Wilson McCoy: “Dwelling in the Word”; IG Murray Willkerson: IG as a value, not a program; Diane Shallue: Aging adults and IG

Wilson McCoy Headshot.jpg
Wilson McCoy Headshot.jpg

Wilson McCoy: “Dwelling in the Word”; IG Murray Willkerson: IG as a value, not a program; Diane Shallue: Aging adults and IG

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Lessons From an Intergenerational Reading of Scripture Through Dwelling in the Word
Wilson McCoy, Associate Minister, College Hills Church of Christ, Lebanon, TN
This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of the spiritually formative impact of reading Scripture in an intergenerational environment at the College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon, TN. Once a week during August and September of 2015 two separate groups, each consisting of five generational cohorts, were guided through a reading practice called Dwelling in the Word. This reading method served as an appropriate exercise due to its emphasis on encountering God and Scripture through a community of participants. During the two months the cross-generational encounters happening within each group were explored. The intent was to discern the spiritual formation impact of these intergenerational experiences. This paper will present lessons from this research.  

Could churches become intergenerational communities by changing their values rather than adopting the latest programs?
Murray Wilkinson, Adviser for Ministry with Children and Young People, Diocese of Canterbury, Kent, UK
The tradition of segregating by age has robbed today’s church of the child’s view of God. A succession of models and programs has been forced onto hidden value systems biased towards adults. The Whole Church conversation is attempting to invite churches to test their espoused intergenerational aspirations against their foundational value systems. The solution does not lie in yet another new program but in the hard process of changing those underlying attitudes to allow an intergenerational way of being to:
a) see children and young people as fellow pilgrims, focusing on faith formation not just information;
b) to encourage our churches to become intergenerational communities that make space for individual transformation as they encounter God together.

Why and how intergenerational interactions improve the spiritual and mental well-being of aging adults
Diane E. Shallue, adjunct faculty at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN; retired Director of Christian Education and Small Group Ministries, University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis, MN
Sharing wisdom and hope between the generations is not only important for children but also for older adults.  How can we encourage intergenerational interactions as important for the mental and spiritual health of older adults? How can we affirm older adults and help them feel like “elders” rather than “elderly?”  Older adults are often marginalized, ignored or negatively labeled, yet they are a foundation of faith in most congregations.  Many models of ministry with older adults still focus primarily on socialization with peers and home visits. As our society and congregations continue to age, new approaches are needed.  This paper will provide theory and practical ideas to encourage an intergenerational approach as a caring ministry with benefits for older adults.

 

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