I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to attend UU Youth Midwest Leadership School (YMWLS) in Beloit, WI this past July. YMWLS gave me the chance to create lasting friendships and learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. Most importantly, I learned about how important multi-generational involvement is in Unitarian Universalism.
A significant component of being at YMWLS is creating a worship service in a group of participants from both the youth and adult leadership schools. This experience was very different for each group, depending on their ability to communicate and include both youth and adults. My experience was very positive. When any person, no matter their age, would speak, everyone would listen and truly consider the other person’s ideas. As a group, we were able to incorporate everyone’s input and make sure everyone could participate in the service in a comfortable way.
After worship, we had a “talk back”, where we received feedback from other participants about our service. Many of the comments were about how other youth and adults enjoyed seeing how we included everyone in our group. One of the adults in my group expressed that whenever someone came to her asking for worship planning advice, she would tell them to listen to everyone’s ideas, especially the youth, because they sometimes had the best ideas. Everyone has a voice and can contribute to create solutions--no matter how old or how young.
My experience highlighted the importance of listening to others and how different generations, when they come together and listen, can create amazing things. I would love to expand on this idea of multi-generational involvement at my home congregation, Eliot Unitarian Chapel, and encourage my fellow senior high youth group members to fully involve themselves in the Eliot community and regularly converse with other generations in our congregation. Together, we can create positive solutions and ways to help others in the future.
Aislynn Pasierb is a Youth Member of Eliot Chapel located in Kirkwood, MO. She enjoys the advocacy, inclusion of everyone’s ideas, and guidance that Eliot’s congregation and Youth Leaders support and encourage. When she is not involved with Eliot Chapel, Aislynn focuses on her studies at Kirkwood High School where she is a Junior. She plays clarinet in the marching band and wind ensemble. She also enjoys acting, dance, and voice--combining all of these in musical theatre productions both at school and various other companies in the St. Louis area.