Cross+Gen

What is the Message of Christmas?

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What is the message of Christmas? Maybe it's that we are not alone. Maybe it's that life is not meaningless. Maybe it's that life does have a purpose. Maybe it's we are not some random accident. Maybe it's that there is hope. Maybe it's that there is a God, and it ain't you.

Maybe it's life has meaning, love conquers hate, and that God is with us. For us. Over us. Beside us. Within us. And wanting to be borne by us and through us, in quiet conquering love to be a gift again to the hurting waiting world.

Nursing Homes, Drugs and Preschools

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Why place a preschool and a nursing home near each other?

Here's the best neurology. When the wisdom of the elder and the wonder of the child collide in a joyful space, you dump in the pain-killing pleasure drugs (Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, etc) and wash out the stress hormones (cortisol, cortisone, etc.) And you add the neurotransmitters Epinephrine (a.k.a. Adrenaline) and

Norepinephrine (a.k.a. Noradrenaline), with wake you up to even more joy, dilate the capillaries for more blood flow to the brain, and reduce the threat of strokes, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, blood clots). By reducing Cortisol, you also get better sleep, have less wrinkles, get rid of belly fat and have a better memory.

All in all, you reduce medical expenses, multiply joy, and create a world where people don’t lose all their marvels (sic!).

https://streetselfdefenseblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/pleasure-hormones-vs-stress-hormones/comment-page-1/

Eldest Saint Sunday Interview

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How about having a 7-year-old, 17-year-old, 37-year-old and 57-year-old interviewing your oldest saint as part of a dialogue sermon on Sunday? Post a photo of when they were 7, 17, 37, 57 plus a recent photo. Have the interviewers each ask a question or two, maybe about their world, their highs and lows, and how faith met life (and politics, if you dare) when they were each age? Then throw a party in the fellowship hall for them and all your saints who died this year and their families.

Close by asking the elder saint to lay hands on and bless every person in the room.

CROSS+GEN ALL SAINTS DAY VIDEO INTERVIEWS

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In the "Honor your Father and Mother" department, here's a video interview idea for All Saints Sunday 2019 with a fall prep in Sept/Oct and a banquet honoring your elder saints:

As August comes to a close and you're gearing up for the new school year, assign Cross+Gen teams (with at least 4 generations) to do video histories of your 80-90-100 year olds. Have them make "dates" with their assigned elder guests. Eiither go to their homes/residences or invite them to a bright, friendly, quiet spot where the interview can take place. Ask them to locate old photo albums and bring them along. If they own an old, worn Bible, ask them to bring it along, too. Ask them to choose a Scripture they'd like to share with the group - something that has significance in their life. With the video running (1-2-3 cell phones?) ask them to...

SHARE - a high and low from each decade of their life. Start by walking through the album and, with each decade, flash them some events from https://www.thoughtco.com/20th-century-timelines-1779957. Video it all. Take notes on the highs and lows for your prayers.

READ - Their chosen Scripture together underline/highlight it in each of the team's Bibles writing "____(name)____ favorite verse" in margins. Go online to aslpro.com and learn 4-6 key words in American Sign Language together.

TALK - About what that Scripture means to them, how it relates to their life, and what it means to each member of the group.

PRAY - With thanks and praise to God for this elder saint, and for they gifts they have given to the world. Name their "highs" in thanksgiving. Thank God for being with them in their life lows. Ask the Holy Spirit to give them strength to continue living as a witness to God's love through the highs and lows to come. Close in Jesus' name (hey, you're Trinitarian!)

BLESS - First, ask the elder saint to bless each person in your group one-by-one. Then line up and bless the elder by tracing the sign of the cross on their forehead, looking them in the eye with a loving smile. And ask if hugs would be welcome!


Show clips of these video histories as an "offering that doesn't fit in the plate" in worship or education hour.

Then on all Saints Sunday, throw a banquet in their honor and have the Cross+Gen interview teams pick up their honored guest, introduce them, and tell what they learned through the process, how they grew, and what gifts they received. Post the interviews on YouTube with links to your church website and a new person featured each week.

Home Isn't Home Anymore

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A new study by Ikea of 22,000 people in 22 countries suggests that many people no longer feel home at home. 45% go sit in their cars in order to get a break.

What does this say about society? What does it say about me being a person of hospitality and safety? What might it say about the church trying to make people feel at home?

Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy

 Can we learn to feel other’s pain?

Can we learn to feel other’s pain?

The word compassion comes from the Latin “with” and “suffering.”

The Greek equivalent, “empathy” is “in” plus “pain.”

It means “I hurt when you hurt.”

How do we raise a child, a family, a society of true compassion and empathy? Joan Halifax has some marvelous thought on nurturing compassion in a oft-times cold and polarized world.

Great talk for Cross+Gen conversations.

https://www.ted.com/talks/joan_halifax

Alone Together

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Technology or
Talk-knowlegy

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? 

Here are some great thoughts for a Cross+Gen discussion from Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk, and two books “Alone Together” and “Reclaiming Conversations: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.”

Her thinking about Robotics and Digital Artificial Intelligence would especially make a marvelous conversation starter between the ages.

10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Headle)

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We're not listening to each other. 

1/3 of teens send 110+ texts a day… but would much rather text than talk to a human being.

Conversational competence is the single most important skill we can teach our children and achieve ourselves today. And yet, we seem to have more and more time for tech and less and less time for talk. Without it, how can we achieve true understanding? Without the time, attention and energy, how can we hone interpersonal conversation skills?

Teaching how to talk and how to listen, Celeste Hedlee shares these 10 basic rules to be Engaged, inspired, perfectly understood.

1. Don't multitask - be present in that moment
2. Don't pontificate - don't state opinion without any feedback - enter every conversation as if you have something to learn
3.  Use open-ended questions - who, what, when, where, why, how
4. Go with the flow - let thoughts and stories come and go
5. If you don't know, say that you don't know
6. Don't equate your experience with theirs - it I not about you
7. Try not to repeat yourself - don't just keep making the same point
8. Stay out of the weeds - people don't care about the details of your life - they care about you
9. Listen - perhaps the #1 most skill - when I'm talking I'm the center of attention and I'm in control - We talk at 225 words per minute but can listen at 500 words per minute
10. Be brief - My sister said, "A good conversation is like a mini-skirt; short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover thee subject."

This Ted Talk would make a great Cross+Gen conversation.

Vince Lombardi said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”

So, how might something like FAITH5 help us get good at this, every week in a Cross+Gen community and every night in every home?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1vskiVDwl4

How to Build a Movement in 4 Easy Steps

 If you are a leader who built something unique over the years (a business, a church, a foundation, a philosophy) and you now sense/know/feel called to unleash a movement that is bigger than yourself out of it, the first thing to recognize is the biggest blockage to growth - to it really taking off - might be… you.  So take a look at this link for 4 “Easy” (yeah, right) Steps to building a movement, and learn with me over the 7 next days as I share and comment on 7 Ted Talk links with ideas from some of my favorite thinkers. On the docket this week I’ll be posting:  How to Get Ideas to Spread (Seth Godin) Oct 10 Contagious: Why Good Ideas Catch On (Jonah Berger) Oct 11 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Headle) Oct 12 Alone Together (Sherry Turtkle) Oct 13 The Puzzle of Motivation (Daniel Pink) Oct 14 The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (Priya Parker) Oct 15 Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy (Joan Halifax) Oct 16  If you have a small group, task force, or team you want in on the discussions, invite them to this link and into a conversation on a private Facebook group you set up, a coffee/dessert club or another venue for personal thoughts and reflections.

If you are a leader who built something unique over the years (a business, a church, a foundation, a philosophy) and you now sense/know/feel called to unleash a movement that is bigger than yourself out of it, the first thing to recognize is the biggest blockage to growth - to it really taking off - might be… you.

So take a look at this link for 4 “Easy” (yeah, right) Steps to building a movement, and learn with me over the 7 next days as I share and comment on 7 Ted Talk links with ideas from some of my favorite thinkers. On the docket this week I’ll be posting:

How to Get Ideas to Spread (Seth Godin) Oct 10
Contagious: Why Good Ideas Catch On (Jonah Berger) Oct 11
10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation (Celeste Headle) Oct 12
Alone Together (Sherry Turtkle) Oct 13
The Puzzle of Motivation (Daniel Pink) Oct 14
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (Priya Parker) Oct 15
Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy (Joan Halifax) Oct 16

If you have a small group, task force, or team you want in on the discussions, invite them to this link and into a conversation on a private Facebook group you set up, a coffee/dessert club or another venue for personal thoughts and reflections.

Here’s a Ted Talk worth a listen, and a book worth a read. https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-build-a-successful-movement-in-4-steps/

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Unraveled, Elders, Dementia

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Our friend Lori Hammel has four nights left, playing the younger age of a character with dementia in the off-Broadway play Unraveled this week. If you’re any where near NYC, go see this gripping drama.

I have asked her to reflect on three questions to share with our network:

1. What did you learn about dementia through this process?
2. What did you learn about yourself through this process?
3. What did you learn about living life while you’re young and healthy and award?

I look forward to her reflections on this after the play is over.

Killing Sunday School - Birthing Cross+Gen

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Just went to the printer - Volume 3 is written by educational/worship pioneers from a dozen churches who've spent the last two years trying to figure out Cross+Gen and are willing to share their strategies, mistakes, and joys of life with the adjacent possible of the wisdom of the elder and the wonder of the child in covenant relationships every week at church and in prayer every night in every home. Thanks to all who dared and shared. see you in Estes Park!