Rev. Kathy Wolf Reed
Co-Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
In each edition of GenOn Connect, we will ask someone the same two questions about intergenerational ministry: “What keeps you up at night?” and “What gets you up in the morning?”
What keeps you up at night?
The diverse needs of an intergenerational congregation. In a church where many phases of life are represented, nurture (necessarily) takes different forms. In the nursery and pre-K rooms, we do our best to help our youngest members come to know church as a place where they are safe and treasured as beloved children of God. We walk alongside our elementary and adolescent members as they learn the stories of Scripture and how those stories bear meaning in their lives. We support parents and working folks struggling to grow their faith as they juggle multiple responsibilities. We help recent retirees find new purpose for their energy as they transition away from former careers into a new phase of life. We tend to our oldest members as they grieve the loss of independence and seek comfort in the community of Christ. At times it is a whirlwind, but there is little opportunity to be bored!
What gets you up in the morning?
The joy of it all. We live in a society where so often we are generationally isolated: schools, college campuses, workplaces, civic groups. Most of our daily interactions take place with people who look and see the world much in the same way we do. In an intergenerational church, we all get to learn from each other’s experiences of faith. One of the most powerful experiences I have been a part of in our church was an intergenerational Lenten study in which we explored the topic of a Christian response to systemic racism. Each generation participating had a unique perspective on race relations in the U.S., and all of us had something to learn from one another. I believe this kind of walking alongside one another, exploring faith, bearing burdens, and sharing joys is what it means to be members of the body of Christ.
Rev. Kathy Wolf Reed serves as Co-Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, AL alongside her husband, Rev. Nick Reed. She writes regularly for The Thoughtful Christian and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.
More GenOn Connect Articles - July-August 2019