How About An “Old Folks” Ward?

Don - July 11, 2005

My wife and I have a "made up" calling as the "Ward Single Adult Specialists".  We are supposed to be of service to all single adults in our ward of any age.  The young single adults have their own ward in our stake.  This ward has been very successful for many years.  We therefore work with the "Old Folks", and most of them are sisters.

Our present program has us teaching an Institute type class on the 1st and 3rd Mondays, and FHEs on the 2nd and 4th Mondays. 

I have two questions: Could their needs be better met at the Stake level by creating a seperate Ward, just like the young single adult ward? It would provide a very large group of similar aged, similar circumstances, and similar problems.  As much or more so than the young single adults.  And if that is the case, and I feel it is, then how does one go about getting such a ward started? 

Is there a church directive to keep this from happening?  What are the problems?

Who knows, your input here could not only change our Stake it could change the Church!

7 Comments »

  1. So you are talking about an “mature single adult ward”? I suspect the problem is the one you already mentioned — it is hard to make a ward if 80-90% of the prospective ward members are women.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 11, 2005 @ 2:44 pm

  2. We had a mature single adult ward in our Stake up until last years when it got destroyed. I heard it came from above, but I wasn’t in the councils where it was discoused.

    Maybe the whole Singles ward cut off at 30 is for more than statutory reasons? ;)

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 11, 2005 @ 4:59 pm

  3. Hey, who said YOUNG sinble adult wards are the wonderful rosy places that do so much good for their members?
    (my tongue is firmly in my cheek on this one)

    Comment by Bret — July 11, 2005 @ 6:19 pm

  4. There is a German branch in SLC that is all over 80. They meet in the Douglas Ward building. Of course, the Douglas Ward itself was pretty geriatric….

    Comment by a random John — July 12, 2005 @ 1:53 am

  5. There is, or at least used to be, a ward in Chevy Chase, MD, that was for anyone over the age 18 who didnt have kids. It was a ward with no Primary program or YM/YW. There were singles of all ages, a lot of older couples who were empty nesters and married couples were allowed to stay until they had a kid.

    Comment by Kurt — July 12, 2005 @ 7:26 am

  6. Ha! We just created (much needed and long overdue) the same calling in our ward and called a couple to be over the single adults. We have over 60 single sisters and a handful of single men. Those numbers alone tell you why an older single adult ward wouldn’t work in our stake. Virtually all of the Priesthood leadership would have to come from outside the singles ward. I imagine this to be the problem in other areas. Not enough single worthy and/or stable males to go along with the 8:1 girl to guy ratio. The selfish side of me (less hometeaching and little or no problems) would looooooooooove to see the ward formed.

    Comment by Rob — July 12, 2005 @ 1:47 pm

  7. My grandparents were in an old folks ward in SLC. They were reintegrated back into the regular stake a few years back.

    Some of the issues that were unique to that ward that I recall:

    There wasn’t much need for an activities committee. The ward got together almost weekly for weddings and funerals.

    Visiting and hometeaching in the winter was often difficult with all of the snowbirds leaving town, so there was someone called to send postcards every month to members of the ward who were wintering in Arizona.

    Obviously, there was no Primary and no YM/YW program.

    Sunday classes were pretty cool when I went to visit. The ward had tons of experienced Church members — for example, I think there were at least 10 returned mission presidents.

    Comment by Bryce I — July 12, 2005 @ 2:38 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.