Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim: We must nourish intergenerational love in our churches

Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim is a keynote speaker at ABHMS’ Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference 2024 in April.

The theme of the 2024 Space for Grace & Spiritual Caregivers Conference, “Engaging Intergenerational Faith,” is of vital importance for us today. I do not think the church is focusing enough on intergenerational faith. We know that young people are not engaging with the church, so it has dwindled to a “one-generation” institution. It is crucial that we engage in intergenerational dialogue that requires communication about faith journeys and listening, so I am delighted about this year’s theme. In my keynote speech, I will be talking about love: loving God and loving one another. And I will focus on intergenerational love that we need to nourish, nurture and highlight in our churches.

ABHMS is convening a conference packed with sessions worth attending. Many are of interest to me, but two in particular capture my attention. One of them looks at church across generations and the other focuses on trauma, family and faith transformation. My new book, “Surviving God,” addresses sexual abuse not only in our wider society but also specifically within the church. As a church, we do not know how to deal with it, and this is a grave shortcoming.

The Reverend Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim was born in Korea, educated in Canada and now teaches in the United States as professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion. She is the author or editor of 23 books, most recently “Surviving God, Invisible, Keeping Hope Alive” and “Intersectional Theology”. She is series coeditor for the Palgrave Macmillan series Asian Christianity in the Diaspora and has served on the American Academy of Religion’s board of directors. Ji-Sun Kim is the host of the Madang podcast, which is sponsored by Christian Century, and is an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) minister. Her blog on Substack is titled Loving Life, and she has written for Huffington Post, The Nation, Sojourners, Baptist News Global, Faith and Leadership, and Time.