A Rewarding Opportunity
Although we live in a time where we are probably the most connected of all people when we think of the internet and how easy it is to stay in touch, we are also probably the most isolated. We are connected with people across the world, but not with those who live around us. This problem is not only contained to the culture but is found within the Church as well, and in our own congregation! One of the places we see this most is in the connections and relationships between generations. In order to serve age-specific needs we often segregate, making it difficult to have connection between groups. This wasn’t always the case.
In the first century, in the Jewish community which Jesus grew up in, there was lots of contact between generations and families. When Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to worship when He was a boy, He remained there in order to study with and dispute (!) the teachers (Luke 2:41-52). This was also the case in the early Church. St. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy encourages members of congregations to treat those older than them as parents and those younger as brothers and sisters (1 Timothy 5:1-2). All of this reinforces the idea that as members of the Body of Christ we are all family, not by the blood in our veins but by the Blood which redeemed us.
We have a great opportunity in our own congregation to show this love and respect to one another that many of you may not know about! We have in our congregation, members who you may not know very well as they can’t attend very often. These are our shut-ins. And we as a congregation are always looking for more of our members to visit with them - especially youth and young adults!
Both secular and church studies have shown the benefit to both parties when there is interaction between generations. Younger people get to learn from those who have had more life experience and have seen, done, and know more. At the same time older adults learn new perspectives by seeing how the younger generation sees and interacts with the world. From a faith based perspective, younger people get to see examples of the faith and be edified by witnessing this. Older adults get to be encouraged by seeing younger adults engaged with their faith.
Are you’re worried you won’t know what to do or how to do this? The good news is that it’s easy! Just be there, just listen. You can start by visiting just one person, maybe once a week. Over time it all becomes easier. If you contact one of the members of our Caring Ministry team, they will be able to suggest someone for you to visit with if you need! We all have room to learn and grow and a visit and a prayer can go a long way in that. I’ll end with these words of St. Paul that I referenced earlier, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.”
If you are interested in this, please contact any member of the Care Ministry team or get in touch with the church office or Pastor Curtis for more information.