UUA Video: A Passionate Commitment to Young Adults

Watch video #6 in the UUA’s “A Religion for Our Time” series.  Read more about the series.

Episode Six, A Passionate Commitment to Young Adults, describes how the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, California, transformed itself from a graying congregation into a multigenerational one. How is the congregation’s commitment to young adult and campus ministry programming grounded? Through a staff person focused on eighteen- to thirty-five-year-olds!

Watch Episode Six (MP4) Right-click to save the file.

While we’re on the topic of Young Adults, make sure you check out the Generation Yes: News & Spirituality for Unitarian Universalists Under 40 blog by Jennifer, my districts young adult ministry consultant.

4 thoughts on “UUA Video: A Passionate Commitment to Young Adults

  1. The UUA will need to do a lot more than encourage congregations to hire a single staff person to handle Young Adult Ministry.
    They need to encourage spiritually challenging, social-change focused worship that counters our religions elder drift towards humanism.
    I’ve been privy to the MBD’s recent reports on Young Adult ministry and they are promising. I hope, for the sake of our religion and from my heart of hearts, that they embrace the recommendation given to them.
    Yet, this cannot be solved solely at the congregational level, districts and the UUA need to work to create representative, national coalitions of young adults to further promote our ministry. Sadly, and with the most regret, I MUST point out that after two months the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office has not filled the Campus Ministry position and President Morales has made no comment about promoting Campus Ministry.
    If the UUA wishes to grow, and if UU congregations want to grow, you MUST accept those of us who are UU Young Adults. Why? Because this is OUR religion. We were raised in it, we are developing it and we are not escaping other religions. UU congregations MUST embrace their local campus young adult and allow them to participate fully in congregational life.

    1. Bart, thanks for your comment. You’re right. There is much to be done at every level ASAP. I must admit that after following the Youth and Young Adult Ministry studies, task force work and UUA structural changes for the past few years I’ve lost sight of where things are now.

      Personally, I’d like to see a congregationally based grassroots young adult revolution. Though it might be disappointing that our association collectively isn’t responding as many young adults would like, this may be because the leadership, energy and vision for change needs to come from the young adult community itself.

      What’s your experience been like in terms of participating fully in congregational life? Do you have advice for congregations, districts and the UUA? Love to hear more from you.

      If you’re in MBD I hope to see you around. I’m moving to Boston this summer.

      1. I’m part of a pretty big and active young adult group at our congregation. Our 20s/30s group at UUCAtlanta has 378 people on our email list. Average big events get 50ish folk, and at one point we had 4 different covenant groups inside the group. I have no clue what the stats are for young adult groups nationwide, but I’d imagine we’re one of the larger ones.

        But honestly? We don’t do anything outside our church with the greater denomination. I don’t even know if the folks at the UUA even know our pretty darn large group exists. (Now, I am going to GA this year, first time a YA from our congregation has gone in ages, so we might get closer to a wider YA movement as a result through my participation in the YA causus. But we’ll see.)

        It took some concentrated effort for our group to get integrated into congregational life a few years ago, but we are now. Folks from our group have sat on pretty much every committee you can think of at a typical church (Stewardship, Search, Board, Nominating) but it certainly wasn’t always like that.

        I don’t see any real sort of national coordinated effort working. But I can’t pinpoint why. It could be congregations know their local areas better and where to target young adults. It could be that each congregation has its own flare, and a nationwide campaign for young adults could lead to YAs being disappointed in their local UU congregation if it doesn’t match up with whats being put out there nationally. It would be good for there to be some kind of resource center for emerging young adult groups, I suppose, but I don’t even know what those resources should be.

        Well, if you’re going to be at GA, we can talk more about it there at some point (if you’re free!)

      2. Thanks for writing. Glad to hear you have a great group! I wish we could get together at GA. Unfortunately I can’t attend this year — I’ll be packing in prep for moving to Boston. Keep in touch. I’d love to hear more about your congregation, experience and ideas.

        I do think we need national coordination — at least a clearing house for resources and regional / national leadership conferences — in addition to young adults being leaders of our association’s primary work and ministry.

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