July: From the Director of Religious Education

How does one keep from “growing old inside?” Surely only in community. The only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people… ~Robert McAfee Brown

In early May, I traveled to Kalamazoo MI for a UUA Renaissance module training, Worship For All Ages. Among the ideas we explored was the difference between “multigenerational” vs. “intergenerational” worship. According to our
facilitators, intergenerational is defined as simply having all the generations present under the church roof at the same time or during a worship service. Not much is built in to accommodate the different things different ages need from the experience or to facilitate interaction between the generations.

Multigenerational worship kicks it up a notch. Multigenerational worship takes more effort, but provides a richer experience for the community as a whole. Multigenerational worship is multisensory, interactive, and experiential. Multigenerational worship is often entertaining and offers multiple layers of meaning. And according to the experts, research says that if we are to meet the changing needs of our families and retain them in church, creating a multigenerational atmosphere is crucial.

Last week Cheryl Fowler, Beth Hoffmann, Sara Parikh, and I met to work on plans for the upcoming Hogwarts Camp in August. As we brainstormed ideas for potential workshop leaders, our excitement grew as we surveyed the wealth of talent, wisdom, and knowledge present in this congregation. A wave of joyful energy filled our hearts as we envisioned children, youth, and adults learning, playing, enjoying, and yes, feeding one another—the first principle, “everyone is important” being demonstrated and lived.

Looking ahead as the new Youth Religious Exploration Council and I begin our work together in shaping the direction our programming takes, I hope we can lift that vision up to the forefront. Reverend Charlie and I are already thinking about how to best incorporate even more effective multigenerational worship services into our Sundays. It’s a very exciting time to be actively involved with this church!

With Gratitude and Faith,

Sheila

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