Spotlight: UUs of Penn State

Written by Annie Gonzalez // June 25th 2014 // On Campus, Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we’ll feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults.–Ed. “At Penn State, Unitarian Universalism is synonymous with acceptance,” says Hayly Hoch, the vice president of the UU student organization there. She credits the Unitarian Universalist Students (UUS) with helping her understand what community truly means and supporting her to pursue her dreams. Kelly Diaz, the group’s original founder and current president calls it a “tight knit and passionate” community that has helped her grow spiritually. It is clear that this campus ministry is making a big difference in the lives of its core members. But the…

Spotlight: UUs of Florida Gulf Coast University

Written by Annie Gonzalez // May 23rd 2014 // On Campus, Spotlight, Stories and Voices // one comment

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults.–Ed. Small Group, Big Success The Eagle Unitarian Universalists of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) are a great example of how a small UU campus ministry can make a big difference to an entire community. By holding open drop-in hours on campus, networking with other student organizations and engaging with other campus ministries this group and their fabulous leader, Katie Romano-Griffin are making themselves known to students, administration and faculty alike. The Eagle UUs are a new group, less than a year old, having started in July of…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Oakland, CA

Written by Annie Gonzalez // April 23rd 2014 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults – Ed. “Bishop Yvette Flunder says her approach to church membership is ‘you welcome someone, you make them feel loved and then you put them to work.’ Well that’s what I try to do!” says Alex Haider-Winnett. He’s the outgoing coordinator of the young adult group at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland (FUCO) and he’s been a member there for about four years.  It looks like his strategy is working. First of all, young adults feel welcomed at FUCO.  Aaron Hinde, a young parent, started attending…

Spotlight: UU young adults of Brooklyn, NY

Written by Annie Gonzalez // March 28th 2014 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults–Ed.  “A gateway to being involved in the larger congregation,” “a bridge to multigenerational community” – These are just two of the phrases used to describe the ministry of welcome provided by the Twenties and Thirties group at First Unitarian Congregational Society Brooklyn (or First UU Brooklyn). Calling themselves the “TnT group” these young adults create a low-pressure environment free of judgment for those looking to add spirituality to their life in the often secular world of New York City.     Karen Plemons, who grew up Unitarian…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Golden, CO

Written by Annie Gonzalez // February 10th 2014 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // one comment

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults– Ed. Making their place “My daughter was 19 and she said, ‘there’s nothing for me at church.’  It was a knife to my heart.” Sound familiar?  Sadly many young adults who bridge out of our youth groups don’t find a place in our congregations.  But Jill Armstrong, quoted above, wanted to do something about that in her congregation in Golden, Colorado.  Along with Jacqui Ainlay-Conley, another mother of a young adult UU, she started researching churches with successful young adult groups.  Then, after receiving a grant for…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Des Moines

Written by Annie Gonzalez // January 13th 2014 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Welcome to the Spotlight Series!  Each month we’ll feature a different Unitarian Universalist congregation or community that is doing effective, innovative or otherwise interesting ministry with young adults. –Ed. Marisa Williams is a new parent in Des Moines, Iowa.  When her daughter Lilian was born in October of 2013 she had a community of people who instantly loved her child, bringing meals and supporting the young family.  The tight knit community that supported her had only known her for about a year, but they had welcomed her in with open arms.   Who are these incredibly supportive and welcoming folks?  They’re the Unitarian Universalist young adults of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, also…

Spotlight – YAs @ First Unitarian Philly

Written by Carey McDonald // February 5th 2013 // Featured Young Adults, Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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A congregation of young adult-ly love While in Philadelphia for the January UUA Board meeting, I had the true pleasure of meeting a group of young adults from the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. In fact, the entire UUA Board came down to First Church for discussion and an open mic coffeehouse. It was just a lovely time. First Church is an urban, gothic church in downtown Philadelphia. And though it proudly proclaims its heritage dating back to its first minister 18th century Unitarian luminary Joseph Priestly, the church is very much a contemporary institution embedded in its own time and place. Describing itself as a “regional community center,” First Church leverages its unique facilities…

Spotlight: First UU Church of Columbus

Written by Carey McDonald // January 8th 2013 // Featured Young Adults, On Campus, Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // 3 comments

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I was recently back in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and wanted to share some of the great ideas for young adult ministry that I saw at the church I grew up in: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus. The Basics – FUUCC is a large church with more than 600 members and 400 adults attending on an average Sunday. Commitment to young adult ministry runs through the church staff and lay leaders, including both ministers and the Director of Religious Education. In addition to welcoming young adults into multigenerational church life and leadership, ministry programs specifically targeting young adults include: Twenties/Thirties Covenant Group (part of the church’s extensive small group ministry program) A campus…

Spotlight: First Unitarian Dallas YAs

Written by Shane Montoya // November 9th 2012 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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This is the first in a monthly spotlight on the great work that various young adult groups across the country are doing.  Today, I interviewed Lillian Drab-Braddick, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and Lisa Peterson, one of the leaders of the young adult group there.  If you would like your congregation to have the spotlight next month, let me know at smontoya@uua.org.  Thanks- Ed. Tell me about the young adult group. Lillian: The young adult ministry at First Unitarian Church of Dallas serves church members, friends and visitors in their late teens, 20s and 30s. Since January 2012, the ministry has served 92 young adults through classes,…

Spotlight: Buckman Bridge

Written by Kayla Parker // August 9th 2012 // Guides and Tools, On Campus, Spotlight, young adults // 3 comments

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Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church in Jacksonville, FL is one of the two congregations awarded Anchor Congregation status in 2012. The other is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, CA. The only adjective that I can find to properly describe Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church’s young adult movement is swarming. Now for some reason that word has some negative associations. Probably because bees can be scary. But I’m not talking about a scary swarm here. I’m talking about an amazing swarm that swiftly created a highly functioning hive of its own and is now busy going to its neighbors and helping them build. You also might notice that I called them a young adult movement, not…