Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pastor Ron's Sabbatical - Entry #8: Intergenerate Conference in Nashville, TN

My final trip was to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the very first Intergenerate Conference.  A conference about intergenerational ministry and faith formation.  

My trusty rental for the week.  

I love driving and the cost of doing that vs flying was pretty much the same, so I opted to drive. 

Rest stop.  :) 

They have some pretty nice rest areas along the way.  

One of the nice sunny days as I got out of Ontario. 

Stayed overnight at the Red Roof Inn. 

We stayed at these Inns when I was a kid and we travelled to Florida. Good memories. 

Outside entrance ways. 
Not too many of them any more.  

Next day it was on the road again. 
Welcome to Kentucky.  

Another very nice rest area.  

I decided to drive a bit before having breakfast.  

Stopped at a Denny's.  Good food.  

Nice rocks too.  
The soil is red here like it is in PEI. 
I liked that. 

Welcome to Tennessee

Nashville way in the distance. 
I didn't have time to go see the sites. 
Maybe another time. 

Arrived finally.  

Stayed in the dorms.  (was cheaper : ) )
Nice barren hallway

My way to the second floor. 

Not much to it. 
Shared a bathroom as well, but didn't spend much time here so it didn't matter. 

We met at Lipscomb University.  
A private Christian University that's been around for quite some time.  I'd never heard of it. 
Here's a link if you want to know more about it. 


Beautiful grounds. 

This strange nook.  

The clock worked. 
Nice chimes. 

The name of the clock tower. 

A good sports program. 
They were holding a woman's basketball 3 on 3 tournament at the time. 

We met in one of the larger conference rooms. 
150 participants. Some from Australia and Africa as well. 

The days were long, but informative. 

It was a combination of speakers, sharing of ideas, workshops, panel discussions, and other unique presentations that made up our time together. 

There were several organizations that set up booths as well. 

There were also many academics here.  That was part of the idea of this conference.  To have academics share their ideas with each other and whomever else wanted to attend. 
Each workshop session offered as one option the opportunity for us to listen to 3 people who had done academic work in the area of Intergenerational Ministry. They presented their papers (mostly Master's Theses) to us with their findings.   
I had not experienced this sort of thing before, so I attended the set that interested me the most.  
It was interesting, and I'd love to do that more often. 

This was an intergenerational gathering, so, of course, we did some of our own intergenerational stuff. 
Here we are all arranged according to age.  Youngest was 20 something, oldest was 80 something I think. 
We were then numbered off and sat at tables in an intergenerational environment.  

We ate a meal together in our groups. 
Some people served the meal to the rest of the group. 
I was a server. 
At then end of the meal we did some fun games together (like sit down square dancing) to mimic what could happen in an intergenerational dinner type setting at your church.  

As an aside, there was also a pray room set up for us to utilize during the conference. 
I went there for a time. 
Was quiet, and peaceful with different stations set up. 
One station asked you to ponder who your "enemies" were and pray for them.  That was hard, but good.  

One of the several panel discussions.  

I learned a lot at this conference. 
Many things were reinforced for me when it comes to intergenerational ministry. 
The things discussed at the Millennial conference dove- tailed with this conference. 
I could see a commonality and convergence of thought and ideas as I closed out this conference. 
I think the biggest thing I took away from this conference is the refining of two definitions for me. 

Multigenerational vs. Intergenerational. 
And there is a difference. 

The Fuller youth institute does a good job of explaining the difference. 

Multigenerational ministry is like the repeat button on iTunes. There's no intersecting of generations.

They're all in the same room, but each generation is avoiding each other (intentionally or unintentionally). They're walking around the room but not across the room. Multigenerational ministry happens when children and students are sitting in the same Sunday morning service as adults, but neither of the generations have talked to each other. Nobody knows more about the other generation than when they started the service. It's when they don't know about each other's passions and hobbies or their separate struggles, hurts, and pains. 

Intergenerational ministry is like the shuffle button on iTunes. There's an "intersecting" of generations. 

They're not merely in the same room. They've walked across the room to talk to each other. They know about each other. They're deeply invested in each other's life. Intergenerational ministry is when a senior in high school prays for a senior citizen in a small group, or when a senior citizen calls a college freshman to let them know they're loved and missed. It's when each generation knows the other's name. Or when a crisis happens in a high school student's life, they know they can count on an adult to listen.

After all my time of learning and pondering during this sabbatical, my hope is that Calvin can continue to transition from a Multigenerational church to a truly Intergenerational church.  It's hard for our church, in that we are transient in some ways, but we are moving in the direction of intergenerational ministry. 
My prayer is that Calvin will allow itself to continue to figure out what intergenerational ministry truly means and move out of the multigenerational model, even if it takes years.  : ) 
I'll be trying to move us in that direction slowly, but it can't happen with just me.  It will take our church community to make it happen.  

After the conference was over, it was back in the car and homeward bound. 
I passed by the Kentucky Speedway on my way down, but didn't want to stop.  I did on the way back.  

A pretty amazing place.  
Empty at the time. 
A motor speedway. 
I loved watching car races as a kid on TV and saw several from the Kentucky Motor Speedway.  

A huge area with thousands of seats and huge camping areas.  

Lots of parking too. 
Just amazing.  

Passed through Cincinnati, Ohio.
Reminded me of a show I watched growing up
WKRP in Cincinnati.  : )  Anyone remember it?   
Bridge work was going on on the main bridge connecting the city.  Huge traffic jam.  

Cool double decker bridge.  

Stayed over night once again at a different Red Roof Inn. 

And ate at one of my favourite restaurants. 

I love their meat loaf.  

Next day it was homeward bound. 
No stops except to gas up and use a bathroom. 
Another great trip and learning opportunity for me. 
Thanks Calvin for the opportunity to take some rest and learning time in the form of this Sabbatical.  
A gift which I truly appreciate. 
Back to ministry work now.