4090 All-GA Youth Worship
Sponsor: Young Religious Unitarian Universalists
Prepared for UUA.org by: Meg Young and Emma Richards, Reporters; Margy Levine Young, Editor.
With Plenary Session 6 just ending, a group from Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) took the stage for the annual youth-run all-GA worship service. The focus of this year's service was unity between generations. It opened with music on the harp by Brin Taylor. When the song was over, the youth requested that everyone get up and sit next to someone of a different generation, preferably some one that they didn't know, and find out something that they had in common. This having been done, a youth read a poem she had written, and a young man lit the chalice. Then, the youth explained that in a moment, the youth were going to give ribbons to each person. As the youth were giving out the ribbons, Flo Dickerson led the assembly in singing the hymn "Building Bridges."
Next, a minister representing Unitarian Universalism's past, talked about LRY (Liberal Religious Youth), the national youth group that was the precursor to YRUU. He spoke about what it was like to grow up UU, and to be an adult UU. After the minister finished, Charlie Burke, a participant in YRUU, came up to represent the present time of UUism. He spoke about the need for connection and unity between youth and adult UUs, and UU unity with the rest of the world. He said that we'd come a long way, but we still had a long way yet to go. Finally, as representatives of the future of UUism, UU children came up and said, "We have hope for the future of YRUU!"
Lizzie Schiffman introduced to the assembly a hymn that her own youth group of Hinsdale, Illinois, had written. This hymn is available at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale's website. The verses of the hymn were sung by Meg Young, Lizzie Schiffman, Emma Richards, and Rachel Cermak, and the chorus was sung by the entire assembly. After the hymn, Emma Richards went to the podium and asked each person to turn to the individual that they had earlier found something in common with and to tie their own ribbon onto the wrist of the other person, symbolizing the bridging of the gaps of race, age, sexual orientation, creed, ability, and economic background. A youth read closing words she had written and the chalice was extinguished, ending the youth ceremony.