One of the many blessings of living together and connecting with people of all ages is how we can learn from each other, celebrate together, and support one another in the Lord’s ministry! “Joining Generations” a project of Prince of Peace, Carrolton, Texas, is an amazing ministry that brings young people and older adults together to help build stronger relationships and partnerships – and to change the perceptions that the younger and the older have of each other. High school students and older adults spend significant time regularly discussing various life issues as they listen and learn from each other. Congratulations to Pastor Ken Holdorf, Nick Weiss, and Mary Manz Simon (board member of ALOA) for making this happen! ALOA, the expanding national older adult ministry organization, is partnering with this parish on this project, including taping “Faith Stories”, which are available from ALOA (aloaserves.org).
Here are samples of some “AH-HA Moments” and quotes from young people who have experienced this generational ministry. Listen in, and consider how you might replicate this generational ministry in your parish and home:
“The main lesson I learned is that people need to view older people as useful people who are constantly evolving in our society.”
“I learned that seniors go through a lot pf physical, mental, and emotional pain when transitioning. It is hard for them to stay content when their whole lives are changing.”
“This project made me realize that senior adults aren’t useless and have a big role to play in our community. I loved spending time with them and getting to know what it was like for them to grow up in their era.”
“I learned that they are not very much different from me and that we can still have common interests.”
“One old perception I had is that older adults were lazy and slowly decaying people. However, I found out that they are constantly trying to find ways to live healthier and to stay in good condition.”
“I learned that certain older adults lose certain skills and others retain them. I also noticed that they are some of the most positive people. I see them as wise, thoughtful, capable, and as people worth listening to.”
“This “Joining Generations” project has really changed my perspective about older adults. Too many think seniors are just there and don’t do anything. It really changed my point of view in the way that seniors and teens can share concerns and problems of loneliness, respect, and looking for love.”
What an “AH-HA Moment” this ministry has become! For more information, contact www.ALOAserves.org , and consider starting your own ministry of “Faith Stories” between the younger and the older!