This is challenging, important, on-going (and probably never-ending) work that we are doing. It is no easy task to build a community where adults and children participate together, respect each other, and learn from each other. The work is ours—all of us at UUCA. Staff members can lead, train, cajole and invite, but this really is the work of the congregation. What can you do to help? So glad you asked.
Every Sunday that we gather for worship, we share time together lighting the chalice, hearing welcoming words, singing a hymn and listening or participating in a segment called “Time for All Ages” (TFAA) before our children go to their classes. This is a special time of multigenerational community building when we model and teach what we do in worship. There are large pillows on the floor so children can be close to the speakers and the choir, or, it is a time that can be used by families to sit together and share experiences. “Soul Work” packets (for all ages) are available on the table outside the Sanctuary to support centering and focus during this multigenerational time together.
Experiencing the rituals, hymns, and stories that are part of our living tradition is part of faith development. As the staff person overseeing this part of the service, my goal is to recruit a team of volunteer storytellers and readers of all ages who can share stories related to the theme of the sermon. I usually provide the story unless the volunteer has an appropriate story. If you are interested in being a storyteller for TFAA, please contact me.
How else can you contribute to building multigenerational community at UUCA?
¨ This Saturday, January 26, the Coming of Age (CoA) youth are hosting their “Big Event” which includes dinner, games and other surprises. It’s a great chance to get to know our 9th graders, and them you!
¨The weekly “Wednesday Thing” provides an opportunity for a multigenerational dinner, vespers, and activities that allow for socializing in a smaller setting as well as participating in programs for all ages such as story yoga, creative dance and game nights.
¨Signing up for the “Mystery Friend” program that launches February 3 and connects you with a youth with whom you share letters. The Reveal Party on March 6 will allow you to meet in person and celebrate with your new friend.
¨ It can be as simple as sitting with a family/elder during TFAA, Wednesday Vespers or “all ages worship” such as the YRUU*-led service on February 10 and the Coming of Age Credo Sunday on May 5. Mark your calendar! You can also engage with a family or elder you have not met during coffee hour or stroll out to the playground and say hello! *YRUU=Young Religious UUs=9th-12th graders.
¨ Consider joining us for 9:15 or 11:15 RE downstairs in the Commons. I have had the opportunity to sit in on various classes. I have been impressed by the insights shared by our children and the meaningful curricula that are grounded in our UU values and principles. Our volunteer teachers are well prepared and are part of a supportive teaching team. We welcome and train new volunteers to work with our children and youth as teachers or mentors.
This is not a comprehensive list, but I think you get the idea. There are many ways to build bridges across the generations. You, too, can join the team, and contribute to building and strengthening multigenerational community at UUCA.
Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development