Leader Guidelines

Successful implementation of this multigenerational program requires careful attention to both logistics and group process. Approach the program with the attitude that each person, no matter what their age or life stage, makes an important contribution to the spiritual growth of everyone in the group. The background material for each story is offered to aid understanding of the meaning it might have held for those who first recorded it, but knowledge of this background is not the primary purpose of the program. These texts offer many layers of meaning and wisdom for our own time, and with your guidance, participants of all ages will enter into the story through acting it out and find connections between the stories in the Hebrew scriptures and their own life experiences. Depending on your group or on the story in question, you may wish to ask adults or those with more biblical knowledge to hold their responses to a particular question or activity until others have had a chance to speak.

Encourage participants to select small group options according to interest, avoiding the temptation to suggest grouping by age. In reality, children will likely be interested in more hands-on activities and will not choose the discussion group. Before each workshop, identify a leader for each of the small group activities and provide the leader with the activity description so they can guide the activity. You may want to rotate the leadership responsibility workshop to workshop, being sure to include youth in the leadership rotation. If you choose to offer the alternate activity (recommended with children younger than ten years old), be sure that there are at least two adults or youth in that group to assist young children.

The closing worship for each workshop is an opportunity for participants to create worship together, bringing their perspectives and deeper understanding to the whole group. Each workshop offers detailed suggestions for creating the closing worship, but workshop leaders will need to adapt to their own circumstances. As much as possible, include your congregation's music director and/or musicians who are part of your group (including children and youth) in worship. You may also wish to invite the parish minister, religious educator, worship associates, or committee to help you with the planning.