We began this Inter-generational Faith History Project, because we wanted to share stories with our youth about the history of our church. We wanted to give them a picture of what the faith-life of our church has been for the adults of our community; how it has supported us in our times of need, and how we are discovering God together as a community of believers. We hoped that the stories we would tell them might trigger their interest and provide a spark for their own journey.
This is what we set out to do, but it is not exactly where this project has headed. After a couple of interviews had been completed between our grade 8 Confirmation students and a few of the more senior members of our congregation, one of the grade 8 students asked enthusiastically, “When are we going to be interviewed?”
I almost fell off my chair with the realization. This project should not just be about recording the stories of faith of our more senior members of the church for our youth, it should be about the stories of our youth too, and how they experience life at St. John’s, and what their hopes and dreams are for the church going forward. This needed to be a conversation between generations.
So, we are now providing the opportunity for their stories to be heard as well. It has gone from being an Intergenerational Faith History Project to becoming an Intergenerational Faith Conversation.
We are creating a series of video-recorded interviews between the younger-older and older-younger generations of our community, asking questions about our significant past memories, our present experiences of God’s presence, and our future hopes and dreams for this community going forward.
The interviews will then be assembled into a short video which we hope will capture how God’s mission calls us into activity with each other and the world.
Our grade 8 confirmation class is involved in all levels of this production – interviewing, lighting, set-up, and fund raising. We plan to bring together the whole community perhaps over a meal to view the video. And finally, our hope is also to share this experience with others who might be interested in such an approach.
What I am seeing and hearing so far through these interviews is how wide, and high, and strong, and great is God’s mission in the world. We are simply invited to support, realize, engage in, and become part of what God is already doing for us. It is all grace, all of it.
submitted by Rev Albert Romkema
St. John’s, Petawawa