Life, the Universe and… Everything

Written by jennicadavishockett // October 7th 2014 // Featured Youth, Stories and Voices, UUA, youth // one comment

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Summer Seminary Graduate Sofia Avery-Kapulski is so cool she lives in a yurt with a wood-burning stove. She’s decorated the walls with a painting of the cosmos. She’s an excellent writer and performer. In an interview with her, we discussed how she makes meaning in her life.–Ed.   JD-H: What do you remember about the first moment you thought about going into the ministry? SA-K: It was right after my first QUUest camp, I was having an existential meltdown. I thought, “How am I supposed to do something meaningful with my skills and passions? All I do is write, make music and stew about everything.” I’d been thinking that my preferred past times doomed me to…

A Week That Felt Like a Month, Tied To Her for Years

Written by jennicadavishockett // October 6th 2014 // Featured Youth, Stories and Voices, UUA // one comment

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At the Unitarian Universalist Association Summer Seminary 2014, yes, students learned about what it’s like to be a religious professional, but they also learned about navigating in and appreciating the city of Chicago. They also created deep bonds with one another to find the Spirit of Life within and all around them. Rhea Brown-Bright, from the progressive oasis of the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City, recounts her experience. –Ed. SUMMER SEMINARY WAS MUCH MORE THAN… By Rhea Brown-Bright When the plane left the ground of Chicago When it left all the friends I had made behind I knew my life had changed Summer Seminary wasn’t just a place to be for a week It was…

Watch How Faith Grows in the 21st Century

Written by T. Resnikoff // October 2nd 2014 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // no comments

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GA Talks Available on YouTube   Presented by YA@GA, learn about best practices, innovative techniques and successes growing, sustaining and creating vibrant multigenerational, diverse ministry. Modeled after TED talks, GA Talks are an ongoing series of presentations from from invited experts speaking to a given topic or theme. The theme of GA Talks 2014, “Looking Inward, Looking Outward, Looking Forward” explores innovative forms of worship, congregation and spiritual experience.

What Do We Know About UU Campus Ministry?

Written by Annie Gonzalez Milliken // 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

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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

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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…

Millennials are Sticky People

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

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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

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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

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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…