What a great privilege it was to be invited to attend the Second Australian Intergenerational Round Table (AIR 2) held south of Sydney in March. This was much more than a workshop or a conference. I was working with nationally and internationally recognised thinkers, practitioners and teachers in the intergenerational faith formation approach.
The purpose of the roundtable is to identify people from the national context who are thinking, writing, celebrating and championing some form of ministry with an intergenerational emphasis, agree on what we mean by the term ‘intergenerational’ and explore ways to promote and champion this important strategy in faith formation.
During an intense two days, we sought to extend the work of the inaugural round table held in 2018. This small group of people represented diverse expressions of faith traditions that included participants from the Uniting Church, Churches of Christ, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist, Anglican Church and Baptist Church. This group found a common purpose in a desire to see churches embrace a lifelong learning approach that is characterised by transformative engagement between the generations. This was a ‘blue-sky thinking’ group who sought to put aside agenda and allegiance to engage the challenge.
Some of the areas of our discussion included how to communicate the ‘why’ of the intergenerational approach, how to move from a multigenerational community to an intergenerational community and developing a strategy for nurturing a national engagement with this faith formation approach.
One of the strategies for nurturing engagement is to hold state-based conversations to connect people committed to this same journey. The second Queensland conversation was held on Thursday 21 March at Chermside Uniting Church. To inquire about future conversations, you can email Terry Williams of SU Queensland.
Personally, the two days of the national roundtable were characterised by the generous welcome I received and the new relationships that were made and nurtured. It could be said that our conversation was an example of the transformation and learning that are possible when we encounter one another in the presence of Christ.
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