Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove
Minister for Ministries Across Generations
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
In each edition of GenOn Connect, we 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 interplay between “keeping it real” and “making it real” keeps me up at night. As I get older, time seems to pass faster and faster. I can feel the changes and aging process more at night, and thus I realize that my “youthful relevance” has left and it may not have been all that “relevant.” Thus, what really keeps me up at night are “getting old” temperature changes. That is what is real. That realness, however, makes me have to face that, during our faith journeys, we must stay open to how we can be relevant and authentic to one another our entire lives. That is hard work, and makes me sleepy.
What gets you up in the morning?
My children get me up most mornings. My son likes to bang around in the shower creating “silver fish traps,” as my daughter comes to cuddle. The need to get toothpaste on their toothbrushes in a way that does not mess up the entire sink usually pulls me out of bed. Coffee and the reality of a school bus heading our way moves us forward. As my daughter grabs my son’s hand to get on the bus, I remember why I will head back inside to do the work God has called me to do. Because I know somewhere nearby, there was a kid who did not have someone to snuggle, safe water to keep out silver fish, a mom who could not go with her child to the bus, and a girl who was not allowed to go to school. Every person deserves the little God moments each day, and I must help find them in the midst of chaos.
Rev. Dr. Updegrove is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She attended seminary at Lexington Theological Seminary and completed her doctoral work at Claremont School of Theology with an emphasis in preaching. She has worked with kids, youth, and young adults at various stages of her ministry, and has a deep passion for biblical education for all ages as a foundation for deeper spiritual growth.
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