Youngsville Church to help launch senior center

There are senior centers throughout Warren and Forest counties.

But there isn’t one in Youngsville.

The Youngsville First United Methodist Church is doing something about that.

They have set Jan. 14 as opening day for what they’re calling the Brokenstraw Adult Activity Center.

It’ll be free of charge as a place for eligible clients to have a space for socialization, education and recreation.

“We are very excited about the launch of this new ministry,” said the Rev. Jeff Canter, pastor of Youngsville First UMC, “because we are called to proactively leverage all of the church’s assets for the benefit of our community.”

Canter said the idea is an outgrowth of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like many other churches, Youngsville First UMC was looking for ways to stay engaged with our community, particularly during the months-long shut down of in-person worship,” he explained. “The church laity leaders understood that we could not open the center while still on lockdown, however they wanted to have something ready to launch when the restrictions were lifted. It took longer than we anticipated to get our ducks lined up in a row, but the vision of providing opportunities for older adults to join in fellowship with their peers, to be educated by guest speakers, to work on minor to moderate crafts, to play board games (e.g., chess or checkers), to be entertained, or to worship, remained the same.”

The church is targeting retirement age adults and prospective clients must be able to attend to their personal hygiene needs, not suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairment and be mobile or can be mobile via walker, cane or wheelchair.

They note that those using the center don’t have to be Christians to participate.

“The older adults of our community struggled disproportionally during the pandemic with the loss of socialization and increasing isolation,” Canter said. “More than one of our older members remembered fondly the last casual gathering place for Youngsville seniors and the idea of creating such a service was born.”

The center will be located on the church’s education wing. It’s one floor with ground-level access and a new concrete was poured at the entrance to increase access. An ADA compliant restroom is also in the works.

Initially, the center will be open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. but the plan is to to add more days as participation increases.

Canter explained that church leaders have realized that “God has blessed the church with facilities that have not been fully utilized in recent years.

“The development of the center has been the fulfillment of our ongoing call to use those blessings in ways that positively impact the community at large.”

A Consecration Service will be held on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. followed by an open house reception. More information can be found on the center at facebook.com/brokenstrawaac.


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