Across Generations, part 2

Spiritual Grandparenting

In today’s mobile culture it has become uncommon for congregations to include three generations of family. Grandparents and their grandchildren often have to make the best of long distance relationships. But congregations have lots of older and younger people who would be enriched by forming deep intentional friendships. Relationships like these can help strengthen congregations as a beloved community where all ages find a place at the welcome table. This Grandparents Day, (the second Sunday in September) or on any other suitable day, present the idea of becoming spiritual grandparents and grandchildren to each other. (Be sure to have child safety guidelines and procedures in place.) Find ways to assist the pairing of young and old, and once they have found each other, celebrate and bless their friendship commitment with a litany such as the one below.

Commitment Litany for Spiritual Grandparents and Grandchildren

We are Christian Seniors who love the young
and Christian young people who love the old;
We are all part of God’s big story; loved, treasured, and gifted
by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
 
God, please bless our relating, speaking and listening,
So that our words, thoughts, and actions bless each other.
 
Even though we are part of one church family
we live in worlds that are different.
We have much to learn from each other.
 
Even though our lives are different
We have much in common: our need to be respected,
listened to, enjoyed, to make a difference.
Our shared gifts and interests can help us realize God’s dream for God’s people.
 
On this day we commit ourselves to being spiritual grandparents and grandchildren
in this family of faith.
We will help each other find and enjoy our place in God’s big family.
We will help each other discover God’s love and truth
and to nurture it in our hearts, minds, and actions
So that God’s blessings can keep on flowing through us and our friendships.
Amen.
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About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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