Couples in Action group treats seniors
BY INGRID BROWN Associate editor — special assignment firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hampton Court and Port Morant Circuit of Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Thomas have not only sought to meet the spiritual needs of its members, but also the physical, as was evident through a dinner reception held recently to honour several senior citizens.
Some 38 senior citizens were treated to fine dining courtesy of the Couples in Action group, which is a ministry of the Family Life Department — a first for many of these rural folks.
"We went all-out to ensure an elegant ambience and some persons have said it is the first they were treated to such fanfare and elegance," Murlenia Whyte Stephenson, assistant president of Couples in Action, told the Jamaica Observer North East.
Whyte Stephenson explained that the idea to establish a couples group four years ago was the brainchild of Pastor Titmus Morgan and his wife Kerry-Ann.
Since then, the couples ministry has been engaging in various ventures to help others. They include distribution of grocery baskets to the less fortunate, being a tower of strength to persons who have lost loved ones, and bringing souls to God.
"As our motto states, 'Fostering healthy, happy Christian homes', we sought to spend time not only in church activities but also in social gathering where we are able to relax and enjoy nature," she said.
The decision, Whyte Stephenson said, was however taken to host the three-course dinner for some of the senior citizens as this year's major project.
Although 38 persons were feted, Whyte Stephenson said the next staging of the event will be bigger so as to include many more persons. This as they could only afford to invite a few representatives of the respective churches in Bath, Port Morant, Rowlands Fields, Arcadia, Wheelerfield and Hampton Court in the parish.
The senior citizens in attendance included two visually impaired persons who were delighted to have been a part of such an occasion.
"One sister was ill and was feeling left out but she said whenever she is alone at home feeling down, she will always remember that the church cares about her," Whyte Stephenson said.
President of Couples in Action Lucan Turner said the occasion was also used to recognise the contribution made by some of these elderly members to the Adventist church over the years. Church stalwarts Lenard Sinclair, Enid Smith, Vivia Smith, Winifred Bromwell, Petrona Henry, Carmen Eccleston, Ella Brown, Hyacinth Melbourne, and Ronald Morgan were all presented with certificates of appreciation.
"Many of these persons were giving over the years and this was the first time they were getting anything in return, and so we made an impact on them that we didn't even realise," Turner said.
Guest speaker for the event was Verona O'Conner, who spoke on the topic "Ageing with Dignity."