A Canadian grocery store chain recently released a video as part of their mission to get people to #EatTogether. I imagine that food producers love the video because it invites consumers to associate food with great things like friendship and community. I love the video because it demonstrates how intergenerational community is created and relationships are formed when people of all ages gather to share a simple meal and spend time with one another.
Viewing the video I was reminded of the intergenerational small groups and missional families that have shared their stories with me in the past year. Small groups that described themselves as “intentional,” “simple and sweet,” “chaotic,” and “profoundly moving.” Listening to their stories was also profoundly moving for me. Stories that included
- Connections in Kitchener, Ontario where a couple lays out the welcome mat every Friday night and hosts potluck dinners for a diverse group of newcomers to Canada
- Sardines in Winnipeg, Manitoba where folks aged 3 to 60-something meet every two weeks for a shared supper, popcorn prayers and stories of God’s faithfulness
- a “community within the church” that was formed from a socio-economically and experientially diverse group of folks living in Michigan
- the Care Group that originated more than 20 years ago
- a group from Barrhaven Fellowship in Ottawa, Ontario that was born 2 years ago out of desire for families to grow in faith together and that counts among its blessings “beautiful worship with all ages” and watching children “grow as leaders and disciples and Christ.”
Like the grocery store chain behind the #EatTogether campaign, Faith Formation Ministries is on a mission. Our mission is to encourage congregations to consider ways they might invite people of all ages to build relationships with one another and grow in faith together. It’s one of the reasons we curated the online Intergenerational Church toolkit. We hope you'll open the kit and explore the ideas, inspiration, stories, and resources it contains for Learning and Growing, Serving, and Worshipping with all ages.
And if you have any questions, ideas or stories of your own to share, feel free to contact any of our team members at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below! We’d love to join you around the table.