
Course 101 is one of 12 courses that make-up the JOHNSON Institute curriculum in Spiritual Gerontology and Maturing Adult Faith Formation, culminating in student's earning their Professional Certificate in Spiritual Gerontology (PCSG).
Tuition: $250 Materials: $10
This course may be taken anytime in a self-study format.