Society around us constantly divides and labels people on the basis of their age. We are divided into generational cohorts and given nicknames that supposedly summarise our most defining characteristic: ‘Boomers’; ‘Gen Y’; ‘Millennials.’
These divisions serve political and marketing purposes, but they leave our community fractured. The Gospel of Jesus, however, reconciles us to God and calls us beyond boundaries of age, gender, ability and culture, into community together, to be formed by one another as together we love and serve a world in need.
Churches are increasingly aware of the need to recover the values, practices and skills for gatherings with all generations together. Multi-generational, multi-age, all-age, crossgenerational and intergenerational approaches offer us different ways of healing the divisions in our gatherings and create the potential for new spaces of engagement with those not yet part of a faith community.
Beth Barnett, known for her contribution in the international dialogue around child theology, Fresh Expressions missional communities and intergenerational faith formation, will be leading a one-day workshop in Perth this September. She will explore the foundations, structural frameworks and practical methods and skills that contribute to nurturing a culture of intergenerational connection and community.
With a background in performing arts and education, Beth brings more than two decades of diverse experience in children’s and family ministry. Beth is currently completing her doctoral thesis in New Testament Biblical Studies, considering and critiquing the idea of spiritual maturity in the writings of Paul. She has also taught in children’s and family ministry, Biblical studies and child theology in a number of Melbourne theological colleges.
This workshop will be held on Saturday 16 September, 9.30am–4.00pm, at the Uniting Church Centre, Perth. Cost is $25. For more info contact Janine McDonald, First Third Officer at the Uniting Church WA on 9260 9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top image: Beth Barnett