Youngsville Church Senior Center Fills Community Need


Brokenstraw Adult Activity Center at Youngsville 1st UM Church

Shortly before the start of the pandemic, the people of the Youngsville First and Youngsville Evangelical United Methodist churches took steps to assess whether their ministries were meeting the needs of the communities they serve. 

“Such introspection is always undergirded by a single question: What does God want us to do?” said Pastor Jeff Canter. “To that question we added: using what God has already blessed us with.”

Communities change with each successive generation, he explained. Youth move on to “greener pastures”; small businesses come and go; the focus of the community shifts in a never-ending cycle of change.

What remains always, he added, "are those who have the most invested in the lifeblood of the community – older adults. The isolation caused by the pandemic was particularly painful for them, and the church leaders were aware that there was a need for older adults to be able to congregate with one another. More than one of the older members fondly remembered the last casual gathering place for Youngsville seniors, he said, “So, the Brokenstraw Adult Activity Center concept had its first breath.”

The inspiration  was rooted in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 10, beginning in verse 24

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

"Discerning God’s call on us to lend support to our community, we were also asking God for guidance in what we could do to enhance our utilization of the gifts God has already blessed us with,” the pastor explained.  “When God responds, you must be ready for anything!

"God sent us a “perfect storm” of community need, assets to use, and a sense of purpose for the members and friends of Youngsville First United Methodist. 

“I am pleased to let you know that our leaders were ready for God’s instruction," Rev. Canter said at the Jan. 16 consecration of Youngsville First’s Education Wing as the Brokenstraw Adult Activity Center. And this is just the beginning…”

“Our prayer is that we become a trusted resource for the people of the Brokenstraw Valley, Christians and non-Christians alike,” he added. That prayer is becoming a reality.

The Center is open free of charge to older adults in the area. No membership fees or professions are required to use it.  

On the first day of operation, four people were waiting at the door when the center opened. In all, 16 in all came that day, including a group  from the Rouse Home, Warren County’s largest senior living campus. 

We’ve seen return visitors week in and week out who aren’t otherwise connected to the church," the pastor said a few weeks later. "We hosted our first monthly outside speaker (from the Warren County Area Agency on Aging). We also conducted our first monthly Interdenominational Worship and Prayer Service.

"We have a monthly crafting day that is well attended and the puzzle and chess/checkers room seems to be a favorite destination – along with the Snack Bar!"