Alongside the enjoyable anticipation of Advent and Christmas to come, many of us have spent the past week or two reviewing the year and weighing up the wins and losses. Pleasingly for my department, some of the wins are readily apparent, and a number of them derive from the intentional focus upon bringing our church’s ‘Generations Together’.
I would suggest that some of the highlights of the year have been:
- The launch service itself for ‘Generations Together’ in February in St John’s Cathedral, which used ‘Prayer Spaces’ to demonstrate that prayer is not an age-segregated activity and witnessed Archbishop Aspinall urging the attendees (from Anglican schools, parishes and agencies of all kinds) to be creative in bringing the theme to life
- The selection of John Roberto (US) as the visiting guest speaker at the triennial Provincial and Lay conferences. John is one of the world’s leaders in intergenerational theory and practice and he inspired clergy and laity alike to reclaim an intergenerational approach to faith formation, no matter what the individual context.
- The ‘Roberto effect’ and overall focus on the theme contributed to a substantial number of parishes choosing to trial or reinvigorate liturgies aimed specifically at bringing the generations together in meaningful, mutually engaging ways, of who a few were St Lucia, Dalby, Kawana Waters, Sunnybank, Carindale and East Redlands.
- Anglican leadership in choosing this theme inspired non-Anglicans too: 2018 saw our greatest ever levels of cooperation with other denominations in sharing all-age ideas and resources, including foundation membership of the Australian Intergenerational Roundtable group.
- In August, we facilitated Australia’s first ever ‘Messy Cathedral’ event, based on the famous intergenerational approach of ‘Messy Church.
- And to keep the momentum going, we launched a new website to act as a common repository of intergenerational ideas and resources, accessible to all, and to which we shall continue to add ideas and resources over the years ahead.
These are just a few of the outcomes which flowed from embracing the theme of ‘Generations Together’. For those of us who work within the intergenerational space, it has been a wonderful year, and part of the joy has come not just from discovering new ways to be intergenerational, but to witness the rediscovery from so many quarters that perhaps an intergenerational approach is actually the way our Church is meant to be.
2019 will be the ‘Year of Generous Hospitality’. Please join us for the exciting St John’s Cathedral launch on 15 February from 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm and enjoy the formalities, fun, food and fellowship.
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