Rempel launches her new book, Please Pass the Faith

August 29, 2012 | Artbeat | Number 17
By Ardell Stauffer | Mennonite Church Canada
Elsie Rempel was available to sign her new book at MC Canada Assembly in Vancouver.

Elsie Rempel, Mennonite Church Canada Formation Consultant, launched her new book, Please Pass the Faith, at Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2012 in Vancouver. The book explores “spiritual grandparenting” as an intentional way to share faith with the next generation in a world full of distractions and busy schedules.

Spiritual grandparenting is more than taking an interest in biological grandchildren. In fact, it is a role that requires neither grandchildren nor marriage. “Spiritual grandparenting is relating to those in the first third of life, with the willingness to be spiritual companions or co-pilgrims,” says Rempel.

Spiritual grandparenting is a mentoring practice with biblical precedents, Rempel says. “The whole culture of the Bible was one where elders were respected and integrated into the lives of children.”

Her book examines the challenges of these relationships, tending one’s own spirituality, and the process of how faith grows and matures. With this background in place, she gives practical advice for connecting across generations, interweaving and building the faith of old and young in the church.

“Some [elders] have learned to be a blessing for younger folk,” she says, “and others need to learn to bless and mentor others into leadership, rather than shape the church into a senior’s club,” says Rempel. The most critical thing is unconditional love for the young, she believes, and genuine interest in their lives. Through these interactions young and old can share “the time-honoured tradition of telling stories about our lives, and finding our place in God’s big story.”

Faith formation is not a one-way street from old to young. “I’ve learned so much and been so blessed by my ministry with young people,” says Rempel. “That’s one reason I had to write this book, to share these blessings with others.”

Rempel, a member at Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, has an master of arts degree in theology and brings experience from 40 years of children’s ministry as a lay leader, camp pastor, and staff trainer, as well as 13 years as a teacher in a Mennonite elementary school. Most recently, Rempel wrote curriculum for vacation Bible school, edited a Bible study series on Revelation, and served as a mentor to elementary school teachers in Zambia through a Mennonite Central Committee program.

Elsie Rempel was available to sign her new book at MC Canada Assembly in Vancouver.

Share this page: Twitter Instagram

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.