Louise Morse is media and external relations manager with 212 year old Christian charity, the Pilgrims’ Friend Society (PFS). She is also a Christian counsellor and cognitive behavioural therapist, with a Master’s degree that researched the effects of dementia on close relatives and families. She has published ground-breaking books on dementia and on God’s special purpose for older people (See Books’ page.) She speaks at national Christian events and to faith groups and churches and contributes to Christian media, including commenting on current issues on Christian radio. Her talk on ‘God’s purpose for older people’ at the Keswick Convention in 2018 was transcribed and included in the prestigious Keswick Year Book.
Louise has also written materials that support PFS’s work on a range of topics, including dementia, end of life matters, and living in God’s purpose in our later years. They are available on the website, https://www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/pages/shop/department/books.
An important part of PFS’ work is to help inform and encourage individuals and churches to care for older people in their communities. Louise leads in this, liaising with organisers and church leaders and other speakers to provide practical and spiritual information, and encouragement in their work.
In my talks I often quote Ephesians 2:10. It’s a foundational Scripture that explains so much of our lives. I like the version from the Complete Jewish Bible that says, ” For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.’ Another version says that we are God’s masterpiece. I’m struck by two important things: first, that having planned these ‘good works’ God will lead us to them, so we don’t have to look for them and second, there is no ‘use-by’ date in this verse and it applies as much to our later years as at any time.
It’s only in hindsight that you see how every ‘work’ prepared you for the next one, and so on, even when each one is widely different and the links between them aren’t visible. Working as a journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East I could never have imagined the sort of ‘good work’ that I enjoy so much now. Running a PR Agency in Cambridge doesn’t seem a likely stepping stone, either! And when I became a cognitive behavioural therapist, I had no idea that it would inform my understanding of issues of old age, particularly dementia. Yet, I can see how each one helped developed the talents that enable the work I do now.
A large part of that is to encourage older people that God has not finished with them and that He still has ‘good works’ for them to do. Many of today’s seniors have lived through decades of denigrating ageism that has shaped their expectations and their view of themselves. On the other hand many are reflecting Psalm 92 – still bearing fruit in old age. I hope that my writing and talks help strengthen their spirits and bless their souls.