Saint Hilary’s Episcopal Church
Fort Myers, Florida
On November 8, we prayerfully opened St. Hilary’s Main Hall for the first time since March 16 for an intergenerational event using the Belonging to God's Family lesson from GenOn Ministries series LIFT (Living In Faith Together). We called our gathering “Come to the Table: Bible Lessons for All Ages.” Five unique families joined together in community. Each family sat on one side of their own table and we arranged two-three tables facing each other so they could talk across the divide if they wished. From grandma with preschoolers to an older couple, all came to see, talk, and learn together—away from computers.
The lesson centered around Bible passages and a story that reminded us that we belong to the family of God—from our nuclear family, to connections at St. Hilary’s, and extending out to the whole world. A perfect lesson for these times. The lesson was simple, but discussions and activities were as in-depth as family groups encouraged. Families mixed or talked among themselves. The facilitators’ jobs were to provide materials and rhythm while all lessons were actually “taught” by the family members themselves. We felt it was a lesson in how to talk about the Bible at home.
Feedback from our families included:
“We wish we had a little more time (it was already 90 minutes).”
“We wish we could have stood up front and presented our Families of God posters to the group.”
“We all had fun and learned something and would like to do it again.”
For many, it was their first time having pomegranate seeds, and one family said they went out and bought some that day!
Part of our intentional vision of Come to the Table is for each session to be facilitated by a different two-person team. It takes about four hours total from set-up to clean-up, making it accessible for anyone to do it. The family groups teach themselves. The facilitators just give them the focus, space, and freedom from distraction to talk about the lessons in the Bible.
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