Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Chicago

Written by Annie Gonzalez // September 29th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, 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. A unique and engaging model for local young adult ministry Chicago Chalice Connection is a one of a kind young adult program that is connecting Unitarian Universalists from all over the Chicagoland area with spiritual engagement, social justice and service opportunities, and a peer group for support and socializing. What makes Chicago Chalice Connection different from many of our young adult ministries? It’s connected to a geographic area rather than a specific institution (such as a congregation or college) and it is led by paid young adult…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults at Channing-Murray

Written by Annie Gonzalez // August 31st 2014 // Featured Young Adults, 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. It’s not every day that I highlight a young adult or campus ministry that has its roots in the consolidation between the Unitarian and Universalists, but then again, the Channing-Murray Foundation is not your average young adult or campus ministry. This non-profit center was formed when the Unitarian and Universalist congregations in town joined together to form the UU Church of Urbana Champaign (UUCUC), or what the folks I interviewed called “the Green Street Church.” In that shift, a decision was made to keep both historical buildings, and…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Tallahasee

Written by Annie Gonzalez // July 29th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Spotlight, Stories and Voices // one comment

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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.   Resilient… Renewed… Revelatory. “When the Campus Ministry/Young Adult position was de-funded some folks thought that was the end of the program,” related Rev. Robin Gray, the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee (UUCT). But fortunately the story didn’t turn out that way. Lee Edwin Chipps-Walton, a young adult and lay leader started coordinating their young adult program as a volunteer. Robin claimed Lee “offered us several years of growth for a program with consistency, involvement and connections – both within the YA community and…

Spotlight: UUs of Penn State

Written by Annie Gonzalez // June 25th 2014 // On Campus, Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // one comment

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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…