Senior citizens who had not been able to attend church for some time due to illness and other social factors were pampered with gifts and served with Holy Communion when the Methodist Church of South Africa held a special Christmas event on Thursday November 24.
About 50 senior citizens clad in their red and white church attire gathered at the Methodist Church in Khayelitsha for the event, which was aimed at reminding the senior citizens that they were not forgotten even though they were no longer able to attend the church.
The senior citizens were transported from all the church branches in the False Bay Circuit, including church members from Mitchell’s Plain.
Part of the event was to conduct health assessments and advise the seniors about ways to keep living a health lifestyle.
Reverend Jalamba Tolashe, of Methodist Church of Southern Africa False Bay Circuit, said as the church they had always wanted to have a Christmas event for senior citizens and serve them Holy Communion.
He said they felt that the seniors were neglected because they were no longer able to participate in church activities.
Mr Tolashe said they understood that there were lots of challenges facing the elderly and most of them are being abused by their children and grandchildren.
He said this is the first event and they are hoping to make it an annual one.
The aim of the event was to provide time for the elderly to unwind and feel loved and important.
He said they frequently hosted various fundraising initiatives in church where they collected money and food parcels and donated it to needy families.
Mr Tolashe said they believe that the church has a role to play in lifting people out of the poverty and urged churches to work together in uplifting the community.
He said in the coming weeks they will visit two or three families in the community and donate food parcels and other essential items.
He called on the young people to better take care of their grandparents and parents, especially during this time of the year.
“We usually visit the elders in their homes and serve them with Holy Communion and pray for them to get well. But this time we thought it would be great to have them in one place and see other church members they have not seen in a long time.
“We aim to show them that they are still valued and loved. As the church we want to go to different communities and spread the message of giving and urge other churches to do the same,” he said.
Wheelchair-bound Novulikhaya Msomi said she felt as if she was dreaming when church leaders informed her that she would be transported to the church.
The 66-year-old said since she had a stroke many years ago she has not been able to attend church.
Ms Msomi said she had always had the desire to attend church but there was no one at home able to transport her.
“This has also provided time for me to be out of the house and the feel of the sweet breeze which I have been longing for.
“I sincerely thank them for thinking about us because many have forgotten about us especially in this festive season,” she said.