Church offering support for people battling memory loss

You can contact the church if you would like to participate.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT
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LONG BEACHA, Miss. (WLOX) - Next week, folks battling memory loss can come to First United Methodist Church in Long Beach. The church has planned a ministry to address the loneliness and isolation that comes with the illnesses.

“We acknowledge and we know that there are people in our community who are living with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or even from stroke,” said senior pastor Jon Kaufman. “Our job is to provide a space where they can encounter friendship and social interaction.”

The ministry includes exercise, games, a meal, arts, and music. Wednesday afternoon, volunteers were gearing up during a dry run, preparing for the ministry’s debut in a week.

“Music means a lot to all of us,” Kaufman said. “Even when we forget details of our lives, we remember music.”

The respite ministry not only provides appropriate social engagement for those battling illness, it also offers a break for their caregivers.

“We see ourselves more as a church that lives in our community,” said associate pastor Ben Barlow. “We see ourselves as being part of something bigger, not just here in Long Beach, but even beyond.”

The church has been working on the project for three years. They are glad to see it come to fruition.

“This has been a dream of ours for some time,” added Barlow. “To see it come alive is a testament to God’s faithfulness.”

“That’s our goal,” said Kaufman. “We want to bring joy to the lives of these people who sometimes find it hard to experience.”

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