What a shock it has been in these last few weeks to find that my blogging has become the subject of publicity, first in the local newspaper, the Henley Standard, and then in the United Methodist Reporter! When the Henley Standard reporter phoned to ask if he come to interview me and I asked 'What for?', he said 'My colleague says that you're 87 and that you do blogging.' I tried to wriggle out of it, but he had me in a corner because he is the best reporter for publishing anything I send out in my job as Media Publicity Director for my church. So I have to keep him sweet! Then he went and repaid me by publishing a large photo under a huge headline that read 'Olive the Blogger - at 87!' Fortunately, its readers are mainly in Henley with a growing number in Caversham and Sonning Common, but it doesn't yet sell too many copies in Reading or the rest of the Circuit, so I can still pretend to be younger in some places!
The managing editor of the UM Reporter asks why it should be assumed that activities such as blogging would not be undertaken by people over 80 and I was so glad to read that comment. Most of my contemporaries give up everything when they reach the age of 80, saying that they have done their stint and it's up to the younger ones to do everything now. Well, they don't give up altogether, but confine themselves to coffee mornings and gentle support of whatever is going on. (Actually, there are many much younger people who are afraid to try the computer, believing that it will be beyond their capabilities - but how do they know if they never try it?)
While it is wrong for elderly people to keep doing work that younger folk are eager to do just because they have gained expertise in that direction, there is plenty of work (and a great variety of work) that can and should be done by older people to help bring in the Kingdom. The healthiest and most vibrant churches are surely the ones where everyone plays their part, with a good mix of all age groups working together and encouraging each other.
Some weeks ago, one of my blogging friends asked if I'd given any thought about what to call my blog when it was no longer appropriate! I hadn't thought of it at all, but I opened it up for suggestions and someone suggested that I should call it 'Olive Branches'. That's a good name and I was drawn to it. In fact, I considered changing it there and then, but now i am of the opinion that it would be best to leave it as it is until 2010 or 2011 (if God grants me that long) so that it might just possibly encourage other octogenarians to become bloggers.