by Pastor Heath Howe, Family Ministries

"They love you no matter what, always," shared Sidney Taylor when I asked a group of children what they thought was the best part about having grandparents. What a lovely response, and so true.  Sidney's insight is yet one more reason why we are thrilled about our new ministry, Caring Across the Generations. 

What began as one person's idea has now grown into several families' desire.  As a reminder, this ministry will be realized in two different ways.  First, families may develop a one-on-one relationship with an older parishioner.  Father Hull and I assist in this parings and in making the initial connection.  After that, families and their new adopted grandparent meet as they wish.  Second, some families desire to travel as a group to an assisted living facility once a month and meet with several of our elder parishioners at one time.  This piece of this ministry will begin in the fall.  In the few meetings we have had regarding Caring Across the Generations I can already see, hear, and feel we are creating something quite dear and special.

The icing on the cake for the initial steps of this ministry came from Sue Murphy.  Sue asked to meet with me as she had an idea she thought might be useful.  At the first meeting between the families and their adopted grandparent a gift could be given by the children.  Not just any gift, however.  A pot with ivy planted inside of it. 
On the outside of the pot the letters "I.V.Y." will be painted.  The families will give the plant to their grandparent and explain, "I give you this ivy plant so you will always know that ‘I'll Visit You.'"  What a great idea!  When I shared this idea with Mary, Jill, and the families involved in Caring Across the Generations, all agreed that Sue had come up with a wonderful idea.  The pictures you see here are from our first pot painting party after church one Sunday.  A great time had by all!

All are welcome to join this ministry.  Building a relationship with someone of another generation and engaging in caring conversations is something we never outgrow.  After all, if Sidney is right about grandparents I, for one, can never have enough.  In addition, if you know someone who could use a few younger hands and hearts in their lives please let me know.

"Pastor Heath!  You know what else is great about grandparents?" asked one of the Graver girls.

"What's that?"

"Well, you sometimes get a present and you ALWAYS get a hug!"