On Palm Sunday, we will conclude our first season of Cross+Gen ministry events here at Christ's Oreland. We have had six wonderful mornings together (one per month), with all ages participating. Cross+Gen was, from the beginning, supported by every other Sunday morning ministry in our church (Adult Bible Study class, CLC Cafe, Sunday School and Confirmation all attended our events and cancelled their own those days). While we still have traditional faith formation classes the other weeks, we have loved getting our feet wet with monthly Cross+Gen gatherings, and hope to increase their number next year.
What have been highlights for us?
One has been the open-hearted sharing around the tables of highs and lows, and then the reading aloud of the prayers written down by the "secretary" of each table. We pray for sick family and friends and pets. We celebrate new jobs and good grades on tests. We've learned so much about each other, and about ourselves, in these wonderful conversations.
We decided to create our own videos and skits for these events, and it has been a blast. One of our planning team members is a gifted and imaginative "techie"; her short videos on the Bible story of the day, featuring adorable sock puppet characters, are really great. I write the skits, and am having a lot of fun; for example, "The Ten Commandments vs. The Greatest Commandment" was written as a game show ("Celebrity Showdown") with Team Moses and his 10 team members facing off against Team Jesus, going solo.
Our music is both selected and led by a talented pair of youth: a high school senior is song leader, and a 7th grader accompanies on guitar. We conclude every gathering by singing our "theme song" ("Together, Tomorrow" by Tom Chapin).
We always include a short service project as part of our time together. Things that have worked well have included making care packages for Welcome Church, and making cards for sailors at Seamen's Church Institute. The adults enjoy working with even the youngest kids on these projects.
Going forward, there will be tweaking done for sure, and we anticipate some bumps in the road. But so far, Cross+Gen ministry has been a true blessing for our church family. Definitely an idea whose time has come!!
--Elise Seyfried, Christ's Oreland