NEXT Steps: Re-imagining Your Elderhood

NEXT Steps introduces participants to theological, philosophical, and psychological concepts of vocation and aging. It is a gathering for adults contemplating or entering retirement, and for those who are recently retired. All program activities are designed to stimulate your individual self-discovery as you develop a personal plan for your new and meaningful chapter of life. NEXT Steps participants engage in this 14-week process of self-discovery through readings, presentations, small group discussions, and personal discernment. By the end of the course, participants will have developed a vision and a plan for their next phase of life; their elderhood.  All meetings are on ZOOM.

Course leaders: 

  • Beth Long-Higgins, Executive Director, Ruth Parker Center for Abundant Aging 
  • Jill Schantz, Director of LIFE programs @ Eden Theological Seminary 
  • Steve Lawler, Director of the Walker Leadership Institute @ Eden


  • Who Do You Want to be When You Grow Old?  By Richard J. Leider & David A. Shapiro
  • Creative Aging by Marjory Zoet Bankson 
  • The Jubilee Years by Bruce Epperly (for clergy participants)

Other readings, digital resources and personal and group exercises will be assigned throughout the course. 

NEXT Steps first meeting is on Sept. 1, 2021, 5:30 pm CST/ 6:30 pm EST for approx. two hours. The remaining meetings will all meet for two hours Tuesdays September 7, 21, Oct 5, 19, November 2, 16, 30, and December 14.

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins and Rev. Steve Lawler invite you to an optional brief orientation on August 31 at 5:30 CST/6:30 EST.  This meeting will answer questions of logistics, introduce the instructors, and answer question you have about NEXT Steps.    

The program cost is $500.  Scholarships are available. For more information contact Register at

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