For older adults, many life changes occur that can disrupt their level of comfort and sense of belonging. A move into an assisted living or nursing facility may often be traumatic due to the loss of independence a senior once had—caring for their own home, driving, social interaction with neighbors, and worship and fellowship at their local church.
Thanks to a simple yet impactful ministry of Millbrook First United Methodist Church
, many seniors that are in full-time care can now experience one of the most sacred acts of being a Christian—Holy Communion. This outreach was started under the leadership of Mr. Chuck Kelser with the blessing and encouragement from Dr. Nathan Attwood
, pastor. Due to a Stephen Ministry program sabbatical, Mr. Kelser was looking for ways to serve and make a difference to those who are homebound and in facility care.
Chuck and his team visit five facilities once a month and another facility every Sunday with an estimated 140 residents participating in worship and communion. When asked if he had a clear calling to initiate this ministry, Mr. Kelser said, “God called me to do his work several years ago and nursing home ministry was a huge calling. My hope is that other local churches and conferences will see that they can reach those who are often forgotten by being the hands and feet of Christ. We’ve created a wonderful model that is working and I would love to train others how to implement this life-changing ministry.”
“The most rewarding part of this ministry is seeing the smiles on the faces of the residents before and after the service and the sincere thanks they always give to us,” he continued. The staff of these facilities continue to say that the most important part of the services the members of Millbrook FUMC bring is Holy Communion, because that is where residents feel closer to God. This positive message reinvigorates Mr. Kelser’s desire to spread this ministry to as many UMC churches that he can.
Dr. Nathan Attwood gives Kelser and his team all of the credit. “This ministry was absolutely a laity-driven idea that blossomed out of disciples wanting to reach those who have had to relinquish their freedom to attend worship services. It doesn’t matter if these residents are United Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians or another denomination. We love the same God and feel like worship should be available to anyone. Chuck is exemplifying what is like to live out the Great Commission and influencing others to live a servant-focused life.”
Many of those impacted by Millbrook FUMC through this ministry are not new believers, but their commitment to Christ is renewed during a time in life that is fragile. A time where they depend on others for needs that were previously day-to-day luxuries. We give thanks for people like Chuck identifying a need and meeting people where they are and who are transforming the world.
To learn more about this ministry and how to implement it in your local church, contact Chuck Kelser
at or Dr. Nathan Attwood
. To see the photo gallery, click here