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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Senior Adult Ministries an Integral Community Outreach at Hyde Park Community UMC

Dinner at HPCUMC on the First Friday Nite of the month!
By Grace DeGregorio

The word “community” is taken very seriously by the congregation of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church (HPCUMC). The many and varied ministries are offered purposefully to welcome both church members and others wishing to participate.

Among them is the Senior Adult Ministry (SAM) which offers activities and programs designed for those age 55 and over. The website ( says SAM “provides opportunities for fellowship, fun, education and spiritual growth.”

Diane Weaver
Diane Weaver, SAM Coordinator and Parish Visitor (and wife of HPCUMC Pastor of Discipleship Rev. Dave Weaver),  brings her experience, passion and compassion for older adults.  In 2015 Diane was hired part-time to coordinate the programming for SAM’s Thursday Edition and First Friday Niters. A former nurse with a background in healthcare management and hospital administration, Diane now shares her time and talents full-time, having added Parish Visitor to her SAM responsibilities.

“In September, SAM will celebrate 70 years at HPCUMC,” says Diane.  Its First Friday Niters program began in September 1949 as “The Doubles Club,” which met on the First Friday of each month for dinner and a program. Diane says, “Imogene Imbus, the sole surviving member, now lives at Marjorie P. Lee.”

In 1975 the name changed to “First Friday Niters,” with participation opened to all church members and their guests. The group meets eight months of the year (September through December and February through May) on the first Friday in the Refectory from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Members of HPCUMC taking a tour of Spring Grove Cemetery
“The dinner used to be pot luck,” says Diane, “but now is prepared by Chef Terry, who was trained at Cincinnati Culinary Institute. Reservations are required, and the cost for dinner is $10. There is no cost when attending just the one hour program, which is open to the public.”

Diane explains, “The program can be people from the church - for example, the church choir and musicians have performed; and a church member once researched a local hymn writer and presented a power point about him.  There also have been programs such as a gospel group from Hilliard, Ohio and a docent from Cincinnati Museum Center.”

Another opportunity for a meal and fellowship which Diane started is “A Few Good Men and a Meal,” which meets the third Thursday of each month for lunch or dinner.  “It’s for men who are widowed or whose wives may have Alzheimer’s,” says Diane.  Reservations are required, and each person pays his own way.
Enjoying a play and lunch at Madeira High School
In 1997, Reverend William Patterson, who saw a need for more activities for the church’s older adults, began Thursday Edition. This program meets mornings (varied hours) on the second and fourth Thursdays, September through May, in the Little Theatre. Seniors enjoy social time and refreshments followed by a one hour program which are educational, entertaining or spiritually uplifting.  Recent programs included a movie on the work of primatologist Jane Goodall, a field trip to the Cincinnati Observatory for a tour and picnic and a talk by a member of the Attorney General’s office discussing senior scams.

“Let’s Stay Fit!” is a SAM program addressing wellness through a strength, balance and flexibility class. “It’s a gentle exercise class offered twice a year in the spring and fall for six-week sessions on Monday mornings at 11:15,” Diane describes. “We’ve also partnered with Parish Health Ministry of Episcopal Retirement Homes to participate in “Walking with Paul.” This program encourages making small changes and simple lifestyle improvements in health while growing in faith. “It encourages building up to taking 2,000 steps a day as well as increase water and vegetable intake.  It can be done independently and/or with a group.”
In addition to the gratification she receives from these programs, Diane’s work as the Parish Visitor is meaningful to her. Spending time with church members who are homebound, in nursing homes, hospital or hospice, she provides support and serves as a link for them to maintain their connection with the church.

Join the celebration of SAM’s 70th anniversary this September! For more information on planned events, or to receive details about SAM programming or monthly mailings, contact Diane Weaver at or call 513-979-8190.

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