With great delight, the Abundant Life Institute has launched this week! It is our dream come true. The idea of ALI started in 2014 but the journey had begun much earlier before.  Pastor Monica spent many years serving in a community as a missionary in Japan and also as a chaplain at long-term care homes. She witnessed how older adults were eager and willing to learn. Through communal learning and peer encouragement, new talents were developed and self-esteem was strengthened. She also believes that people have the potential of giving back to the community by serving older adults. ALI’s foundation is based on such concepts of communal learning and community engagement. Its goal is to provide a comfortable and safe environment for older adults where they are empowered to build social relationships, connect with and contribute to the community and continue to live an abundant life.

ALI initially began as the Abundant Life Program and adopted a holistic approach to older adult learning through the various curriculum tracks. What will we see with ALI? Exciting new classes and initiatives will be introduced. To encourage learning, ALI offers an “all you can learn” fee in which members can enrol in up to ten courses per term for a flat fee. ALI members will graduate upon reaching certain credit requirements.

Relationship building and community engagement are also crucial to their quality of life. This summer, some members visited the York Regional Police headquarters and the St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.

So the next time you meet an older adult in the Centre, why not share a greeting and encourage them on this journey of lifelong learning?

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