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Intergenerationally Growing Together

from Growing Together

Many of the formative experiences in life happen when several generations are together. Vacations, trips, holidays, and family events are shared by old and young alike. (We tend to separate people by ages mainly for education and employment.)

Many Christian education programs make this same separation of generations, but more and more religious educators are discovering that when adults and children learn together the experience is richer for everyone. Encouraging communities of faith to bring all ages together to worship, celebrate, and learn allows us to become better acquainted with every member of the congregation. We can take steps toward making our congregation the warm, nurturing community we long for in our fragmented world. Older adults sometimes feel a sense of displacement in congregational life today, and younger people are increasingly looking to a variety of sources for spiritual nurture and faith practice.

Celebrations, gatherings, and rituals help members of every generation find both individual meaning and common ground, all through the medium of direct experience.

Growing Together is a set of four, separately downloadable volumes of activities focused on sacred and secular celebrations throughout the year. They are designed to meet the need for generations to learn together. It requires that we venture beyond traditional learning methods into the world of experiential learning. Every volume contains 8 seasonally based sessions, each including live links to the Web allowing you to navigate between the document and Web-based resources to expand your knowledge, enrich your celebration, and connect with always current information.

Volume 1: Sacred Celebrations for Fall and Winter

  • Building a Church Family
  • St. Francis
  • All Saints
  • Advent
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Los Posadas
  • Christmas Epiphany

Volume 2: Sacred Celebrations for Spring and Summer

  • Mardi Gras / Carnival
  • Lent
  • The Annunciation
  • Easter
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Pentecost
  • Summer Celebration of God’s Creation
  • St. Mary, the Virgin (The Assumption)

Volume 3: Secular Celebrations for Fall and Winter

  • Back to School
  • Labor Day
  • International Day of Peace
  • Halloween
  • New Year’s Day
  • Super Bowl Sunday
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Thanksgiving

Volume 4: Secular Celebrations for Spring and Summer

  • International Women’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Earth Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Summer Solstice
  • Father’s Day
  • 4th of July

Each Celebration in the Growing Together collection is comprised of 3 sections:

  1. Introduction: Each Celebration begins with a general introduction that includes background material, key concepts, leaders’ tips and (in most sessions) suggestions for extending the Celebration out into the broader community. This section is your starting point. Use this content to inspire your vision of what the event needs to be, for you, your planning¬†committee, and your congregation.
  2. Session-At-A-Glace: This page in each session is an overview and check-sheet of the Celebration plan content with helpful information on group size and age-level. Use it to plan a balanced session that includes activities for all intended participants.
  3. Session Plans: These offer activities for large groups and small groups and for participants of all ages. Each session also includes a description for at least one (and in many cases several) “Whole-Group” activity that serves as a stand-alone event or provides a foundation or focal point on which to build the entire session by adding activities selected from the rest of the session plan.

When do you offer intergenerational events at your church?

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How might you add intergenerational events to your church calendar in the coming year?

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