Faith Formation 2020 and the Multigenerational Community Midwest UU Leadership Barb Friedland, Director of Religious Exploration, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian, Louisville, KY Nancy Combs-Morgan, Faith Development Director, Heartland District of the UUA
Emerging adults have embedded their lives in spiritual communities in which their desire and need for both expressive/experiential activities, whether through art, music, or service-oriented activities, and for a close-knit, physical community and communion with others are met.
Desire first for community and belonging, and second for personal fulfillment.
Truth, for Xers, is best conveyed through stories and myth , and is authenticated through the lived experience of themselves and others, rather than through the pronouncements—and propositional arguments—of external authorities.
Intergenerational Relationships : Developing intergenerational relationships is one of the best ways to break age-related stereotypes, to share faith across generations, and to help the church become more unified
encourage generations to serve together
form groups according to similar interests rather than age
ask adults to tell their stories, at events or programs, and capture them on video or in print
As leaders trying to understand generational differences, it is more helpful to back away from all of the … differences…all of these generational cohorts do, in fact, have their own preferences and life lessons that make them different from one another…
But each of these generational cohorts shares a need for a personal faith lived in community (a congregation), and each of these generational cohorts lives, daily, in a multigenerational environment. “Generational Worship in a Multigenerational World”
In today's congregations such multigenerational voices that speak out of different value systems are commonly in competition, if not contention, making leaders particularly uncomfortable. It is difficult to have it both ways when facing competing preferences.
Despite the discomfort, such negotiating over worship is a sign of health in the congregation
Lifelong faith formation that is generationally-specific , developed around the specific characteristics of the five generations in a faith community AND intentionally intergenerational across all generations in learning, service/mission, worship, community life
Develop faith formation (learning, worship/ritual, faith practices) around lifecycle milestones, celebrations, and life transitions to deepen people’s faith, strengthen their engagement in church life, and equip them with practices for living their faith.