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Build and Sustain Young Adult Ministry

Here are a few ways your congregation or young adult group can increase the impact, breadth and depth of your young adult ministry and make sure it is sustainable. Or, if you are a young adult yourself, explore and express your Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith with the following resources.

  • Five Fixes for Young Adult Groups (PDF)
    Check out these suggestions for keeping your young adult ministry strong.
     
  • Blue Boat: Blog for Youth and Young Adult Ministries
    Follow opportunities, stories and new resources for young adults.
     
  • Illuminations
    The first Unitarian Universalist app for iPhone and Android phones includes the Seven Principles, inspirational words, and a chalice that you can blow out!
     
  • Young Adult Ministry For Congregations
    Information and suggestions for congregations to support and affirm their young adults.

Connecting and Networking

  • Facebook - Young Adult Ministry Learning Groups
    Connect to congregations with similar young adult ministry opportunities and challenges as yours.  Get involved with an online learning community by taking our Young Adult Ministry Self-Assessment for Congregations - you will be prompted to access one of our three learning groups on Facebook when you receive your results.
     
  • Facebook—The Hub: Young Adult UUs
    Where young adult UUs share, seek and connect. You can access The Hub Map and The Hub Calendar through The Hub Facebook page or through Stay in the Know.
     
  • The Hub Map
    Add your young adult group and find other groups nearby.
     
  • Support for Young Adults of Color
    The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) offers pastoral and program support for youth and young adults of color across the country through Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings.

Program Support

  • Small Group Ministry
    The small group ministry model of listening and sharing on important issues is a great format for young adult groups. Sometimes known as covenant groups or chalice circles, small group ministry offers structured discussions of religious and theological questions.
     
  • Classes and Curricula
    Offering a rich and structured approach to faith development, young adult religious education curricula can be adapted, shortened or modified to fit your needs.
     
  • Fundraising
     
    • Young Adult Ministry Project Grants
      The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries offers a number of grants for districts, local congregations, and groups. We are always seeking to fund innovative, accountable, and sustainable young adult programs around the continent.
       
    • Young Adult Service Trip Fundraising Manual (PDF)
      Money does not have to be an obstacle to expressing your faith through service. This handy manual will guide you step-by-step through how to gather funds to make the service trip of your dreams a reality. While this manual focuses on funding service trips, it can also be used to fundraise for other service and social justice projects.

Further Reading

  • Congregations and Beyond
    Noting the growing numbers of people who are “spiritual but not religious” or who identify as Unitarian Universalist but do not participate in a congregation, UUA President Peter Morales launched the Congregations and Beyond initiative to help UU congregations and groups develop capacities and position themselves to respond to the changing nature of religion in contemporary society by shifting and broadening the way in which we view our faith and our ministries.
     
  • Faith Formation 2020
    A well-respected group that helps Christian churches and their leaders imagine new directions for faith formation and design 21st century innovations for their programs and ministries.
     
  • Pew Forum US Religious Landscape Survey
    This report offers the authoritative data on trends in American religious life and participation.

Books

  • Lavanhar, Marlin. Soulful Sundown: Re-Imagining Unitarian Universalist Worship for Young Adults. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2005.
     
  • Merritt, Carol Howard. Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation: Herndon: The Alban Institute, 2007.
     
  • DiSciullo, Donna and Tino, Michael. Backpacker’s Notebook: Exploring Unitarian Universalist Faith and Community. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2004.
     
  • Title, Matthew and Gail, Ed. Bless All Who Serve: Sources of Hope, Courage and Faith for Military Personnel and Their Families. Skinner House Books, 2010.
     
  • Jones, Paula Cole, Ed. Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity and Identity. Skinner House Books, 2011.
     
  • Meacham, Denis. The Addiction Ministry Handbook: A Guide for Faith Communities. Skinner House Books, 2004.
     
  • Forsyth-Vail, Gail and York, Jessica. Bridging: A Handbook for Congregations. Unitarian Universalist Association, 2012.
     
  • Beldon, Ken. Wrestling with Adulthood: Unitarian Universalist Men Talk About Growing Up. Skinner House Books, 2008.
     
  • Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. Beacon Press, 2007.

For more information contact youngadults @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

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