Finding New Ways to Gather and Connect

Coming back to church after more than a year apart is a challenge for many congregations. Some people are reluctant to gather for health reasons. Some have just fallen out of the habit. Still others have gotten used to attending online.

The United Church of Christ in New Brighton decided to address these challenges head on at its Rally Sunday in September by inserting a healthy dose of intergenerational fun into their plans. “When people get together now, they want to laugh and have a good time,” says Rev. Amy Wick Moore, Associate Minister of Education and Faith Formation at New Brighton. “We’re all craving some comic relief.”

That relief came in the form of intergenerational activities — like relays that challenged teams to race across the parking lot and sit on balloons or transport bags of water—with holes—to fill buckets. “I’m finding that adults are very willing to do quirky things,” says Amy. “This was just a really great and different way to connect.”

The church’s Rally Sunday also featured performances of cheers created at an all-church retreat earlier in the summer at Camp Onamia. “We formed teams in connection with the liturgical seasons of the church,” Amy says. “We had Team Pentecost, Team Epiphany, Team Ordinary Time. Each group had to create their own cheer. They repeated them on Rally Sunday and, well, I’ll just say this: laughter is healing. We like to embrace a child-like spirit and run with it.”

Does your church have stories like New Brighton’s of how you are coming together? We’d love to hear them. Please share them at

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© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2023