Privilege or Patronize?

NYNO aims to privilege the elderly. We do this for two reasons.

Firstly, many of the elderly are segregated in society and the church. We could talk about this more, discuss the extent to which it is the case or not, and the reasons for it but perhaps not here and now. We’ll take it as a given.

Secondly, in the Kingdom of God, the poor, the oppressed, the underprivileged are to be blessed. In this time and in the place, because of our first point, some of the elderly should surely also find themselves blessed by the kingdom.

However, it’s the not Church’s job simply to serve or bless the underprivileged. To see things this way can lead to us patronizing others. It presupposes that we have something that others need, that we are in the position of power and that others need what we have. In the body of Christ, however, all have something to give.

It’s essential therefore, for NYNO, that while we seek to privilege the elderly in that we create congregations that are accessible to them, we don’t patronize them. These churches are not acts of service for the young and acts of reception for the elderly. They are places where all are equal.

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