Reflection on White Supremacy in Our UUA

Posted by T. Resnikoff // March 28th 2017 // Issues and Trends, Mosaic, UUA // 14 comments

From the staff of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries   A very important conversation has been happening about the insidious white supremacy in our Unitarian Universalist Association, centering currently around our hiring practices. We encourage you to do some digging and read multiple perspectives in this conversation. A good place to start is the 3/27 UUWorld article, statement from Black Lives of UU and this Compilation of Responses. With gratitude to those reminding us to do this work, we in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries (YaYA Office) have been thinking about how white supremacy manifests in our corner of this institution. In this country and within Unitarian Universalism, white…

Youth Ministry Training Webinar 8

Posted by jennicadavishockett // March 24th 2017 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // no comments

For a long time many Unitarian Universalist congregations have successfully used the traditional model of youth ministry consisting of a weekly youth group, maybe some off-site trips or overnights, and a yearly youth-led worship service. As Natalie Briscoe, Congregational Life Staff in the Southern Region notes, “These traditional models are effective delivery mechanisms for often stellar curriculum, especially if that curriculum is a part of the Tapestry of Faith programs. The Youth Group model also certainly serves the particular needs of youth by providing a space for growing leadership, exploration of newly discovered beliefs, and the intimacy of small group ministry.” But that’s not true for everyone, and for some congregations for which that model has worked…

Talk Amongst Yourselves, I’ll Give You a Topic…

Posted by jennicadavishockett // March 24th 2017 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools, Stories and Voices // no comments

Cojourners on the Spiritual Way The Unitarian Universalist Association Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries has two new discussion guides for youth based on Summer Seminary sermons: Grappling with the First Principle and What is God?. Today my body is a little sore from rock climbing and I think I might be getting a cold. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can be most effective in these trouble times to create beloved community and my spirit is really trying hard to find meaning in the mundane. We all use check-in questions. Sometimes as a check in question I ask folks “how’s your body, mind and spirit this week?” (Thanks Annie Gonzalez Milliken for teaching me…

Be a Delegate at GA 2017

Posted by jennicadavishockett // March 16th 2017 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Youth, GA, General Assembly 2017, Guides and Tools // no comments

Did you know youth who are members of their congregation can represent their congregation at General Assembly by serving as delegates and voting in General Session (aka “Previously Plenary” aka “GenSesh” aka the way we conduct the business of the association)? Talk to your congregation’s leaders as soon as you can to start the process. They may be able to financially support your way to General Assembly. You’re also encouraged to apply for a scholarship because serving as a delegate increases your chance of getting a scholarship. The deadline to apply for scholarships is March 31st, so now is the time! Hannah Rigdon, Sr. Business Manager for Youth Caucus has some words of wisdom about the importance of…

What Does Sanctuary Really Mean?

Posted by emcdavid // February 28th 2017 // Issues and Trends // no comments

by Elissa McDavid We are facing reality, as a faith, a nation, and individuals who may not have been as active as we should have been before the election results of November 8th. Those that lived-in fear before, now live in greater fear as families and communities are torn apart, on an even larger scale. Like many people, I am figuring out how to help those that face deportation, fear, and intimidation. I am trying to understand this as a Unitarian Universalist and as a young adult. I am also an intern with the Unitarian Universalist Association Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, working with Young Adult and Campus Ministry Associate Annie Gonzalez Milliken,…

Youth Ministry Training Webinar 7

Posted by jennicadavishockett // February 27th 2017 // Events and Opportunities, Guides and Tools // no comments

Part of a successful youth ministry is creating and maintaining sustainable systems and organizational tools, like calendaring, directories and templates, to keep the youth ministry program running as a vital part of the congregation and so it can live on after a volunteer or staff member leaves. Adults need to be competent in practicing compassionate communication, handling conflict with grace and humility, expressing needs, and being a good listener. And they need to be able to model these skills for youth. Youth Ministry Advising: A Complete Guide has some tips for developing these skills. Volunteers and staff must be competent with social media. Supervisors should inform volunteers and staff if their congregation has something akin…

Why Should Young Folks Go To General Assembly?

Posted by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // February 21st 2017 // Events and Opportunities, General Assembly 2017, Guides and Tools // no comments

What is the role of spiritual community in these times? We’ve been asking that question over and over, particularly as we think about our upcoming Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly. What is the point of gathering, especially a gathering that takes so many resources, when so many of us are in pain, subject to violence, unclear what the months between here and there will bring? This General Assembly the theme is “Resist and Rejoice.” And we certainly have much need for resistance. The white supremacy, greed fueled economic inequality, hetero-patriarchy and ableism that existed before Trump was elected is gaining ground in our government and in our streets. These developments are horrifying, outrageous, scary. So…

Snapchat Me a Movement

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 16th 2017 // Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // no comments

How Snapchat makes social change happen We reprint with permission this very useful guide to using Snapchat as a platform for advocacy work by Aneta Molenda, originally published on the M+R lab blog. Learn more about the passionate people who support progressive advocacy groups and causes at M+R, .   Snapchat for Advocacy by Aneta Molenda Anyone can snap a selfie with the doggy ears filter. And anyone with excellent taste (me) can make heavy use of the rainbow vomit. Exhibit A: But a real Snapchat superstar uses her powers for something loftier: pressuring Congress, speaking out on urgent issues, and saving the world. It really is a snap (apologies in advance for the bad…

Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 16th 2017 // Guides and Tools // no comments

The Many Faiths within Unitarian Universalism The latest addition to the Skinner House Books (SHB) series exploring the many faith traditions that also find a home in Unitarian Universalism (UU) has just been published. “Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism” explores Religious Humanism – which is founded upon the belief that human beings are of great worth and dignity (echoing the Unitarian Universalist 1st Principle), and in the importance of coming together in community to share feelings and emotions (much like the Unitarian Universalist 3rd Principle). These similarities are no surprise, as Religious Humanism has deep roots in Unitarian Universalism, and became a significant part of the Unitarian faith in the 1920’s. Whether you are a…

Using Your Universal Translator

Posted by T. Resnikoff // February 8th 2017 // Featured Youth, Future of Faith // no comments

A Sermon by Kadyn Frawley Watch this terrific pastoral message from Summer Seminary graduate Kayden Frawley, preached to her congregation on January 29, 2017.   Using Your Universal Translator – Transcript Good morning! I’m going to ask you all some questions. You don’t need to raise your hand when you agree, just think the answer to yourself. Question 1. How many of you have either that one relative or group of relatives who ALWAYS like to bring up religion at times where you feel it’s completely inappropriate? PAUSE Question 2. When getting ready to visit with this particular person or group of people, do you have to mentally prepare in advance what you are going…