Hello Good People of the UU World,
I’m Erik Mohn and I serve as the Young Adult Spirituality & Service Consultant at the Unitarian Universalist Association. I have held this position for the past ten months and I look forward to continuing my work here for another year. Some of you may be familiar with the Young Adult Spirituality & Service Program at the UUA; I’d like to use this blog entry as an opportunity to introduce the program to anyone who may not have heard about it. Indeed, I still hope that those of you who know about my work will still walk away with new insights and inspirations.
What is Young Adult Spirituality & Service?
Young Adult Spirituality & Service is an institutional initiative developed by the UUA to nurture the spiritual growth of UU young adults, as well as their commitment to service and social justice work. The foundation of the Unitarian Universalist faith movement rests on the shoulders of those who have dedicated their lives to serving others and working for what is right and just in this world. The UUA believes that it is essential to provide opportunities for UU young adults to put their faith into action and explore their relationship to the UU faith movement through service work. The UUA also understands that combining service with spirituality leads to a more fulfilling experience and great personal growth and transformation. It is my hope that through these experiences UU young adults will find a deeper awareness of the world and a better understanding of their connection to Unitarian Universalism.
What opportunities are available to young adults?
For the past ten months I have been working on developing a Young Adult Service Directory with the goal of making service/volunteer opportunities more accessible to young adults. As a young adult I understand that sometimes we become discouraged by the research process, so I have researched and identified domestic and international service opportunities of interest to UU young adults. There are currently 20 partner organizations listed in the directory but that number will increase. Another of my goals for this year is to build more direct relationships with grassroots organizations in the US and abroad. I am always seeking out new opportunities, so if any organizations or opportunities come to mind, please contact me! I have also developed a Young Adult Service Journal, to address the spirituality component of these opportunities, for young adults to use while they are engaged in their service experience. I created this journal as a framework through which young adults could more effectively process their experiences. Service work can at times be very difficult, emotional and life changing, so it is important to have an outlet through which one can express thoughts and feelings. The journal is organized in three sections - before, during, and after service - because each stage of one’s experience is equally important and deserves individual attention. This year I will make specific additions to the journal, focusing it even more toward the experience of young adult spiritual growth. If you have used it, I hope you have found it effective and enjoyable.
Where is Young Adult Spirituality & Service headed?
The two words that define my work this year are visibility and accessibility. My focus is on making service opportunities and the resources associated with them more visible and accessible to young adults. While last year was about developing resources and designing the framework for the Young Adult Spirituality & Service Program, it is time to make these opportunities known to a wider audience. Thanks for reading, serving and searching! Much love, Erik.