In this valuable resource, Dorothy Henderson explains, encourages and enables all-ages learning. People looking for help in developing an all-ages learning program will be heartened by the wealth of practical advice Learning God’s Stories Together provides. The first part of the book explains the theory and practice of all ages learning. Dorothy opens our eyes to its myriad benefits: It’s fun! It builds community. It lets us hear points of view from groups we might not normally have a chance to mingle with. Dorothy presents her ideas in an easily accessible style that will fit with almost any congregation, large or small. There is a section describing the five generations that might form an all ages learning group which is interesting and useful – and not only for church-group use! We also learn about the advantages of all ages learning, which are many. Dorothy provides step-by-step insructions for setting up all ages learning and ideas to use for our first gatherings. The information is complete and inspires us to go ahead and try this if we haven’t done it before; it will provide depth and insight and new ideas for those who already have all ages learning happening in their church. The second part of the book consists of 20 story sessions, each of which contains suggestions for gathering, for telling and talking about the story, and for exploring the story and making it part of your life. Again, lots of practical suggestions that will appeal to both children and adults. Dorothy presents her information in a friendly tone that encourages educators to be enthusiastic about embracing this rewarding style of learning. “What other institution do you know where five generations come together every week . . . worshipping, drinking juice and coffee, talking, eating, doing important mission work and learning together what it means to love God and love a neighbour as oneself. The church provides a natural environment for all-ages gatherings. But, as Edward Loper reminds us, ‘There was a time, not all that long ago, when we did not need to intentionally talk about the relationships between generations. The relationships were plain for all to see. Most of us lived in the context of an extended family. Members of several generations lived in a close proximity to one another, kenw each other, and supported each other. This is no longer the case.’ It is time, once again, to become intentional in building connections among the generations.” Dorothy Henderson is on the staff of The Presbyterian Church in Canada national office where she has responsibility for Christian Education and Ministry with Children, Youth and their Families. She and her husband, John, live in Newmarket, Ontario, where Dorothy is active in her home congregation. They have three grown children – Sonya, Joel and Daniel. Dorothy has a dipoloma in Christian Education, an ARCT in piano, a BA in Religious Studies, and a MA in Religion and Culture.
About the authors
LISA-DAWN MCKENZIE is a freelance writer and the mother of four: Neil, Holly, Susannah and Benjamin –all home-schooled. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a BA in English literature from McMaster University. Lisa-Dawn is actively engaged in her home church in Norval, near Georgetown, Ontario.