Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Fourth Universalist

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // May 8th 2015 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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Animating Church Life “We actually had a conversation recently about how we can get more older people to come to our church,” shared Ryan Novosielski, current president of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. “I know that’s not a common conversation [in Unitarian Universalist churches] but hey, it’s New York!” Ryan is one of the many young adults serving in leadership at Fourth Universalist, commonly shortened to “4th U.” He helped start the young adult group about five years ago when they lacked critical mass. Now their group tells a very different story. Erin Bigelow, who chairs the Church Council where representatives of each committee meet, and serves on the Transitions and Right Relations Teams,…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Mutual Aid Carrboro

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // March 5th 2015 // Spotlight, Stories and Voices, young adults // no comments

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True Solidarity – Enduring Fire “A few weeks ago after a particularly long and hectic day, I sat down at a Mutual Aid Carrboro gathering. As we checked in with one another, I realized that this felt like home.” This is the report from Kyle Reeves, a graduate student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who was “craving connections with folks outside the chemistry community” and was drawn to Mutual Aid Carrboro, once he heard of it, after prior experience with a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Massachusetts and a desire to seek justice. He describes Mutual Aid Carrboro, which is part of the larger organization Sacred Fire UU, as “an intentional group based in…

Spotlight: UUs of the Sanctuary Boston

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // December 26th 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.  Embodied multigenerational worship draws young adults Though the Sanctuary Boston‘s worship services are held at different church buildings, walking into their gatherings on a Wednesday evening always has some similar elements. There are the Name Tags made of card-stock tape and safety pins where you can write your name and preferred gender pronouns, the warm welcome from strangers and friends, the chips, hummus and salsa set out for those who, like me, come straight from work and are feeling hungry. Then there’s the worship, with a similar…

Spotlight: UUs of Wooster

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // November 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.  These Young Leaders are Bridge Builders You may have heard those familiar with young adult ministry joke, with a note of sadness and frustration in their voice, that what we call bridging (the transition from youth to young adult Unitarian Universalist community) is less like crossing a bridge and more like jumping off a cliff. Well a small group of UU students at The College of Wooster have decided to build their own bridge and have formed a new student organization that is spreading the good…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Chicago

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // 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 Milliken // 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 Milliken // 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 Milliken // 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 Milliken // 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 Milliken // April 23rd 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. “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…