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"There's something for everyone!": When the Bulletin Becomes a Menu
The church trend of "something for everyone" has turned into "nothing for someone." Even the churches that best include children and seniors often systematically exclude another demographic. When we treat our church bulletins as a way to show everyone there's something here for them, could we be diluting what church is really about? Could we also be, in an attempt to include, excluding instead? An intergenerational approach ensures no one is left out or left behind.
Melissa Cooper is an ordained United Methodist minister in the Florida Annual Conference, the Program Coordinator for the Life Enrichment Center, a United Methodist retreat and conference center in Fruitland Park, FL, and the director of LECFamily, a ministry that includes intergenerational retreats and camps, resources for families and churches, as well as training and workshops for local churches and leaders. She has a passion for the present and future of the Church and loves helping to equip churches to expand and strengthen their ministries, especially around building intergenerational culture. She regularly works with churches around the country to develop intergenerational culture, and has spoken at numerous local, regional and national events on the subject of intergenerational ministry.
It's Easier Than You Think - Creating Intergenerational Gatherings with Purpose
Using the simple liturgy-based Gather Listen Do Go pattern, Jerusalem will show how easy it can be to begin creating intentional and formational intergenerational experiences using a rhythm that is already familiar and comfortable. This session will include printables.
In addition to being an Episcopal Family Minister, Jerusalem is also a writer and speaker. She lives with her husband and two sons in Arkansas and is the author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. As a family they are attempting to live a slower version of the modern life. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. She writes about all of this and more at jerusalemgreer.com.
What's the Matter with Dads?
There once was a church that had remarkable results in engaging dads with their children in faith formation. They went from under 5% to 75% of dads involved in their child’s Christian education hour at church. Then those same dads huddled up with their family each night for an intentional faith ritual, growing in connection to one another and to God. Dads and kids and moms too– growing together in faith on the most solid of foundations. How? Instead of asking, “What's the matter with dads?”, they told dads they mattered. Why? Because they do.
This model has blessed the dads beyond what they could have known, and it has changed who their children will become ... all to the glory of God.
Amy Kippen is a recognized leader in parent involved faith formation, with 15+ years of Cross+Gen ministry experience in the congregation. Amy also serves as a FAITH5 Coach and Resource Specialist for Faith Inkubators. Her passion is bringing parents from the sidelines to the front lines of their child’s faith formation, with intention and fun! She is a contributing author of the book “Let’s Kill Sunday School — Before it Kills the Church”. This past fall Amy left congregational ministry to attend Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree.
Friday Night Live: How a Friday Night Intergenerational Program Inspired a Congregation
What happens when an urban congregation decides to open its doors to the community for a Friday night ministry that includes dancing, eating, running, singing, and a lot of hugs…for free? Beautiful things happen! The congregation begins to not just think about community outreach, but they begin to live it each week. The community begins to see the church where fun, family, and really good food happens. Not long after, neither can be distinguished apart and they become one. Friday nights at church become alive and full of God’s joy.
Aqueelah is an enthusiastic speaker and leader with a passion for today’s generation of leaders. She has worked with organizations such as: Princeton Seminary Institute For Youth Ministry and Youth Specialties. She serves on the Board of GenOn Ministries. She is a Staff Consultant with Ministry Architects and Site Coordinator for the Young Adult Volunteer Program of New York City (PCUSA). For over a decade, she served as the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens,NY.
Do You Care? Turns Out the Softer Side Packs the Hardest Punch
Until the middle of the twentieth century, people were unaware of the detailed inner workings of caring human attachments for children. It wasn’t until the 1980s that we discovered how important caring human attachments are for adults. We now know that everyone MUST have a caring attachment to someone, and this need never declines with age. Caring relationships are the heart and soul of intergenerational ministry success. Caring is the strong foundation from which congregational success emerges. We can frantically develop flashy programs and worship experiences until we stress ourselves to death, but we won’t build authentic intergenerational Christian community until we commit ourselves to the practice of caring for each other.
Jim Merhaut is Founder and Director of Coaching to Connect, a training and coaching service for individuals, organizations, and couples. Jim is a professional coach certified by the International Coach Federation. He holds a Master of Science degree in Religious Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is an author/co-author of nine books including Generations Together with John Roberto and Kathie Amidei. Jim is a performing and recording artist with singer/songwriter JD Eicher. He and his wife, Debbie, pursue a simple life in Youngstown, Ohio.
Killing Church Softly: How Age and Stage Ministry has Hurt the Church and Why Intergenerational Formation Might Be Our Only Hope
For the last half-century, we’ve increasingly formed our children and youth through developmentally centered, peer-oriented ministry programs that removed them from the corporate life of the church. Recent research suggests that we might have taken the ages and stages model of ministry a little too far. This PechaKucha presentation explores this phenomenon by both examining several major shifts in our understanding of the church and through identify formation theories that shed light on the problem and offer insight toward a more communal and intergenerational understanding of spiritual formation.
Jason Brian Santos is the Mission Coordinator for Christian Formation (Christian education, children, youth, college, young adult, camps and conference ministries) at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. He also serves as the National Director of UKirk Collegiate Ministries. He is an ordained teaching elder in the PCUSA and holds a Ph.D. in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of A Community Called Taizé (IVP, 2008) and Sustaining the Pilgrimage (IVP Academic, forthcoming). He currently resides in Louisville, KY with his wife, Shannon and his two sons, Judah and Silas (aka Tutu). In his spare time, he plays and designs board games.