The age of segregating children and adults at church seems to be coming to an end. Our experience has been that the bonds of community are strengthened when children and adults worship together, eat together, and share their faith together. Many times throughout the year we host intentionally intergenerational activities.
We carve pumpkins and celebrate Halloween together, exploring the connection between that holiday and All Saints Day. To mark the beginning of Advent, we we make Advent wreathes with blue candles to encourage families to mark the days with prayer at home.
To help us all remember that Christmas is a season of giving, we make an annual pilgrimage to Heifer International’s Overlook Farm and the Living Nativity. At this educational farm, we learn about how giving animals as gifts to people who live in farming cultures can transform their lives. We also see a production of the Living Nativity, where the Christmas story was re-enacted with real actors and real animals.
On the Sunday before Lent, we celebrate “Fat Tuesday” (or Mardi Gras) a few days early with a pancake breakfast following worship. We talked about how the Christian year is marked by times of both celebration and preparation, and walk through the practices of Lent. We also burn the palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration to make the ashes for our Ash Wednesday service.
We are constantly adding new activities and changing older ones to help make connections between the cycle of the church year and the seaons of everyday life.