Model for Intergenerational Retreat
Rather than hosting their typical priesthood gathering, Evangelists and Teachers in the Greater Pacific Northwest Mission Center organized an event to facilitate listening between YAs and older priesthood members. They shared and listened together to understand their spiritual hopes and needs. At the end, the evangelists, mission center staff, the field apostle, and other present world church leaders made specific commitments to meet the YAs’ needs. A big success!
You can try this type of gathering in your area, too! Check out the weekend event schedule and a YA’s testimony.
Greater Pacific Northwest Mission Center Intergenerational Dialogue Weekend Portland, Congregation
For me the weekend was a confirmation that I am a participant in a forward-thinking movement, a community that is building itself on the message of Christ and is continuing to make that message relevant to people of all ages. Our small group discussions reflected that our faith community is beautifully diverse, yet across the generations we share the focus of building community, creating opportunities for peace in our world, and moving into the future with joyful expectations!
… I can’t really even begin to tell you the significance of this weekend for me. It was a confirmation and a blessing in my life. Thank you for everything you did to make it possible. This is a ball that I want to see continue rolling.
Blessing our Children and Future Generations
7:00 – 7:45 Registration
7:45 – 8:00 Attendees gather in pre-assigned small group circles.
Small groups with even numbers of members will be pre-assigned for maximum mix, and pairs within small groups pre-determined to match older and younger generations as much as possible given mix of registrants. Group size will be 8 or 10 members. Planning team members will either function as observers or to fill in groups to achieve full groups and even number in each group.
8:00 – 8:30 Welcome by Mission Center President Kathy Sharp
Quick Introductions of Guests: Dave and Carolyn Brock, Erica Blevins Nye, Apostle Susan Skoor: Opening Song Opening Prayer by Apostle
8:30 – 8:50 Event Leader: Overview of the process for the day sessions
Leads brief ice-breaker activity for small groups. Instructs all participants that today we will be seeking: • cross-generational dialogue and sharing; • suspension of judgment about other generations and mental models of what church and religious life is or must be; • generous and deep listening about past experiences of life in a loving community (church, spiritual or otherwise); • hopes for life in such a community and what we as C of C can do to support those hopes”
8:50 – 9:10 Erica Blevins Nye:
Presents overview of generational perspectives and YA ministry needs. Possibly gives overview of experience with local YAs
9:10 – 9:15 Event Leader: Gives instructions for first small group session:
Choose one of 3-4 previously distributed questions about best experience of personal or spiritual blessing or growth, or of being part of a spiritual or supportive community, for your paired partner to interview you about. Your partner will share your story with the small group.
Small Group Session #1
9:15 – 9:45 Paired interviews within small groups
9:45 – 10:30 Small group sharing of stories from interviews
Identify one volunteer to have her/his story shared with large group. Break can begin when each interviewer has shared their partner’s story and a volunteer is identified
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Sharing of volunteered stories with the large group
12:00 – 1:00 Box Lunches
1:00 – 1:15 Event Leader: Introduces and gives instructions for second small group session:
- Older member of the each pair in the group will interview the younger member, asking about that person’s hopes and wishes for a future spiritual community, how that community would function in and for their world, and the kind of support they would hope for in order to achieve that community life for themselves and their children.
- Intent is to give priority to the expressions of the younger participants, and model deep and generous listening on the part of the older participants.
- (Option: Visual artists circulating among groups, and drawing on large butcher paper visual images of the hopes and wishes they are hearing expressed – throughout the small group and large group portions of this session.)
Small Group Session #2
1:15 – 2:00 Paired interviews within small groups
2:24 – 3:00 Small group sharing of hopes and wishes from interviews:
Need a volunteer recorder in each group to note the hopes and wishes expressed, to share with the large group, and to turn in for compilation and distribution following the event.
3:00 – 3:30 Break
3:30 -4:30 Sharing of hopes and wishes with the large group
4:30 – 5:00 Carolyn Brock: Reflections on the role of community in spiritual formation
5:00 – 7:00 Dinner out in small groups
7:00 – 8:00 Fun activity!
8:00 – 9:00 Planning Team, Brocks, Apostle Skoor, Erica Nye, and/or others as appropriate:
- Meet and digest the feed back for the Sunday Morning presentations;
- Consider commitments of leadership they will make in response;
- Discuss ideas for how to carry forward the results of what they have heard
9:00 – 9:15 Brief welcome
9:15 – 10:00 Panel of Apostle Skoor, MC Pres. Sharp, Blevins, Brocks:
Present their commitments to the church and to young adults.
10:00 –10:30 Apostle Skoor closure remarks, hymn, blessing prayer by John Berger
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 Celebration Worship; Intergenerational focus