March 17, 2015
On March 2-3, Plymouth staff and lay leaders from Adult Education and Children and Youth Boards attended a conference entitled “Do What Matters: Faith Formation for a New Age,” organized by Vibrant Faith (VibrantFaithathome.org). We shared two days learning about faith formation across one’s life span, with special emphasis on intergenerational faith formation experiences. We learned about several processes crucial for faith growth and how to develop programs that support these processes and the importance of fostering meaningful relationships across generations to grow our faith.
Rosemary Hashimoto, Plymouth’s Coordinator of Children and Family Ministries said, “The part I loved was “family-ing” and how important it is to establish relationships with people of all ages. Jesus’ life was all about building relationships. We all know it; it’s just a matter of implementing and fostering these relationships.”
Barbara Staley, chair Children and Youth Board member added, “The theme of the workshop was clearly ‘intergenerational’ faith formation, and I kept thinking 'right, but what does that LOOK like?' They shared a concept that, as Brigitta would say, ‘set me on fire’…a personal ‘faith web.’ The idea is that all of us need people in our faith webs that know and help us along in our faith. We need at least 30(!) people: 5 in elementary school, 5 teens, 5 young adults, 5 middle agers, 5 aging adults and 5 ‘sages’ (65+). An active, intergenerational church community creates opportunities for these various ages to interact, fill out their ‘webs’ and help each other grow in faith. Let's do it!”
Edie Lackland, Adult Education chair agreed, “I thought it was good for all of us to be together to discuss Plymouth's faith formation offerings for all ages.”
Where can we make changes to support closer intergenerational relationships? Where are we already doing that well? I’d love to hear your ideas! –Jennifer Castle, Director of Faith Formation