April 30, 2012
Reposting this article from the Giving Speaks blog by guest-contributor The Reverend Sue Sinnamon, Director of Faith Development, Southeast District, UUA on a simple way to encourage vibrant multi-generation Unitarian Universalist congregations. - Ed. (Read the article on Giving Speaks) or read it here: "These young people were full and recognized members of this congregation. They knew they had a voice and a responsibility. They had to show up, pledge, volunteer, and continue their faith development. They attended worship services. They would and will go on to be leaders in the congregations in the communities of their future. This congregation opened itself to the youth as full members and in a profound way the youth taught the congregation what it meant to be a member." – Excerpted from Reverend Sinnamon's post.
Engaging Younger Generations in Your Congregation–Who Gets To Vote?When I served congregations as an Minister of Religious Education I had regular discussions with Middle School Youth Coming of Age participants about the requirements for membership in Unitarian Universalist Congregations. I always sent pledge materials to our High School students too. These were just two ways I could begin the conversation about what is required of individuals when they join a congregation. I have to admit I had a motive. I worked with the High School youth group. There was nothing to compel them to be there each week. I wanted them to decide that part of being a congregation member meant that you showed up. I wanted them to decide they had a responsibility to the rest of their community. We always had lively discussions. One particular group decided that to be a member
- You showed up every Sunday.
- You brought your children to Sunday School every Sunday.
- You pledged 3 – 5% of your gross income.
- You contributed to the community by volunteering, inside and outside the walls of the congregation.
- Adults attended worship each Sunday as their Religious Education.