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NCBAM marks fifth year with senior adult retreat

North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) is marking its fifth year of participation with Fort Caswell’s senior adult retreat — Summerfest. The event is a 5-day, 4-night retreat for senior adults. Originally held only in August, the event now occurs in May and August at the NC Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell.

Summerfest includes class options, chapel services, entertainment, games, excursions and more. From jewelry making to fishing to in-depth Bible studies, the classes provide something for everyone. In addition to the sessions offered by Summerfest planners, NCBAM sponsored eight classes.

One of the most-attended sessions was the Fancy Finds Roadshow. Fancy Finds resale store is a ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). Director Renee Gregory and team member Kim Lesage taught refinishing techniques to attendees who restored worn items into showpieces. The items were sold at the retreat or brought back to sell at the Thomasville store where all proceeds benefit the ministries of BCH. Vicky Arroba from Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte attended all three sessions. “At church we have lots of prayer groups and learning opportunities, but I loved the chance to do hands-on stuff and learn something new at this retreat.”

Central west regional director for NCBAM, Debra Kuykendall, presented Happy New You! Attendees took an optimism survey and then learned to develop action plans to meet their goals. Eighty-one year old Carol Taylor from Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church attended the session and encouraged everyone with her attitude. When Kuykendall asked the group, “Why be happy?” Taylor responded, “Why be sad? I tell my grandkids — you might as well be happy. You have to take yourself with you everywhere you go!”

In A Leader’s Legacy, Integrative Health Coach Whitney Brooks led attendees to explore how their core values and leadership values intertwined. Jackie Lewis from First Baptist Church Jonesville said the session encouraged him. “Sometimes

I think I need to drop back. Whitney asked excellent questions that got me fired up to go back home and do more for my community —to continue on.”

NCBAM’s north central regional director, Samantha Allred, worked with BCH’s IT Manager, Thomas Tetter, to develop Yearning for Better TV? This session explored the complicated world of TV providers. Kathy Yancey from Independence Hill Baptist Church in Huntersville reaped rewards within 24 hours of attending the session. “My husband and I had been doing research. He said,‘Go to this class. We’ll make sure we’re on the right track and then I’ll make the calls.’ The day after the class, he called and reduced our $250 monthly bill in half. We got rid of things we didn’t use and negotiated a better internet connection. It was a win-win for us!”

In The Spiritual Practice of Simplicity, NCBAM’s south central regional director, Robert Leonard explored Scriptural truths that challenge our desires and can help us begin practicing a life of simplicity. Jan Francks from First Baptist Church Southern Pines appreciated the focus on biblical simplicity. “I always feel tempted to take on too many things. The scriptures helped me to refocus on things I’ve known all my life.”

In A Taste of Tai Chi, NCBAM’s director of communications, Carol Layton, shared an evidence-based Tai Chi program that reduces fall risk.

Attendees learned six movements and explored how Tai Chi improves balance, coordination, and pain management. An attendee reported that the movements revealed how much her balance was off. “I enjoyed every minute of the class. I’m going to work on getting my balance back.”

Mark Smith, Senior Consultant for Family Evangelism at the Baptist State Convention, presented Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. He explored this cultural phenomenon and encouraged all grandparents in the influence they have in the lives of grandchildren.

Dr. Sandy Gregory, director of NCBAM, joined with central regional directors Robert Leonard and Samantha Allred to debut NCBAM’s outreach: Disaster Preparedness for Aging Adults. Sharing statistics about the vulnerability of older adults during disasters, the trio explained that NCBAM can help churches plan, implement, and maintain disaster preparedness ministries.

To learn more about NCBAM, go to

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