Paper Presentations


The Impact of Discipleship on Wellbeing in Intergenerational Congregations
Joe Azzopardi, PhD Candidate, Sessional Lecturer & Research Assistant, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
At the 2017 InterGenerate conference a paper entitled, “Well-Being, Discipleship, and Intergenerational Connectedness” was presented which discussed the current understanding of the intersection between well-being, discipleship, and intergenerational relationships through the current literature. A proposed confirmatory research project was also presented which sought to discover whether or not the theory behind the current literature was indeed true. Two years on, the project has now been concluded and this paper will present the findings of the study which sought to answer the following research question: "What impact does active participation within an intergenerational congregation have on wellbeing?”

Intergenerational Church as a Key Locus of Sociocultural Faith Formation
Tim Beilharz, MA, Theology, Children’s Ministry Advisor, Anglican Youthworks, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
As we experiment with intergenerational practices in our churches, we see that they indeed appears to especially and uniquely form faith and identity. A key question we are still asking is why intergenerational Christian experiences uniquely develop the faith of believers. In this session, Tim Beilharz will have a conversation with the early twentieth century developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky and draw some connections between Christian faith development and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, showing why intergenerational ministry is particularly well equipped to form and foster the faith of those in our ministry.


How Intergenerational Musical-Liturgical Formation is Expressed in a Roman Catholic Context
Ted Brauker, PhD student in Church Music, Baylor University, Waco, TX
This paper explores how intergenerational musical-liturgical formation is expressed in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. Methods include the use of interviews and survey of prominent diocesan officials and key staff at the parish level including music directors, directors of religious education and pastors. Additionally, the paper seeks to answer if the lack of Catholic literature on intergenerational musical-liturgical formation is expressed in the practice of individual parishes.

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The Relationship and Mutual Transformation of a Pastor and a Congregation Navigating Change in Becoming an Intergenerational and Intercultural Faith Community
Theresa Cho, DMin candidate, Fuller Seminary; Co-Pastor, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, CA
As churches move from monocultural communities to more intercultural and intergenerational communities, the pastor’s identity and leadership style play a significant role. This research explores how these pastoral qualities influence the capacity of a church to adapt to the changing needs of congregation and community and to reflect on its emerging shared identity. Mutual transformation is needed as change requires managing pain and loss for both the pastor and congregation.

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How an Imaginative Prayer Experience Impacted an Intergenerational Cohort
Wes Gallagher, MDiv, Child and Family Minister, Collegeside Church of Christ, Cookeville, TN 
Spiritual Disciplines that are sometimes viewed as individual and contemplative can gain new texture and layers of insight when practiced in small intergenerational cohorts. Come learn how a group consisting of four generations experienced God personally and through one another while practicing an adapted form of Ignatian exercises known as Imaginative Prayer. Come and see! Perhaps you will want to try this at home.

How Intergenerational Scripture Presentation Facilitates Spiritual Formation
Valerie M. Grissom, Doctor of Worship Studies, Music Director at Calvin Presbyterian Church, Shoreline, Washington
Are you seeking ways to facilitate intergenerational relationships, design intergenerational worship, and promote spiritual formation? Intergenerational Scripture presentation provides the Church with a powerful way to enable all generations to build spiritually formative relationships and share together in participation of God’s story. This research project explored how spiritual formation can occur through the process of preparation and presentation of intergenerational Scripture presentations and offers some sample presentations to adapt to one’s own church setting.

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Songs of Young and Old: Theologies of Childhood and Aging in Twenty-first Century Hymnody
Michael Huerter, M.Div./M.M. Church Music candidate, Truett Seminary; Graduate Assistant, Baylor School of Music, Waco, TX 
This paper explores theologies of childhood and aging, engaging with scholarly reflection and twenty-first century hymnody to invite further conversation about the dignity, worth, and roles of children and older adults in the church. It points to the need for a holistic theology of intergenerational worship, and the task of developing this theology from multiple angles and approaches.


The Key to Building an Intergenerational Community Is All about Story
Heather Roth Johnson, MA, Cross-Cultural Ministry; Pastor of Faith Formation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lakeville, MN 
People everywhere love a good story. As Christians, we have the greatest story ever told. Join Pastor Heather Roth Johnson, author and blogger of Storyboard: Moving Forward in God’s Story, as she explores in her paper the impact of story in the life of a congregation. She draws together the “why” of God’s story and the human story, and then “what” happens when the two stories collide. The answer is in the results. Impactful storying results in new intergenerational relationships, evangelism among the ages, and community building.

Intergenerational Dynamics in the Book of Deuteronomy: A Foundation for Intergenerational Formation and Ministry
Alasdair MacDougall, MTh; Senior Pastor at Liberty Church of Christ, Greenacre, New South Wales, Australia  
Much recent research on the benefits of intergenerational formation and ministry focuses on anthropological and sociological dynamics; however, a firm biblical perspective on intergenerational studies begins in the Pentateuch. A consistent intergenerational motif present throughout the Book of Deuteronomy sets a solid foundation for intergenerational formation and ministry.


50 Shades of Faith: On Race, Relevance, and Reclaiming Millennial Disciples in Local Congregations
Joshua Mitchell, DMin

Minister to Youth and College Students, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Houston, TX


The Intergenerational Legacy of Remembrance, Reminiscence, and Life Review: A Call to Adventuresome Living and Christ-centered Boasting in a Narcissistic Zeitgeist
Michael Parker, PhD; Professor of Social Work and Institute for Research and Aging, University of Alabama; also affiliated with Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke Medical School
In this proposed presentation I will briefly discuss and define life review and reminiscence, some of the contrasting, secular theories and biblical admonitions for capturing stories, and summarize some optional ways congregations can institute life review groups that capture and share Christ-honoring stories that boast of the power of God across the generations. The current cultural zeitgeist, with its newest technologies, provides people with tempting ways to boast of their “achievements” and secure rather quickly thousands of social media followers. In contrast, Christ-centered life review can result in biblically sound, Christ-centered boasting that leads to an honest accounting, spiritual maturity, right living and a spiritually fruitful life.


Learning to Walk Together: One Church’s Journey toward Becoming an Intentionally Intergenerational Church
Cory Seibel, PhD; Pastor of Lifelong Faith Formation, Central Baptist Church; Affiliate Professor of Spiritual Formation, Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
This paper explores the story of Emmaus Church, a congregation that has taken several courageous steps toward becoming an intentionally intergenerational church. The paper summarizes key findings from a year-long qualitative study conducted among member of the Emmaus congregation. It examines how this church’s leadership approached the process of change, how church members have experienced the changes that have been implemented, and how these changes have impacted participants’ perceptions of intergenerational community within the church.