As the new year begins, we’re examining the different generations present in our church. We’re calling this series “Shift” because each generation spawns a set of changes or shifts in the ways the world works. These changes always have important implications for how we worship and do ministry in the church. You know as well as I do the striking differences that can emerge from one generation to the next. There are large, defining events that shape the outlook and behaviors of each generation. The core values and attitudes towards work, relationships, faith and politics have a way of moving, sometimes radically.

This Sunday I will talk about the Baby Boomers generation –my generation – born between 1946-1964. We came of age in the tumultuous times of the 1960s and early ‘70s. A sense of activism moved through us and captured our hearts. We believe in changing the world.

God speaks to each generation. Because God is always revealing God’s self to us, we know that God will speak through each subsequent generation. Our challenge is to listen and respond faithfully. In the early church, tumultuous changes occurred in the Christian faith. There were large questions about religious practices and whether good Christians had to also be good Jews and follow the Jewish dietary laws and more. A new generation of Christians began to emerge that did not look at all like the early followers of Jesus. The church began to absorb new kinds of people (non-Jews, former pagans, many nationalities, eunuchs, etc.) as the Holy Spirit drew new believers to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

Today we face similar dynamics and the church is challenged to change, absorb new people and practices, and also hold fast to core elements of our faith. Sunday, we worship the timeless God who always speaks to current needs, opportunities and challenges. Join us as we worship in faith and learn to face shifts around us.


Rev. Dr. David Summers, Senior Pastor
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
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