Multigenerational Worship as Norm
In mid-February, I took a UUA New England Region Master Class for religious professionals called “Multigenerational Worship – Moving From Exception to Norm.” One of the basic ideas shared during this class is that all of our worship services are multigenerational. Think about it. Who is sitting around you in the pews? At FCB, the children start in the sanctuary on most Sundays and there is a “Story for All Ages” that is tied to the theme of the sermon, but even after they have left for their classes there are probably at least 3 generations gathered together for shared worship.
Another important concept from the workshop is that it doesn’t matter how young you are, everyone has one or more preferred learning styles. There are multiple intelligences, 8 according to Howard Gardner’s theory: musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Each person is a unique blend of these modalities. The more of them available during a worship service, the more ways for everyone, not just children, to engage with and relate to this sacred time each week.
Several times each year FCB invites the youngest generation of the community to experience the entire worship service during what are labeled “multigenerational worship services.” These services are explicitly planned with the above in mind and take into account music and language that is accessible to all ages.