Youth and Young Adults on the Frontline of Love

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 30th 2014 // Issues and Trends, Stories and Voices // no comments

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Youth and Young Adults Respond to Operation Save America Targeting Services at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, Louisiana were targeted on Sunday,  July 20, 2014 by members of the anti-abortion protest group Operation Save America (OSA)– formerly known as “Operation Rescue” – for having hosted the groundbreaking celebration of a new Planned Parenthood family counseling center to be built nearby. Rev. Deanna Vandiver, citing the founding principle of religious freedom in the United States stated, “Literally in our most tender and vulnerable space, religious terrorism began.” As reported on the Rachel Maddow Show in the story, “Anti-abortion extremists violate church sanctity“, when protesters disrupted the service, UU youth spontaneously rose to encircle them, singing…

Why College Campuses Need UUs!

Written by Annie Gonzalez // July 30th 2014 // Future of Faith, On Campus // no comments

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They say that many times as a minister you preach the sermon you need to hear. Well that was true for me on Friday July 18th when I delivered a homily on hope as part of the closing worship at the National Campus Ministry Association’s annual summer gathering. During the service a parable of Jesus was read about the farmer who went out to sow some seeds. You may know this parable if you have experience with the Christian tradition, and you may remember that some seeds were eaten by birds, some sprouted but then withered and died, some plants were choked by thorns, but others thrived, multiplying thirty, sixty and a hundredfold. This metaphor seemed…

Spotlight: UU Young Adults of Tallahasee

Written by Annie Gonzalez // July 29th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Stories and Voices // 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.   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…

Color Congregation Successful

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 18th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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Go FULL Spectrum   Is the decline of organized religion – particularly amongst Millennials – due to a lack of ethnic diversity in congregation? Bob Smietana points to the inherently multi-ethnic nature of religion and sees the increasing diversity of the U.S. population as an opportunity for congregations that embrace a broader paradigm of who their ministry serves. – Ed.   Almost everyday, it seems, there’s a new story about how “Millennials are leaving the church.” But there’s a problem with these trend pieces: They aren’t true. American Christianity still has plenty of Millennials — they’re just not necessarily in white churches… …About a third of young (18-29 year old) Americans — and more than half…

Broader Leadership…

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 8th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, UUA // no comments

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Bigger Congregation Smart congregations don’t see the  overlap between Boomers (in the prime years of congregational governance) and Millennials (adult and ready to lead) as a challenge, they see it as an opportunity to broaden their appeal.     Excerpt from “Got religion? How churches, mosques and synagogues can bring young people back” by Naomi Schaefer Riley on the Fox News blog. …if religious institutions are ever going to get young adults to return, the leadership will have to figure out a way to make them feel like their time and talents are needed. It is not uncommon to hear boomers in church complain about the self-absorbed millennials who don’t support their religious communities. But…

Branded

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 30th 2014 // Future of Faith, UUA // no comments

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Our Brand, Ourself Examining the Unitarian Universalist (UU) and Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) brand is the fruit of reflection on the disconnect between the number of people who religiously “brand” themselves as UUs and the larger number of people who live by UU Principles, to increase the denominational and congregational health of UUism through growth. This process of self-examination provokes uncertainty at the same time it creates excitement over the vision of a more prominent role in American religious life for UUism – and much has been made of keeping connection with the ageless and intemporal aspects of human existence as celebrated by this faith while increasing UU relevance for people today. Re-imagining the expression of UU…

Camp for Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Families

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 27th 2014 // Events and Opportunities, Mosaic // no comments

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August 2014 at the UBarU Retreat and Conference Center Create multiracial congregation with other Unitarian Universalists: strengthen bonds of identity while living the commitment of Unitarian Universalism and the Unitarian Universalist Association to multiracial/multicultural, multigenerational, welcoming congregations. From the UUMF website: Welcome to UUMF! Camp’s inaugural year! Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Families (UUMF!) Camp is a place to meet other UU families whose members also don’t appear to “match” each other. We hope to come together each summer to celebrate our Unitarian Universalist faith with others who share common experiences that often follow multiracial families. We will have a great time building this beloved community during this weekend in the scenic Central Texas Hill Country. Come…

More Millennials Raise Families in Urban Areas

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 19th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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How Will Changing Demographics Change Congregations? Recent research shows more Millennials are raising families in urban areas than is historically the case when an age-cohort reaches the age of starting families. This suggests that the demographics in non-urban congregations will change (discussed here on Blue Boat) and that urban ministries will encounter new challenges and opportunities. Learn About Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry       Two stories of urban ministry | “The challenge and future of urban ministry: The case of White Memorial Church“, on the Ministry Magazine blog by Lawrence Downing | “A New Kind of Urban Ministry, Christians no longer want their communities fixed. They want them flourishing” on the Christianity Today blog…

UUs in the Military – Conscience in a Hard Place

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 15th 2014 // Events and Opportunities, Guides and Tools // no comments

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Ending War – Honoring the Principled Warrior The relationship of Unitarian Universalism (UU) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) to the military is complex and as lengthy as the history of the United States. While the UUA and Unitarian Universalism is generally pacifist, UUs have  and do serve in the military. The UUA has supported wars in the past. On  Memorial Day we remember UUs in uniform who perished, and honor UUs present and past for their contribution by bringing UU Principles and Sources to bear in one of the least humane theaters on earth – that of armed conflict, potential or engaged. Learn About the UUA and the Military – Watch this module from…

Religion By Affiliation

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 13th 2014 // Future of Faith // no comments

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The Mass in Religion has Always Been in the Street   Elizabeth Drescher questions the wisdom of viewing the Internet as a cause of the disaffection with organized religion, pointing out that for the public “mass” media has always held greater allure than religious Mass itself, and that the demise of religious affiliation has been bemoaned over several hundred years. She suggests that while the compulsion to religiously-identify weakens as society becomes more open the needs religion is intended to fulfill (yet often don’t) are filled elsewhere.   Drescher: This is clearly the gist of a now relatively steady stream of research and commentary that has formed itself into something of an exurban legend. One…