Hear Us Out is listening that honors the dignity and worth of the speakers and their stories. The researchers reflect with curiosity and wonder on the potential of relationship and on how to keep the story alive together--the Sacred Story of hope and love, kept alive for generations through reimagination and the kind of generous connection between stories that we experience in this book. Yoder and her team help us to hear, invite us to connect. They challenge their readers to imagine relationships that nurture stories sacred and personal, lived individually and communally, for the well-being of us all. Not for the survival of the church, but for the well-being of us all--which is the story of life.
How are emerging generations making meaning in their lives? This team of eight scholars and ministry leaders from across the denominational spectrum formed Co.lab.inq, a collective learning laboratory focused on open-ended inquiry, to explore this question. Together they interviewed over 200 people under 40 in search of the lessons they might teach us about belonging, adversity, legacy - and faith.
Through collaborative storytelling conversations focused on truth-seeking and meaning-making, Sue Pizor Yoder and her co-authors illustrate the complex and varied ways Millennials and Gen Z are navigating life and crafting their stories. What do younger Americans have to say about belonging? Where do they find meaning? What challenges are they facing--and how do they confront them? How do they envision their legacies?
Pizor Yoder and her colleagues were surprised to find that in addition to these questions, their conversation partners also wanted to talk about faith--even when they didn't identify with any religious tradition. The narratives these authors uncover offer both critique and blessing for society and the church.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- Format Paperback
- ISBN 9781506489193
- eBook ISBN 9781506489209
- Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
- Pages 208
- Publication Date July 25, 2023
Sarah Agnew, storyteller and author of Embodied Performance: Mutuality, Embrace, and the Letter to Rome
In a time when so much is changing, leaders are searching for insights to help them navigate the future with confidence. In Hear Us Out, we hear from those most affected by the change and most invested in the outcomes: youth and young adults. This book is a much-needed resource to add to the library of those invested in architecting a future faith that matters.
Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, general minister and president, United Church of Christ
So many churches are "shrinkling"--shrinking in size and wrinkling with age. They say they want young people to return to the church . . . but do they, really? If there's one book I could recommend for churches to take seriously when they consider ways to welcome emerging generations into their midst, it would be Hear Us Out. It combines quality research with deep reflection and wide affection. Your congregation needs this book, and so do you!
Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt and Do I Stay Christian?
If we want to know more about what is happening, or not happening, in our churches, we would do well to listen to those who no longer find church meaningful. This is why you need to read Hear Us Out. Sue Pizor Yoder and her colleagues in Co.lab.inq introduce us to the worlds, priorities, anxieties, wounds, and questions of Millennials and Gen Z. Their research and the stories that they have gathered reflect a startling picture of the church. But they also paint a beautiful picture of what the church could be: a place where belonging is at the center of our communities and a meaningful life is possible for everyone.
David M. Mellott, president, Christian Theological Seminary, and author of Finding Your Way in Seminary: What to Expect, How to Thrive
The critical theological question of our age is how we choose to belong to one another. In this age of deep global transformation, our sense of connection defines the boundaries of our courage to change for the better in the face of global warming and geopolitical unrest. In Hear Us Out, Suzie Pizor Yoder and her colleagues deepen our understanding of what is at stake in this moment of human transformation. It's a compelling call to action to share our stories, co-create a more just world, and take seriously the call to Love we hold at the center of the Christian life.
Rev. Cameron Trimble, author of Searching for the Sacred, 60 Days of Faith for Women, and Piloting Church