Cross+Generational Activities

1. Summer JOY!
2. First Sundays 2023-24 
3. Summer 2023
4. Albuquerque Service/Learning Trip, August 2023

1. Summer JOY

All ages and households of any size — and friends you’d like to bring along! — are invited to these Sunday afternoon events, now in the third year. How can you find JOY?  By focusing first on Jesus, then on Others, and finally on Yourself. Here’s what we are planning for the summer of 2024:

June 9: Summer JOY begins, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in Fellowship Hall with a potluck lunch. All ages and all households of any size — and friends! — are welcome to join us and learn to find JOY by focusing on Jesus, then Others, and then Yourself! June’s theme is SEEDS and we will be working on projects for the community garden supported by God’s Helping Hand, as well as decorating pots to use for our own plants — including seeds to plant. Learn about ELCA World Hunger and take home your own piggy bank.
July 7: Summer JOY moves to Ron and Marie Walker’s home (they have a pool now, so you’re also welcome to bring a swimsuit and towel for some water fun after our programming ends). All ages and all households of any size — and friends! — are welcome to join us and learn to find JOY by focusing on Jesus, then Others, and then Yourself! Lunch begins at 11:30 am (presented by “Chef Ron”) and we continue with a program on BEES and agriculture, assisted by Malinda Walter. We’ll make something for bees and use a gift from bees (honey) as we bake Communion bread and talk about Holy Communion. All ages and all households of any size — and friends! — are welcome to join us and learn to find JOY by focusing on Jesus, then Others, and then Yourself! (Keep adding to your piggy bank collection for ELCA World Hunger at home!)
August 4: Summer JOY is again at the Walker home from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, beginning with lunch, courtesy of “Chef Ron.” All ages and all households of any size — and friends! — are welcome to join us and learn to find JOY by focusing on Jesus, then Others, and then Yourself! Our focus will be water and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Don’t forget your swimsuits so you can enjoy the water in the Walkers’ pool!
You can scroll way down to Summer 2023 to see what last summer’s sessions looked like.

2. First Sundays 2023-24

What are First Sundays? 

Every first Sunday of the month from November through April, our typical Sunday morning education hour for the past two years was replaced by a “First Sunday” event combining interactive worship, hands-on activities or service, refreshments, conversation. Our Faith Formation team implemented this in the fall of 2022 to provide an event that complements our traditional worship and involves all generations in a more casual atmosphere, with music and activities geared toward all ages and abilities. Here are summaries from November 2023 through April 2024.


November 5, 2023: We celebrated All Saints Sunday with a special activity to memorialize loved ones that Bethel family members have identified; we finished by 9:45 so that all attending the 10am Communion service were able to see the the “memorial stones” when they arrived.


December 3, 2023: First Sunday of Advent — we made wreaths and engaged in other activities and music that helped us introduce the new church year, looking forward to the ways Jesus has come into our world and into our lives, and will come again.


January 7, 2024: We observed the Baptism of our Lord, and invited all to bring mementos, photos or stories of their own baptisms. Do you have a story about your baptism? Traditions in your family? A family baptism gown or Bible with baptisms recorded? A candle? It’s “Show and Tell” time! Can’t think of anything? Come listen to others’ stories. Let’s share and learn from one another.


February 4, 2024:

8:30 am refreshments; 8:45 program:
Come learn more about one of our mission partners — God’s Helping Hand. Our Souper Bowl of Caring “noisy offering” went to this organization in The Ville, housed at Antioch Baptist Church. Some of the food we collected, and all cleaning supplies, was also donated to this pantry. While they spoke, we had a garden-related hands-on activity to engage the children (and others).

Janis Hutchinson, a member of St. Philip’s Lutheran,  is the Coordinator of God’s Helping Hand. Jeanine Arrighi, a member of Unity Lutheran, is one of the leaders of this multi-church-sponsored “Danny Coverson Garden,” and the grant writer for God’s Helping Hand.

Cross+Generational Education opportunity. All ages are invited to meet in the fellowship hall for an opportunity to learn together through scripture, music and arts.

March 3, 2024: 

God’s Promises: the Rainbow

Following a Lenten sermon about the rainbow, we focused on the rainbow as a promise of God’s care for us and for all Creation. We referred to the Flood story and the rainbow. We sang “If I Were a Butterfly” and “God’s Got the Whole World” (rotating between He, She and They for the song’s pronouns).

For our hands-on activity, we made suncatcher pendants using crystal colored beads and large clear crystal teardrop pendants. (Unfortunately we had no photographer that day.)

Special guest: While they worked, member Dan Harms presented a talk and slide show about the work Bethel is involved with in Oloipiri Village, as well as his newest passion, a new nonprofit, “Big Papi’s Kids,” serving children with disabilities in South America.

April 7, 2024:

Gardening and new beginnings, new life

God as a gardener; our part in renewal in the spring.

  • Returned to the Easter Gospel text and acted out the scene at the tomb with Mary Magdalene and “gardener” Jesus  
  • Songs: Now the Green Blade Rises; Alleluia! Praise Ye the Lord (lots of standing up/sitting down) thinking of Mary’s reaction to recognizing her friend and teacher Jesus who was NOT dead as she thought; Beautiful Savior (verse 2 is the “springtime” verse) 
  • Hands on activities: Malinda instructed those who wanted to go outside in how to transplant Liatris (Blazing Star) corms; also showed those indoors how to transplant baby violets (and other plants) to larger pots in preparation for planting at LuMin house.

3. Summer 2023

Pictures from our “Earth, Wind & Fire” theme: we met on three Sundays in summer 2023, building on the success of 2022’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” The Walker family hosted this changeable Cross+Gen group of 12-35 people for food, fellowship, faith talk and fun!

4. Service/Learning Trip to Albuquerque

Our 2021 trip to Toledo with Service Learning Camps was a FABULOUS faith and friendship-building experience. Building on that success, we decided on another Cross+generational trip for Summer 2023. Our destination was Albuquerque, New Mexico; our dates were July 30 to August 4, and we worked again with Service Learning Camps. Bethel was represented by 8 adults and 4 youth ages 10 to 15.

Here are some pictures from the Albuquerque trip.

Sherman LeeCross+Generational Activities