Lou McGoldrick, Youth Worker at St Paul’s Oadby, and Matt Long, Youth Engagement & Intergenerational Communities Enabler for the diocese, have produced a new intergenerational Advent resource, based on the Archbishop of York's Advent 2023 book, Stick with Love: Rejoicing in Every Tongue, Every Tribe, Every Nation, by Bishop Arun Arora.
Each day of Advent, find out about a hero of the faith who represents the diversity of the Church, read a quote from the book, and spend time responding to the Draw, Ask and Pray.
We spoke to Lou about the course, what inspired her to put it together, and her hopes for those who follow it through this Advent…
What inspired you to put the resource together?
When I saw the theme and explored the book, it struck me as something the world and the Church desperately needs now; a commitment to love. As a Youth Worker, I’m always thinking about how young people could benefit from great things like this or what they could offer into these spaces and conservations. I wanted to put something together that could help this brilliant book to reach children and young people and give an opportunity for children and young people to bring their insights and perspectives into the conversation.
Why is it important to make things accessible intergenerationally and interculturally?
I believe it’s important to make things accessible to all ages because all ages should be included in what we consider to be important conversations. If young people are to believe that the Church plays a part in what is important, they need to see it, hear it and be part of it.
Once you see the richness that different ages and cultures bring, it feels like there’s something missing without them. I have to admit, I don’t always do it well, but the questions I try to regularly ask are: how can we include children and young people in this? And if God created diversity, what are we missing of God if we only engage with people or resources that are like us?
I believe the more we meet God through people who are different to us, the more we see of God. As I read the book, I was struck by the diversity of the people whose stories were shared, how powerful they were and how few I had heard of. It felt really important that in creating this resource we were able to add a greater diversity of heroes of the faith, especially in our church context as an intercultural worshipping community. Representation is a really empowering thing.
What are your hopes for this, in terms of what people might gain from following the course?
I hope people gain an experience of the power of intergenerational exploration, the gift that it is, how much different generations have to offer each other, and how refreshing and enjoyable it can be.
I hope it gives families a simple tool that they can use at home to help in sharing and growing in faith together. I hope it gives us new heroes of the faith to tell stories of and be inspired by. And finally, I hope it helps us to be reminded of the power and the importance of love in all that we do.