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On Friday, October 15, Bishop Stephens received the following letter from the Reverend Ralph Milton about his new book. Bishop John asked that diocesan communications share this information with the diocese and beyond.

Here is a link to the Vimeo promo. It is also linked in the post.

This may read like a blatant sales pitch for my next book, which it is, but it is also an invitation to be part of a ministry that has been somewhat neglected in our churches.

Beverley (ordained) and I have been retired for some years now, but in the last two years find ourselves in an unofficial, completely voluntary kind of pastoral ministry. And no, we’re not looking for funds or recognition. 

I’ve had a lifetime of writing books that have been a part of the life of the ecumenical churches. And I’ve spoken at any number of Anglican conferences. Older people in the church will mostly likely remember my name.

          I’ve come out of retirement because of my concern is for a group of people, many of them in our pews every Sunday (or would be except for COVID) who contribute so much in time and money to the life of our church. 

          I became aware of this group and theirs needs when Bev and I, because of aging and associated health problems, checked into a seniors’ residence here in Kelowna. We found ourselves part of a community of 150 people between the ages of 80 & 100, people with very different needs from the younger seniors between ages 65 & 80. Sitting in the choir in our church, I estimated we make up from a half to a third of the parish. 

          Bev and I have found ourselves doing one-on-one ministry with our fellow “inmates” especially during the pandemic and leading worship for people of a delightful diversity of religious backgrounds.

          It’s not that us older seniors are neglected or mistreated. But we are very often taken for granted. And that hurts us and it hurts our church. Our needs, our interests, our concerns are often very different from that of the rest of the parish.

          So, I got busy, did some research, lots of interviews and consultations, and came out with a book called, Well Aged -- Making the Most of Your Platinum Years. It’s published by Douglas & McIntyre and will go on sale on October 30th..

          The book is written for a secular audience, but the theologically astute will recognize that it is informed by a deep, inclusive Christian faith. Sharilynn Upsdell, is a commissioned minister in the United Church and chaplain at a Lutheran retirement home. She is writing a study guide which will be offered free.

          One of the comments heard many times from older seniors was that young people (anyone under 70) have no idea what it’s like to be really old. There’s lots of stuff for the healthy younger seniors, but once you are old you are basically ignored. Especially by secular media.

          So Well Aged is written with a view to helping those interacting, professionally and otherwise, with seniors, to have a sense of what this time of life all about. The bruises and the blessings.

          To introduce you to the book, I’ve prepared a short video on YouTube, which you can find if you click on this link.  You can also find it if you go to YouTube and search on “Well Aged Ralph Milton.”

          Douglas & McIntyre are a well established and successful publisher, but they have no way of reaching clergy and other leaders in the Anglican Church. Neither have I. We have to rely on your concern for this important group of people in your parishes. 

So I am hoping you will forward this information to the people in your circle who might find this a useful resource in parish ministry to the many older seniors and to those (like yourself) who expect to be seriously old some day.

          Yours sincerely,

          Ralph Milton

(Here is a link to purchase the book on the publisher's site)