In our rapidly changing world, aging congregations are asking themselves, “How do we better pass on our faith to the next generation?” This project responded by bringing together children and adults to learn Bible stories in creative and interactive ways. Together with parents and other family members, these “Faith Friends” encountered God’s story through sensory experiences such as meals, images and worship. Faith Friends were encouraged to connect God’s story with their own stories by sharing their experiences and understanding of the text. The goal was for all participants — not only the children — to come away from these intergenerational encounters with a new perspective.
Kristina Hill presented “Faith Friends: Exploring Intergenerational Encounters With the Bible” at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago on October 19, 2018, as part of the Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge (HFBFC), a project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). At the time, Hill was a student at Luther Seminary; she conducted her project on internship at Glen Cary Church, Ham Lake, Minn.
Each year, as part of the HFBFC, one student from each seminary of the ELCA is challenged to create an innovative project that invites people to open Scripture and join the conversation. The 2018 challenge, focused on fostering a learning community that is an open table, brought together those steeped in biblical texts, themes and images as well as those unfamiliar with them. The students collaborate with pastors, leaders and congregation members to learn together, and then present their learnings at a culminating event. A panel of theologians, denominational leaders and pastors—as well as the audience—responds to each presentation.