Taking a Small Risk for Big Growth

Posted by Bart Frost // November 25th 2015 // Future of Faith, young adults, youth // 2 comments


How Smart Congregations Grow Members This summer at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly, our Youth Media Volunteers interviewed a number of youth about their personal histories with Unitarian Universalism. As I reviewed their footage, something stuck out to me. Almost all of the youth said something along the lines of “I’ve been a member since I was two,” or “My whole family has been members since my parents got married in our church, before I was born!” Our interviews at General Assembly reminded me that membership is more than just signing a book and making a pledge. Being a part of a community is about relationships, it isn’t about signing the membership book…

Summer Seminary Hires Three New Staff Members

Posted by jennicadavishockett // November 20th 2015 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // one comment


The Summer Seminary program for Unitarian Universalist youth exploring the possibility of becoming a religious professional welcomes 3 new staff members! They will accompany 25 youth from across the nation exploring the call to ministry in all its forms, learning about life as a religious professional, and connecting with other youth considering ministry. Summer Seminary is August 2nd-8th, 2016 in Berkeley, CA hosted by Starr King School for the Ministry. Minister in Residence, Kimberly Quinn Johnson As a teenager,  I could imagine nothing less likely for my own future than ministry. I grew up in a family and a culture deeply committed to religion: reverence, faith, care for the world around me—in a household that encouraged questions, reason, and critical…

Applications Open for Youth Caucus 2016 Staff

Posted by jennicadavishockett // November 13th 2015 // Events and Opportunities // no comments


The deadline to apply for General Assembly 2016 Youth Caucus Staff is fast approaching. Take it from Senoir Dean Andrea Briscoe. It’s worth it! Applications due 12/1/15!   (Read what Andrea Briscoe has to say about being on Youth Caucus Staff below this video.) ANDREA SAYS: The day that I got the call saying that I was selected to serve on Youth Caucus staff was the day that my life changed forever. I never thought that I was qualified enough to be on youth caucus staff, but because I clicked that submit button I have been able to change my life and others’ through serving as Youth Caucus Dean. I wholeheartedly believe that Youth Caucus staff is…

Plan the Escape of Your Inner Human!

Posted by T. Resnikoff // November 9th 2015 // Contact Us, Future of Faith // no comments


Camp Unirondack Transforms 😐 Into If there is one thing that seven years at Camp Unirondack has taught me, it is that camp is not just for kids. I know, I know, camp director rhetoric if you’ve ever heard it right? But let me tell you why it’s true. It stems from a struggle that I think many people share. If there is one thing almost all people on this planet have one thing in common it is that feeling of doubt inside. Am I going to pass this test? Will I graduate? Am I good enough? I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t felt it. Part of that feeling is an ever-present wonder…

Illuminate UU: Shareable Image Contest

Posted by jennicadavishockett // October 16th 2015 // Events and Opportunities // no comments


    Attention all Luminary Leaders and Luminary Alumni! Illuminate your creativity and spread the good news of Unitarian Universalism. Create a shareable image, enter it in the contest for a chance to win UU swag!  The winning images – First, Second and Third Place – will be published on 2 high-traffic websites blueboat.blogs.uua.org and uua.org – promoted on social media, and and seen across the United States! Contest Prizes: First Place: Large YaYA Swag Package Second Place: Medium YaYA Swag Package Third Place: Small YaYA Swag Package Create an image (JPEG format only) that visually represents a Unitarian Universalist value and voice. Must include a quote from a living Unitarian Universalist Must have permission…

Why Unitarian Universalist Youth Ministry Sucks

Posted by jennicadavishockett // October 8th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Youth, Guides and Tools // 3 comments


We all know Unitarian Universalist youth ministry is not perfect. In fact, it’s often just a jumbled mess of individuals trying their best to transform the lives of teenagers. Here are the top 5 reasons proving my point. It’s not the same thing every week You can never count on this Sunday being exactly like the last. One week you might be having a deep conversation with your peers and mentors in youth group about God, the next week you might be visiting the place of worship of another faith. The week after that you might be speaking from the pulpit in a multigenerational worship and the following week you might be partnering with other congregants…

Youth Ministry at its Best…and Worst

Posted by jennicadavishockett // October 7th 2015 // Events and Opportunities, Featured Youth, Guides and Tools // no comments


All year we in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the Unitarian Universalist Association will be discussing the notion of DEEP FAITH and what it takes to do excellent youth ministry. Here’s a preview of some of the things we’ll be delving into. Check back tomorrow to read the first fruit of our reflection, “Why Unitarian Universalist Youth Ministry Sucks”  

5 Ways to Support Youth In Your Congregation

Posted by Bart Frost // October 1st 2015 // 2014 Youth Ministry Survey, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, Guides and Tools, UUA // one comment


A.K.A. 5 Things Your Congregation Will Thank You For Our survey of 351 Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth provided some real gems and had some real flaws. Here are the five major takeaways we learned: 1. Build Opportunities for Connection This survey shows us that our youth want to be involved in the life of their congregation because they are already invested in their congregation. Think about the times when you feel most welcome in a situation. Did someone invite you to the party, to worship, to a concert? When you showed up, did they ignore you or did they welcome you and engage you in conversation?   Invite your youth to worship! If they can’t make…

How Congregations Can Better Serve Their Youth

Posted by Bart Frost // October 1st 2015 // 2014 Youth Ministry Survey, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, Guides and Tools, UUA // no comments


Leads for Keeping Youth in Your Congregation We started asking “How could your church better serve you?” after noting the responses to the magic-wand question were highly aspirational. Because they are qualitative instead of quantitative, measuring these two questions is more difficult than evaluating youth’s favorite part of church. The two most prominent responses were food-based and some form of “[My congregation] can’t because they already serve me well.” Other responses included promoting youth leadership: “It could send a youth leadership newsletter for opportunities such as those mentioned in the meeting at the UUA.” “More opportunity for youth leadership.” “Get the kids more involved in everything and tell us all about what’s going on in the general congregation.”…

What Would You Change with YOUR Magic Wand?

Posted by Bart Frost // October 1st 2015 // 2014 Youth Ministry Survey, Featured Youth, Future of Faith, Guides and Tools, UUA // no comments


Youth Perspective on What We Need to Do Better One of the questions we asked the youth who visited the Unitarian Universalist Association UUA was, “If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your church?” This question – although seemingly frivolous – was intended to see what needs youth had that their congregation wasn’t serving. Instead, the responses showed us the aspirational vision our youth have for their congregations. Because of these responses, we added another question: “How could your church better serve you?” We shared the responses to these two questions with the leaders of the youth’s congregations. The “magic wand” questions elicited some fantastically detailed responses from our youth. Their…