What Do We Know About UU Campus Ministry?

Written by Annie Gonzalez // August 8th 2014 // Guides and Tools, On Campus // no comments

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 We’ve got data from our Spring 2014 Survey! In the spring of 2014 the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries ran a campus ministry groups census to track how many campus ministry groups we have and what they are up to. What we found wasn’t too surprising, but was definitely interesting! Our UU campus ministry groups are small, and tend to reach a fair amount of people who are brand new to Unitarian Universalism. They focus primarily on small group ministry, while a smaller chunk of our groups also engage in worship, interfaith work and service or justice projects. They tend to be connected to local UU congregations in some form, and often received…

Support YaYA Faithify Projects

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 21st 2014 // Events and Opportunities // no comments


An Innovative Way to Support Effective Ministry Faithify.org – a crowd funding website for Unitarian Universalist ministries launched at General Assembly 2014 in Providence, RI. To date the 24 projects launched for funding have raised more than $43,000 in pledges. Each project has between 15–60 days to reach its goal, after which it goes off the site. Crowd funding works – as an example the The (Next) Lucy Stone Cooperative rapidly achieved 107% of its funding goal from 58 funders, and with 34 days left to go on Faithify has now set a new goal of 100 funders for their project (pledges of as little as $5 can be accepted). The Follow–Share–Fund feature on Faithify…

Color Congregation Successful

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


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…

Millennials are Sticky People

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 17th 2014 // Featured Young Adults, Future of Faith // 2 comments


Adhere Them to Your Congregation   This excerpt of a post by Drew Dyck on the Aspen Group examines the trend of Millennials leaving the church, and says that neither making church more stylistically appealing or less religious will turn the trend around. However, research reveals some of the reasons Millennials stay with congregation. Takeaways follow. –Ed.     The Millennials are leaving the church in droves, and staying away. Approximately 70 percent of those raised in the church disengage from it in their 20s. One-third of Americans under 30 now claim “no religion.” There are 80 million Millennials in the U.S.—and approximately the same number of suggestions for how to bring them back to…

Host a Scaffold Series Conference

Written by T. Resnikoff // July 15th 2014 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Young Adults, young adults // no comments


Young Adults Building Faith from the Ground up This fall Faith Architects kicks off with three to six regional leadership conferences called the Scaffold Series. We are currently seeking congregations or organizations to host these conferences. Some conferences may be hosted in spring of 2015. The Scaffold Series invites young adults to examine their Unitarian Universalist identities and to think about why they’ve chosen this religion, what Unitarian Universalism gives them, and what they can commit to giving back. Conference attendees will be trained in multi-generational worship, community building and justice organization, with an emphasis on bringing what they learn at Scaffold Series back to congregations and organizations in the wider denomination.   Won’t it…

Broader Leadership…

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


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…


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


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…

More Millennials Raise Families in Urban Areas

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


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…

Religion By Affiliation

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


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…

Retiring Boomers a Boon for Congregations

Written by T. Resnikoff // May 12th 2014 // Future of Faith // one comment


Watch Out Millenials ’cause Here Come the Boomers Carol Howard Merritt asks how an increase of Boomer Generation retirees can and will change congregations on the Christian Century blog. Her key findings: More people will be on a fixed income: giving will change. | More people will volunteer: congregations will develop new and more flexible ways to “pitch-in”. | Multigenerational governance will become more prevalent: matching schedules of the employed, retired, students and others will become a priority.     Read Carol Howard Merritt’s post, “What the retirement of Baby Boomers could mean for the church” from the Tribal Church topic on Christian Century. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) promotes multigenerational governance | Learn about…