Greetings CLA Family,
My title is a play on words, as the name of our 65+ demographic here at CLA is called Thrive. This is the demographic that I have the privilege of serving. And, in all of my observing, these wonderful people are not just surviving at this stage in life, but rather thriving! I love the faith, optimism, stamina and strength that I see. I love the incredible life experiences shared and the powerful stories of God coming through in supernatural ways. I love that they are prayer warriors and have breakthrough stories to tell. Lastly, I love the creative ways in which they are reaching out to people in their spheres of influence who do not know God.
Prior to Covid, Thrive had their last in-person gathering in March of 2020 and were able to resume briefly again in September of 2020. The weekly Bible Study lasted about seven weeks before another lockdown. Weekly Zoom Bible Studies replaced in person gatherings, as well as introducing Bible Studies online so everyone could participate. Thrive weekly newsletters were sent out to engage, encourage and also bring reminders of what was taking place.
Once Thrive was able to come together in person again last May of 2021, we began with Bible Study in the Conference Hall. We continued to meet together all through the summer with Tuesday gatherings, and our weekly attendance was around 50 for every gathering. We had wonderful times of fellowship around tables, worship, corporate prayer and then God stories that were shared by various people in our own CLA congregation. These stories were truly faith building, encouraging and life giving.
On September 24, we had our first Fall Friendly Friday, with 74 people in attendance, as we came together for a time of worship, testimonies and worship shared from guest musicians on piano & organ. Moving forward, we have another Friendly Friday planned for October 29, along with a Christmas gathering on December 3 and a Carols by Candlelight gathering on December 11.
As of September 28, we began a new Bible study series with Pastor Bill Ashbee, who is sharing on the Gospel of John.
One thing that has been very special to our in-person gatherings since last May, have been times of corporate prayer around tables every week. For Bible Study each week we will continue as we did through the summer. Tuesday mornings will begin with a time of fellowship, worship, corporate prayer and then our Bible Study. It really has been a rich time of coming together as we move forward with hearts full of faith and expectation in our loving and faithful God.
Senior Adults Director