News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Church asking over 60s to leave accused of excluding God for ageism

by Heather Preston

A Christian writer has said "God would not be welcome" at a church in the United States that has asked its elderly members to move on.

The Grove United Methodist Church in Minnesota has asked it's over 60's to worship elsewhere whilst it shifts its focus to welcome younger people.

Grand Forks Herald reports that a church memo was sent to elderly members recommending they attend the Woodbury campus while the church "resets". They were also encouraged to wait two years before re-applying for membership.

Lead pastor, Dan Wetterstrom said the church wants to "reach new people" to ensure congregation growth.

Louise Morse, Christian writer and member of the Pilgrims Trust Society - a charity supporting older Christians told Premier News Hour she was outraged.

"God Himself is excluded from Grove United Methodist Church, because he calls himself the Ancient of Days.

"So if he should turn up, well, sorry, Father God, you're too old to be in [that] church."

The Methodists' regional Annual Conference has committed to giving $250,000 to help relaunch the church with a "new mission and a "new culture" in November.

Church planting specialist Jeremy Peters has also been brought on board to help reach a new demographic.

"It's a new thing with a new mission for a new target," said Peters, "and a new culture".

Peter's said the older members will not be "physically barred from attending" but the expectation is that they will not.

Older church member Cheryl Gackstetter said the decision is "totally wrong," and claims "they are discriminating against us because of our age".

Morse said ageism is all too common within the church: "Many of them have lived through decades of acidic ageism. Many of their age have left the church because it's making a deliberate reach out to the younger people."

Morse said the decision is "unscriptural" and sends a "dreadful message to atheists" that the older generation do not belong.

Referencing the books of Peter and Titus, Morse argued it is biblical for different generations to come together for a healthy church.

"It says that the glory of the young is their strength. The glory of older people is their wisdom. And there's no way you can learn wisdom unless you live through experiences. You can acquire knowledge, but you don't learn wisdom."

She added: "God has made specific roles for older people to cascade that knowledge, that compassion, that long view [to the young]."

Premier have reached out to The Grove United Methodist Church for comment.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email