The OWLs Program

Holding Older Woman's Hand

The OWLs (Older Wiser Lutherans) Ministry is tailored to individuals over the age of 55, especially those of retirement age and older. This ministry is made possible by a generous endowment fund established by Kathleen and Merton Badenhop.

Messiah has used these funds to hire Mary Sophia Hawks, BSN, RN, FCN, as Parish Nurse and provide her with tools to care for our elders. The fund also allows us to provide her with administrative support.

We have used the funds to provide the monthly OWLs luncheon, which also features a speaker, health information and/or entertainment. In addition, we provide support for elders in our congregation who have needs they cannot meet for themselves.

Mary Sophia currently serves the congregation in the following capacities:

  • Visitation, especially to the homebound, hospitalized, and facility-based members.
  • Health education of members, including Messenger articles.  
  • Transportation of members and neighbors in need.
  • Accompanying members to their physician visits.   
  • Acquisition, maintenance and coordination of the durable medical equipment closet for member use.   
  • Assistance with Medicare, Social Security, TennCare applications.   
  • Continuing nursing education.   
  • Providing referrals for home health, assisted living and nursing home providers.   
  • Plan and prepare meals with Doris Featherston for OWLs luncheons.
  • Post-hospital home visits with members following surgery.  
  • Advisory member of Badenhop Fund Steering Committee.

The parish nurse currently serves the community in the following capacities:

  • Preparing and hosting parish nurse meetings
  • Vice chair of the Executive committee for the Council on Aging
  • Member of the CAC Leadership Class
  • Development of health fairs (see next month’s Messenger)

THe OWLs are thriving and learning all the time thanks to Dr. Merton and Kathy Badenhop.