Here is a link to an article by Christopher Schilling, a young candidate for ministry in the PC(USA). It caught my eye because he encourages young adults to give smaller, older congregations the chance to welcome them and care for them in community. Its title is Creating Communities Between Younger Adults and Older Congregations. The author speaks an encouraging word to those of us whose congregations are made up mostly of older people. He has experienced a warm welcome in a number of these older congregations in Tidewater, Virginia, where he is completing a hospital chaplaincy residency.
Schilling is a single, 29-year-old, temporary transplant from the west coast, with no connections in eastern Virginia. He has been deeply touched by the invitations to community that he has received in these congregations. He urges older congregations not to be ashamed of this fact, and to be themselves as they welcome younger people into community.
He concludes with a word to younger people who are seeking a worshiping community: “don’t be afraid to visit a smaller congregation predominately of older members because you think they will be too different from you. Because you just may be surprised by how those in other generations not only think, but are looking for the same thing our generation is looking for: a sense of belonging.”
Thank you, Christopher Schilling!
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