Today at NOAC

NOAC 2009
National Older Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren

Lake Junaluska, N.C. — Sept. 7-11, 2009

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009   
Quotes of the Day:
“We should adopt and reinvigorate the Christian mission to call the state to its highest ideals…. We must work as never before to advocate for peace.” — David Waas, NOAC keynote speaker, discussing where the legacies of nation and faith meet or diverge

“I like to think we get better with time.” — Cynthia Hale, preacher for the evening worship service on the theme, “Living My Life Like It’s Golden–Growing Older Gracefully”

Overview of the Day:
Wednesday, Sept. 9, began at NOAC with “Meet the New Day,” and breakfast. The morning Bible study was led by Bob Neff, followed by a keynote session with David Waas, professor of history emeritus at Manchester College, sponsored by Cross Keys Village-the Brethren Home Community. Special activities in the afternoon included a bus tour to the nearby Cherokee Oconaluftee Indian Village and a hike of the Oconaluftee River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Evening worship featured a message from Cynthia Hale, a church planter and founding and senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga. College alumni receptions and ice cream socials continued this evening, sponsored by Bridgewater College, Elizabethtown College, and the University of La Verne.

NOAC Bits and Pieces

Oldest attendees are recognized: The oldest people at NOAC 2009 were recognized at the keynote session today. Two 96-year-olds received stones engraved with the word “Wisdom”: Catherine Fitze, born in 1912; and John Eller, born in 1913.

Results of the NOAC Golf Tournament:
Winning team:
Bryon Grossnickle, Ginny Grossnickle,
Perry McCabe, and Leroy Weddle.
Long drive: Leroy Weddle.
Closest to Pin #5: Ralph Moyer.
Closest to Pin #9: Jim Crumpacker.
Closest to Pin #15: Ron Moyer.
Members of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place teams won a shirt.

MAX Daily Drawing Winners: Daily drawings are held at the MAX booth in the NOAC exhibit hall, with winners receiving a $50 gift certificate to the Brethren Press bookstore. Tuesday’s winner was Tom Crago of Colorado Springs, Colo. Today’s winner was Betty Lou Nyce of Lansdale, Pa.

NOAC Story of the Day

It’s the 75th anniversary of the most visited National Park in the east–the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Actually, that’s not why 41 NOAC attendees took the bus trip for a mile and a half hike from the town of Cherokee to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center–but it’s a fact worth knowing.

Dedicated during the height of the Great Depression, the park employed more Civilian Conservation Corps workers than any other site in the US. The Visitor Center itself, as well as the five tunnels through which the NOAC Trail Hike bus gingerly passed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, were all built by the CCC.

A little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the hikers as they walked along the Oconaluftee River Trail, which ends at the Mountain Farm Museum. The museum features authentic original farm buildings from the area, from farms located in the park acreage before it became a national park. Most of the buildings are more than a century old. The corn crib, gear shed, barn, meathouse, chicken house, and apple house are rustic reminders of what it meant to live in the Smoky Mountains in a bygone era.

The highlight of the hiking experience was the expert commentary by the guide, a woman named Danny Bernstein who has written the book Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage. Bernstein, who said her mission in life is “to get people out of their cars and hiking,” shared the rich history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the hiking trails, and the way people lived in that region before the park was instituted.

The tradition of a Wednesday afternoon hike is an annual feature of NOAC. This year is was facilitated by Shirley Wampler and Bill Puffenberger.

For more information about Danny Bernstein and the hiking trails of North Carolina go to .

— Frank Ramirez is pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

A group picture features all the people
who are at the 2009 NOAC and who have attended all 10 of the National Older Adult Conferences. Click here for more “just for fun” pictures from NOAC. Photo by Eddie Edmonds


Question of the Day
Name one food you hope is not on the menu?

Eva Simmons,
Parkville, Md.
“I love salmon, but I don’t like it when they cook it with alcohol.”

Janet Bowman,
Timonium, Md.
“Hot peppers!”

Betty Thill,
Stockton, Ill.
“Okra!” (The reporter agrees!)

Paul Roth,
Linville Creek, Va.
(Who first answered “235, because I counted,” thinking the question was, “How many roses are along the Rose Walk?”)
Spaghetti. It’s too heavy.

Emilie Dell,
McPherson, Kan.
“Meat. We’re vegetarians.”

Mel Cormany,
Orville, Ohio
“Fish! It kind of tastes fishy.”

(Interviews and photos by Frank Ramirez)

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