Extra copies of Mature Living popular at residence for seniors

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)--Churches and senior adults have one thing in common -– most don’t have a lot of extra money.

A recycled magazine ministry to senior adults is not expensive, however, or time-consuming for the church, and it gives a popular product to the seniors at no charge. A perfect match.

Several churches in the Buncombe Baptist Association in Asheville, N.C., have made the lives of seniors in their area a little happier by recycling their copies of Mature Living magazine and sending them to Vanderbilt Apartments.

Mature Living, published by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, targets senior adults with articles that include travel, memories about earlier times, crossword puzzles and a Grandparents’ Brag Board telling cute anecdotes about grandchildren.

“We had a library in a small room on the third floor that really wasn’t used too much,” said Fred Thompson, an active senior at the Vanderbilt Apartments who is in charge of the facility’s book exchange and magazines. “We decided to move the books and magazines down to a table in the lounge where it is brighter and where most people go at some point during the day. It’s made a big difference and people are using the library more. They really do like Mature Living. Just about every copy we get is taken.”

Yvonne Martin, Joan Bradley and Tinia Gamble are among the Mature Living readers.

Martin called Mature Living “just about the best thing around. I read it, then cut out articles and send them to my daughter in South Carolina.”

Bradley, a longtime member of Merriman Avenue Baptist Church in Asheville, said the church has been providing her copies of Mature Living and HomeLife, another LifeWay publication. “I just appreciate it so much that my church gives these magazines to me. I enjoy reading and especially like the profile stories on Christian people in Mature Living.”

Gamble, who Thompson called a “Baptist-friendly Methodist,” said she liked everything about Mature Living, especially the Grandparents’ Brag Board feature. “I just love to read what those children say. It’s always so cute.”

“Mature Living gives them something interesting to read and talk about,” Portia Gough, the resident services coordinator, said. “The stories spark conversations.”

Gough said she is starting a reminiscing time for the residents where they will talk about Asheville history and their own personal histories, and she plans to use Mature Living to stimulate their thoughts.

Norma Melton of the Buncombe Baptist Association staff encourages churches to send their magazines to the association office, which then distributes them. Requests for the magazines are made through the association’s newsletters and e-mails to the churches.

“It’s something that any church can do,” Melton said. “It doesn’t matter if the church is small or large. It’s a ministry that matters a lot to the people who receive these recycled copies.”

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