An interview with Debbie Eisenbise
What excites you about your new role?
What excites me most is working with groups of people. I like bringing people together to learn and connect. Part of my job is helping lead National Older Adult Conference, and it’s like throwing a great party and bringing a whole bunch of people together to learn and worship.
I am also excited about raising awareness and advocating for vulnerable peoples. There are a variety of folks who have experienced or are experiencing issues, because of age or circumstance, that make them vulnerable. As the church gathers together, we can find ways to address their needs, but also integrate them into our communities, learn from them, and allow them to give too.
Why are intergenerational ministries important?
There can be tensions in our churches between age groups, and it really has to do with life perceptions. Each group has very different views of giving, church, life goals, and work. By becoming more cognizant of these differences and engaging together in intentional intergenerational conversation, we can inform each other and grow together in faith.
How can we become more involved in intergenerational ministries?
One way that people can get involved is by asking questions in their own context and congregations and seek to understand how they perceive people of different generations. Be willing to share your experiences and also listen to the stories of others.
Another way is by praying that the Spirit might open us up to each other in new ways. Pray for openness and the ability to grow beyond our own comfort zones and move into new life.
Debbie Eisenbise grew up in Wilmington, Del., and attended Davidson College, Pacific School of Religion, and Bethany Theological Seminary. She started as director of Intergenerational Ministries Jan. 15, but also served the Church of the Brethren in the 1990s as Brethren Volunteer Service coordinator of Recruitment and Orientation.
Learn more about Older Adult, Family, and Disabilities Ministries of the Church of the Brethren by e-mailing Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org . Support these and other life-changing ministries at www.brethren.org/give .