Seniors encouraged to stay in the race despite trials

Originally published in Western Recorder –

Senior citizens from across the state gathered on May 1, 2 and 4 for the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s annual Senior Living Celebration. The day-long conferences were held in Paducah, Bowling Green and Lawrenceburg, with the theme “Race of a (my) Lifetime.”

“This life is the race of all our lives. I wanted to remind the seniors to stay faithful and obedient to the One who calls us to Himself,” Shelly Johns White, women’s and senior adult ministry consultant with the KBC and organizer of the events, said of the theme.

“The celebrations are designed to encourage seniors in their faith walk; provide a time where they can choose, either for the first time or a time of recommitment, to serve God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit; be equipped to serve through various workshop opportunities; laugh and simply fellowship with others along the journey,” White added.

Seniors at the Lone Oak First Baptist Church location in Paducah were led in worship by the “Notes of Joy,” Lone Oak’s senior adult choir, and James Booker of Louisville.

After a word from the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, who sponsored breakfast for the event, they were presented a poignant dramatic interpretation by Carol Redd of Covington. In addition, their time together ended with entertainment from comedian Rick Roberts.

“If you said the seas of life long enough, you will get into troubled waters,” Richard Harnes, a retired North American Mission Board employee and author, pastor and evangelist, told attendees. “We cannot control everything that happens to us.”

However, drawing from Joshua 5:13-15, Harnes presented three ways to face the challenges of life victoriously. They were through: “absolute submission to the authority of God and His word, faith in the activity of God when the human eye cannot see God at work, and praise for the accomplishments of God.”

He encouraged attenders, “No matter the circumstance, Jesus is enough.”

Seniors had the opportunity to attend two workshops throughout the day. The Attorney General’s office team held a workshop informing seniors on how to prevent being victimized by scam alerts; Laurie Valentine with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation shared with seniors about probate and living trusts; and Mary Jane Schopp taught a workshop titled “Don’t Quit Before Crossing the Finish Line,” among other workshop choices.

“My heart is most glad when seniors, as they pass me in the hall or on their way out the door, heading for home, say “thank you for doing this for us,” or “this was what I needed,” or “this is my first celebration, and I am glad that I came,” White shared, emphasizing the importance of these gatherings.

For more information about the KBC’s senior adult ministries, visit,2287? or email White at (WR)