Epworth-by-the-Sea was the venue for January Adventure. Epworth is located on St. Simons Island, adjacent to Brunswick, Georgia. It serves as a retreat center of the United Methodist Church, and it holds the ‘January Adventure’ as a yearly renewal opportunity for church leaders.
The median age of the people attending January Adventure was striking. There were nearly 700 in attendance, and most of the attendees were 55 or older. I specifically looked for people aged 40 and younger, and I’d guess there were less than 20 in the whole group.
I doubt that age demographic is unique to the UMC. Other groups are suffering the same situation. The absence of younger cohorts is surely a call to action. Otherwise who will take the place of these aging Baby Boomers?
It was sweet to hear “Southern” spoken again. “Hi sugar,” was told by young and old alike. “How are y’all?” “Y’all” works as both a singular and plural pronoun. When I hear the word it conjures up okra, real cornbread, purple hull peas, and Southern hospitality.
I loved the steaming white grits I got to eat with my breakfast. The pecan pie I got with dinner on Tuesday was another tasty deja vu. When I was a kid they called them “Georgia ice cream.” With a pat of butter and some pepper on them they send me into breakfast heaven.
As we waited for the first session to begin, background music was playing softly. I’d have expected it to be hymns or spirituals of some sort. Instead it was bluegrass and fiddle music. I expected to see Alison Krause walk out on stage.