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messy-church-banner1 17 December

4 pm – 6 pm


Rev Tim’s Web Talk

I have just had my first November the fifth experience with my new faith community. What struck me in particular was that the fifty or so people who gathered together reminded me of the farming  community of my boyhood when we came together for Guy Fawkes night. The people who gathered in the countryside of Taradale ranged probably in age from 80 plus down to the teens. All engaged  in age appropriate activities . Initially  for the younger  that meant running around exploring, playing games, the teens chatting in small groups and also with adults, and the more elderly sitting watching and also chatting. At meal time we came together in a big circle and after singing a grace we ate together and later enjoyed watching the fireworks together.


Life in modern society is often divided into three parts: children and youth spend much of their time in day care and school, adults make up the workforce, and older persons are expected to live a retired life of leisure. During the last  hundred years, steady changes have occurred in society that have separated families and segregated age groups, not only in educational settings but in life in general.  “There are less regular and structured interactions between old and young than ever before. Not only families but also other institutions in modern society have reduced the chance for old and young to share activities in a meaningful way. Examples of this pervasive age segregation include the ubiquity of age- graded public education, the geographical mobility of families, the movement from extended families to nuclear family, to different family structures and the prevalence of retirement and nursing homes for older persons and preschools for the young”.[1]

I believe a challenge to our faith community is to create regular opportunities for children to worship with the full body of Christ, to be received and welcomed as contributing participants in our community. “A Church program can’t spiritually form a child, but a family living in an intergenerational community of faith can.”[2]  A Christian leader tells a story of parents who were talking together about the church being the family of God. Their young son overhearing the conversation, asked, “If our church is a family, how come we don’t do more things together.”[3]

So that is our creative challenge if we choose to take it up. To pray for and to use our collective wisdom and talents so that we might create opportunities to be together all of us. On Friday nights we have regularly 20 to 24 young people meeting in two youth groups. How can we create activities so we can be the church family who does things together?

Vicar Tim.

[1] Holly Allen and Christine Ross, Intergenerational Christian Formation 2012Downers grove Inter varsity Press,30.

[2] ibid. 33.

[3] ibid, 33.



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