September 2019 E-News
Transitions as We Age
" In youth we learn, in old age we understand."
-- Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach --
This month, we have invited Suzanne Schmidt, Ph.D., M.Div., to impart some of her wisdom on the subject of aging. Suzanne is a teacher and preacher who is a trained facilitator in The Soul of Aging. She believes that aging is neither boring nor dull and likes to laugh at the surprises that growing older brings. Suzanne is not only our guest contributor to the E-News, but she will also be leading a two-part "LumZoom" conversation on transitions in aging ( click here for more information).
Doug sig
Hope for Growing Older:
We are All in the Boat Together

When it comes to growing older, we are all in the boat together. We all grow older and experience changes associated with aging right from the very start…

We move from preschool to kindergarten to elementary school. Maybe we go to college, get a job, marry, move away, or have kids of our own. Later we may experience health issues or the death of someone important in our lives.

It’s not always easy to keep hope alive when one is aging and living in a society which is obsessed with staying young and living longer. In his 2018 book , On the Brink of Everything, Parker Palmer writes:

“Our youth-oriented culture sends a message to elders that can discourage us and defeat us: ‘It’s time to withdraw from serious engagement with a world that is changing so rapidly that you can’t keep up. So, take up harmless hobbies and hangout at home.’”

Palmer goes on to suggest that no matter our age, we all yearn to use our gifts, to have purpose, and to create meaning in our lives regardless of what stage of life we find ourselves. For those of us blessed with the gift of old age, we want to ask ourselves “How will I use this gift to the best of my ability?”

One way I’ve tried to use the gift of old age wisely is to connect with young people. My spouse and I are friends with a younger couple from our church. They are parents of two very lively 12-year-old's. They keep us up to date on the challenges of being 40-somethings with two active girls and very full work and church lives. The girls teach us about the latest songs and fashions. We love learning from them. And we hope along the way, we impart some wisdom to them.

This family loves baseball. At a recent Washington Nationals game, they taught us about the concept of a “walk-up” song. This is the music played when a team member walks up to bat. The song often defines the player and has meaning associated with him. Learning about “walk-up” songs got me thinking about the concept of a “walk-off” song, as in what song or thought do we want played or conveyed as we walk off from this life?

For me, the song would be Great Is God’s Faithfulness because God has been so utterly faithful and present in my life. And my walk-off thought would be a line from a Mary Oliver poem: “ When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.”

What is your “walk-off” song or thought? For what do you want to be remembered?

Suzanne Schmidt
Reflection Question
What gifts will you leave to others on your life's journey?

Conversation & Poem
Family Matters
Aging & Late Life Transitions

"In Blackwater Woods"
by Mary Oliver

Boston Area Transitions Mini-Retreat
View change in your life through a spiritual lens
Norwell, MA
September 28, 2019

For more information and to register:
Denver Area Men's Retreat
A chance to grow and deepen your spiritual life

Highlands Retreat Center
Allenspark, CO
October 4-6, 2019

For more information and to register:

New England Women's Retreat
A chance to grow and deepen your spiritual life

Duxbury, MA
October 11-12, 2019

For more information and to register:

Aging Well:
A Two-Part "LumZoom" Conversation About the Transitions of Aging
October 8, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)&
November 12, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)

For more information:
To register, contact

D.C. Area Transitions Mini-Retreat
View change in your life through a spiritual lens
Germantown, MD
November 17, 2019

For more information and to register:
September Lumunos Blog
Prayer for Handwritten Notes

My handwriting is pretty bad. For years I labored under the illusion that it once was clear and legible, possibly approaching lovely. I imagined it had b

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When Firefighters See Senior Struggling in Wheelchair,...

When a group of firefighters saw an elderly woman in a wheelchair struggling to get to her front door, they spent their weekend building her a new walkway. According to a Facebook post from the Webster Groves Firefighters Community Outreach page...

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Doug Wysockey-Johnson     
Dan Quinlan  
Alice Barbera  
Rebecca Perry-Hill