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'Sharing Golden Nuggets' senior adult ministry conference          Send a link to a friend 

[JULY 14, 2005]  CHAMPAIGN -- The "Sharing Golden Nuggets in Golden Years" senior adult ministry conference will be on Aug. 11 at First Christian Church, 3601 S. Staley.

The keynote speaker is Ben Merold, retired minister from Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, Calif., now serving at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles, Mo.

This will be the second year for the conference, the brainchild of Don Hatfield, First Christian's senior adult minister. Hatfield is committed to helping older adults find ways to stay productive and connected in ministries after retirement -- sharing their golden nuggets of wisdom with others in their golden years.

"So often people see retirement as the end of their ‘productive' life," Hatfield says. "But seniors have so much life experience and knowledge that the Lord can use. There are all kinds of opportunities to volunteer and minister and apply that life knowledge with organizations who need that expertise. We want to help people see that they can still serve, even though they have a few gray hairs."

Guest speaker Ben Merold is one of those serving seniors. After a long career authoring articles on church growth, teaching in Bible colleges and pastoring churches -- including 22 years at Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, Calif. -- Merold "started all over again" by accepting the call to minister at Harvester Christian Church in 1991.

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The conference begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast, and includes worship sessions, two workshops and lunch. The conference will include several popular workshops from last year, including Dr. Harold Davis' session on mentoring and the "Apples of Gold" women's Bible study workshop. New workshops on the schedule include missions, estate planning, practical issues with aging and reinventing retirement.

According to Hatfield, 200 people from 28 churches attended last year's conference. His goal this year is 300 attendees from 40 churches.

The conference is co-sponsored by First Christian Church in Champaign and Christian Homes Inc. of Lincoln.

Registration is available online at For more information, call the church office at (217) 356-1649.

[News release]

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