Gen X, Y and Z, Boomers and Zoomers – We’ve got it all and we love to have programs that encourage people to get to know each other across the generations.
In our urban setting, you may be lucky enough to have family nearby or live in a neighbourhood or multi-family residence where you have interactions across the generations. Vancouver Unitarians provide structured (and informal) ways to get to know folx of a different generation, whether you’d like to learn more about what it’s like growing up as a pre-teen or wish your kids had local grandparents who cared about your kids’ spiritual and ethical development. Here are a couple of our programs.
Once a year kids are matched up with older youth or adults and exchange pen pal style letters for several weeks. Over time they might begin to guess each other’s identity but they use a code name of a famous Unitarian. At the “reveal party” they meet up in person or via zoom.
Some connections are the beginning of a longer term connection; other times, it’s a fun month of connecting and it stays like that.
Coming of Age
Now and again we coordinate a program for “tweens” to partner with a mentor. They meet as a pair once a month and as part of the larger group over a year period. Some suggestions for exploring religious, ethical and spiritual themes are offered. As well, they usually learn from each other and have some fun together. Both age groups are asked in advance what they are looking for in a partner, and then they’re matched up according to interests and goals.
A monthly potluck dinner with everyone welcome. When we are able to use the hall, kids kind of take it over and we like that. It’s their opportunity for them to claim the space as theirs. It’s a rather noisy, bustling place and that’s the way we feel it should be. We may plan zoom dinners in the fall if that looks like the safest approach.
Zoom Family Chat
Kid-centred conversations are part of coffee hour every Sunday. Mary, Catherine, Sandy or Meaghan facilitate and kids often do a show-and-tell of what they’ve been up to that week. Pretty informal: often the kids share art they’ve worked on, a book they’re reading or share a story about going to a park or event that week. Usually a small group and the adults are there to encourage and listen–not teach!