“Senior adults ministering to senior adults” is a phrase often heard from music director Perry Redfearn when asked about the First Generation Singers, a senior adult choir based at Christ United Methodist Church. The group of approximately 30 members integrates CUMC congregants and singers from the local community, including those from area churches such as Asbury United Methodist, First Baptist of Memphis, and Trinity United Methodist. Some members have been involved for a short time, while others have sung in the group for many years, but there is an open invitation to all senior adults who enjoy singing and ministering as a group.
“It brings me joy when I see audience members’ eyes brighten when they recognize familiar songs and recall memories that might be attached to those songs,” said longtime First Generation Singer Janet Templeton. Song repertoire can cover everything from sacred songs to show tunes, as long as it is “music people relate to and know.”
Serving as president of the group, Janet is the first to admit it’s not always easy keeping the busy schedule. The choir rehearses every Thursday morning before boarding the church bus and grabbing lunch along the way to a 2 p.m. performance at a designated nursing home, assisted living facility or adult day care center. Janet coordinates with local senior living facilities to fill the schedule which can cover up to 20 performances in a season. “What keeps me going is that I know that even though we’re singing to people we don’t know, what we are doing is meaningful,” she said. “And being senior adults ourselves, we see the importance of this ministry as it inspires us to move beyond our own challenges in order to minister to others.”
>>Experience the music of the First Generation Singers at CUMC in Wilson Chapel on Monday, May 20, at 1 p.m. following the Senior Adult luncheon. The $5 luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. in Seabrook Hall, so please make lunch reservations by May 13 with Ashley Parks, 261-2153.
2012-13 season: First Generation Singers: Laura Barry-Wilder, Diane Baskin, Helen Boyd, Donna Brewer, Jill Buckmaster, Nancy Burch, Virginia Cortese, June Davidson, Myra Finch, Doris Gill, Yvonne Hammer, Wally Harris, Geneva Jackson, Gloria McDaniel, Sandra Overbey, Ann Ross, Julia Saller, Bill Seddens, Flo Seward, Kathleene Sims, Mary Ann Sturdivant, Jim Swett, Janet Templeton, Earline Thomas, Debbie Williams, Roger Williams