On July 26, Donna and I set out to Edson United Church and the Parkland Senior Citizen Lodge to do outreach on behalf of Alberta Council on Aging. We came prepared with information on our programs and services.

Pastor Kim welcomed us warmly at the United Church, and had us greeting parishioners. This was an opportunity to have a short conversation with some of them before church started. Mya, an 11-month-old, waved to us in greeting as she approached the door. We were delighted that two couples from Hinton joined us at the Edson service: Ron and Muriel Whyte, and Ron and Linda Jonson. Both couples are strong advocates for the disability community and older persons.

We were guest speakers at this service. Donna spoke on Age Friendly communities and I gave a brief orientation on Alberta Council on Aging.

Following the service, which had a strong message of hope, we sat down with the parishioners for coffee and snacks. The conversation was a revelation as it soon became clear that many organizations have similar struggles as we do. We talked about the challenges of fund-raising and enlisting volunteers. As the conversation progressed it became clear that we had been given a gift in terms of this insight: Move forward from the strengths you have in realistic bounds and do not dwell on shortfalls.


After a thought-provoking discussion at lunch with the Whytes and Jonsons, we all went on to the Parkland Senior Citizen Lodge. I did a short presentation on Recognizing Fraud. Following this presentation, we joined up with Pastor Kim at the long-term care facility where she was conducting an informal church service.

Our attitude heading home was positive.

Thank You to all the people we met. Your sharing and caring made for a truly wondrous day. May our paths cross again soon.

~Fred Olsen