“There is a new word that is sweeping across the church. Not Intergenerational. Not multi-generational. Cross+Gen. Place generations in the same sacred space and place the cross in the center of their highs and lows. Marvelous things begin to happen.”
~Rich Melheim ©FAITHInkubators
**Use with permission**
You may have read an article in the August issue of the Connection that introduced something new the Faith Formation team is hosting this year. This Cross+Gen gathering will be a monthly gathering for all ages called GIFT. GIFT will usually take place on the first Sunday of the month (beginning in October) and will be a time for everyone to gather to tell stories and hear God’s story for us. It will be a time to get to know each other and ask questions. We may sing, create, or listen. We might find out that we have something in common with another person. GIFT, or Growing In Faith Together, will hopefully become a gift to you. Every generation has gifts to give and every generation has needs we gift.
Why have we decided to make this change to the Sunday morning schedule? Is it just the new trend in the church? Let me share a story from another congregation that is also adding Cross+Gen opportunities.
Pastor Carol Solovitz shared…
“Miss Riley, age 6, was waiting for her grandparents to finish bell choir rehearsal, and Ms. JoAnn, age 90, was waiting for her driver/lunch partner, also in bell rehearsal. I was making sure everything was shut down after worship when I over-heard these two start a conversation…
Ms. JoAnn: What grade are you and your sisters in now?
Riley: Katie’s in 3rd, and my twin sister and I are in 1st.
Ms. JoAnn: I suppose you ride the bus to school?
Riley: Oh, no. My mommy doesn’t want us on the bus. She usually takes us, but my daddy picks us up when Mommy has to work early.
Ms. JoAnn: Why does he pick you up? Doesn’t he live with you?
R: Not anymore. My daddy left us just before Christmas.
MJ: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
R: I guess he was too unhappy with us, but I still cry every night.
MJ: That is really hard, honey…Did you know that I had a little girl once, and her daddy left us, too?
R: Oh, no! I’m SO sorry. Did she cry every night, too?
MJ: Not every night. She didn’t understand, but in time, we were both alright.
R: That’s good. I hope my mommy will be alright, too. (Silence) How old are you?
MJ: (Laughing) I am 90 years old.
R: You’re older than my Grandma and Grandpa! I think I’m the only little girl with a 90-year-old girlfriend. We ARE girlfriends, right?
MJ: You bet we are! May I pray for you? I want to ask Jesus to assure you that your daddy loves you even though he doesn’t live with you anymore.
R: Will you really?! (MJ nods) Then after you pray for me, I want to pray for you.
MJ: Let’s do it. Shall we hold hands?”
No, Cross+Gen isn’t another trend in ministry. It’s ministry that is all about building relationships so that we can learn from each other. Most people that attend St. Paul’s Lutheran Church do so because they have experienced Christ in their lives. Each of us have stories like those of Miss JoAnn and Riley. We need to connect, to know that God cares, that someone else cares and will walk through those tough thing, but also celebrate all the good in life, too. We need these things whether we’re six or 90. Cross+Gen gathers all of us at the cross so that we might be Christ to each other.
Join us on September 9 as we kick off the year with conversations and service.