Connecting Generations in Joy

Connecting Generations in Joy

“Every ending, beginning, transition and moment in life is an opportunity to actively claim God’s redemptive and renewing work in the world and in our lives. To weave our stories with God’s story is to live with confidence in God’s care in every way, every place ~ all the time.” (“Passing on Faith ~ Milestone to Milestone,” Lifelong Faith, Spring 2008)
While each of us is unique in almost every way, we have something wonderful in common ~ the opportunity to celebrate the day we were born. This joyful milestone can be shared both at home with our families and at church with our faith families. Birthdays can be a marker along life’s journey that say, “This is something important and God is here, too.” It is a faith formation practice for both home and congregation that helps all generations recognize God’s presence in everyday life. This joyful milestone reminds us that no matter where we are, God is faithful. It is a way to connect generations and build relationships.
We recently celebrated our annual “All Church Birthday Party.” It takes place during the fellowship time after worship. (Usually on a “quiet” Sunday in the middle of winter) We set up tables for the 12 months and people sign up to bring a cake or cupcakes for each month. There are balloons, decorations and party horns. We print out calendars for people to record their date of birth and many times people discover “birthday buddies” born on the same day ~ that cements a new relationship very quickly. It is hard to tell who enjoys this time more ~ the children or the adults. Additionally, it can be meaningful to designate one Sunday a month as a time to invite people forward in worship who have a birthday or anniversary that month and share a unison prayer.
In closing, I share this prayer:
God of all creation,
Thank you for those times of celebration, when we remember the amazing day of our birth and our beginning here on earth. Be with each of us as we celebrate the beauty of love, the joy of adventures, and the creation of magical memories. We pray that you would bless us, as we gather to give thanks for the wonder of this life, and for all the stages and seasons that we have been through. And we ask for your blessing upon the way ahead. May you continue to walk with us as our great guide and close friend. Amen.

For more information on celebrating faith milestones:

Ms. Tracy Fouke Bausum is a Commissioned Minister of Faith Formation currently serving at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury.  Tracy is also the co-Chair of CAUCE, The CT Association of United Church Educators.
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