Day 34

Act 34: Adopt
by Euan Johnstone
Friendships across generations are vanishing – in the UK, libraries, pubs, youth centres and clubs are closing at a shocking rate, with 600 youth clubs shutting down over the last six years. Churches are some of the last places where generations meet. But do we make the most of that chance?
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood…” 
(John 1:14 MSG)
Choose how to complete this act…
GREEN OPTION:Schedule a meet-up with someone from a different generation.
YELLOW OPTION:Schedule a monthly hang-out, and serve while you do – what can you do to help them?
Find someone in your church (or anywhere) who you know, and decide to ‘adopt’ them. Take them under your wing, and make them a part of your life.

Schedule a monthly hang out – sounds good, but have these people heard of Safeguarding??? Of course they have! However, to suggest that I organise a monthly ‘hang out’ would require me to get volunteers – can’t be with young people on my own – and people at church are already fully stretched. Finding someone to ‘adopt’ and take under my wing is also not something appropriate for me in my position as vicar. I am there for all of any age to approach me and I will be there for them. But for me to decide to make someone part of my life is a recipe for misunderstanding and all sorts of nightmare scenarios. There is, by virtue of my position, a power dynamic at work before we start any conversation. I already have all sorts of contact with people of various generations during my working week. However, today I will be aware of what oppportunites come my way.

This morning I went to Denstone to set up for the art exhibition I am involved with as I am a member of the art group. I got there too early and so went for a prayer walk up the village. As I was almost out of the village I spotted some horses in a field. I realised that there was a young man in the garden of the house and so I approached and said a cheery hello. We chatted for a while. I would guess he was in his early 20s or late teens. He likes to read and used to be in the pony club. Not quite ‘hanging out’ but a pleasant enough chat.

The art group comprises people of various ages, most are retired and perhaps the generation older than me. One or two are younger and the generation or 2 below. We chatted for a while. One of the ladies is from the generation older than me and attends church. I overhead her talking to someone and it was clear that something had upset her. When I had a chance I asked if she was OK. She didn’t want to speak then, but did say that she would tell me sometime. she also said that she han’t wanted to bother me because I am too busy!!!! That annoys me. Everyone knows I have a lot to do and yet many people who could do with a chat & helping to see through a difficulty don’t ask to see me. I wish they would. I told her that I am never too busy for her if she needs me. It is quite a challenge to be available and never too busy and yet at the same time cover 4 churches. I need to let people know that my diary is in the hands of the One who I commit my day to each morning and laughs at my plans when I share them. Perhaps the subject for a parish magazine letter.

Lent lunch and chatting with people in an older generation then back to the village hall to chat with whoever came into the exhitibiton. A mix of ages but mainly middle to older aged. But I did spend quite a bit of time talking with someone who was younger than me who has lost her husband and is now volunteering on the steam railway.

So I think I can say that I have done today’s act – sort of.

I popped into Tesco to buy a few necessities – milk, gin for me and ibuprofen for Terry but really I needed to fill up with petrol. Don’t want to run out on a Sunday going round the various churches. As I pulled in I notice they were having their 25% off when you buy 6 bottles of wine offer. Oh…. that’s handy I thought. Then I remembered that I said yesterday that when I go shopping I would look out for a special offer and put some in the food bank basket. They would not want alcohol. So I needed to look for something else. Gordon’s gin was on special offer too. Everything I saw on special offer was not the sort of thing for food bank. So I grabbed a 6 pack of baked beans and then a large box of tea bags at 50% extra free. When I came to put them in the basket for the food bank I stopped to read the notice of what they did and din’t want. Guess what? They didn’t want baked beans or tea bags. Oh bother I thought. I dithered a while, walked off, then stopped and decided they could have them anyway. So I went back and put them in.

So I come to the end of the day and evening is approaching. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem hailed as king yet knew they would soon be baying for his blood. I’d like to write something really thought provoking or interesting or inspiring but I’m afraid nothing comes to mind. Time to switch off and relax for the evening.

May you all be blessed this Holy Week to come.


  1. It seems to me that you already reach out across generations in your ministry . So a big ✅✅.

    One more week to go. It’s been an incredible blessing. Look forward to your next blog entry.


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