The National Assembly of the Uniting Church has just launched a new report on being an intergenerational church. It’s a statement of how our Church sees itself honouring the perspectives of all people who come together to learn and grow in being a disciple of Jesus.

There is a lot in the report, but the following six principles give you a sense of the vision:

1. All ages are welcomed and valued equally. Faith and life are intentionally shared as all ages travel together, bringing healing, hope and reconciliation across all generations and to the whole of creation. 

2. Relationships between different ages are intentionally created, deepened and encouraged. Relationships are marked by mutual giving and receiving. Respect and humility mark our journeying in faith together. 

3. Safe and empowering spaces are created where the experiences, voices, and ideas of all can be listened to and valued, where transformative relationships of empathy, trust and genuine love can flourish amongst all ages. 

4. All people, across the ages and generations, are generously invited and enabled to use their gifts and leadership to shape the community and its communal life of worship, witness and service. 

5. Generational and cultural differences are recognised and appreciated. Respectful listening, grace-filled truth-speaking and openness to learning from one another are clearly evident. 

6. Opportunities for age-specific gatherings and activities are considered important, especially when intergenerational engagement is encouraged within and alongside them. 

These principles further encourage us to be a community that truly welcomes people of all ages. When young people feel welcome, it’s usually because they are listened to and taken seriously and genuinely valued for what they have to offer. 

There are many instances of these things already happening at Brunswick UC through our music, our events, in worship, morning tea and our age specific gatherings. All it takes is to get to know someone older or younger than you. Ask them what they enjoy, get to know them, invite them for a meal. It is out of these relationships, that intergenerational ministry happens.

Cath James, Minister: CYYA