Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” For over 10 years, Lunch & Learn at Calvary Lutheran Church was a popular program for southside seniors. When the pandemic required postponing large group gatherings, the monthly luncheons, which featured dynamic guest speakers and a wide variety of educational topics, were sorely missed.
The challenges of pandemic restrictions required developing creative alternatives, but also provided new opportunities for learning. A number of Lunch & Learn regular attendees had limited experience with computers. The church’s commitment last March to making worship services available online motivated many members to use technology more.
Emily Spelde is director of Adult Ministry at Calvary. “When our first “No Lunch, Still Learn” video conference was scheduled last spring, I truly hoped it would only be a month or two before we would be meeting in person again. Technology is not my comfort zone! But we have had some great virtual programs. I’ve appreciated our adults’ willingness to try something new, and the presenters willing to connect with us virtually.”
There is no cost to participate. No Lunch, Still Learn is scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month, from 11 a.m. to noon and is easy to access using the free Google Meet program. It is not necessary to have a Google account. Programs feature talented presenters, including authors, college instructors and leaders from community organizations and businesses, speaking on a variety of topics of interest to adults: history, art, health, science, hobbies, nutrition.
Some past presenters and program highlights have been “Mad Botanist” author Bill McKnight, gardening tips; Chef and Owner Ian Phillips, Three Carrots Restaurant, meatless meat; The Coin Index President and Owner Michelle Wenzel, values of wheat pennies; historian and author Dr. Walter Powell of Plymouth, Mass., pilgrims of the Mayflower; Indiana Physical Therapy’s Ken Johnson, exercise as medicine; Purdue Professor Dr. Audrey Ruple, the Aging Dog Project.
A fun program is scheduled for Feb. 17. Games and Puzzles: You WIN! Help Your Brain Stay Sharp, Playful and Productive. Michael Brown, manager at The Game Preserve, enjoys teaching and sharing info about popular new games. Play can help alleviate boredom and depression, and studies also show playing board games, card games and puzzles can increase brain function, stimulating brain areas that are responsible for memory and complex thinking.
Adults of all ages are welcome to participate. Using a computer, phone or tablet device equipped with a video camera is recommended, but it is also possible to connect by phone.
To join with video:
and then click on the green “Ask to Join” box.
To join by phone only:
dial (302) 505-1227 and enter this PIN: 683 443 795#
Although the adult ministry was originally designed for retired adults, some participants interested in the program topics have connected from their workplace. The 11 a.m. start time and hour-length programs allow participation during their lunch break.
For more information, see www.clcs.org or contact Emily Spelde, firstname.lastname@example.org, (317) 695-9366.