Goldmine Youth Leadership School

By Evin Carvill Ziemer


It's that time of year again! Time to sign up for Goldmine. What's Goldmine? It's a week long life changing experience for teenage UU's. It's a chance to practice leadership skills, to explore one's values, to ponder on one's own calling. It's a chance to learn to lead worship and to learn more about our past. And definitely a chance to form deep bonds.

Each year something evolves. This year's evolution is experimenting with how to bring the curriculum into the 21st century. Not with technology--we're already doing that. But by raising new questions.

Our world is changing rapidly. The form religious community takes is changing rapidly. And the whole of Unitarian Universalism is asking big questions about this. What we're adding this year is arranging the curriculum to invite youth into these conversations--so they're ready to be leaders in our changing religious community. Here are some of the questions we're thinking about exploring together:

What does it mean to be UU? Are there any requirements? Do we have a core theology? Can you be UU by yourself? Do you have to be part of a formal congregation? Or can UU's gather in other ways and be just as UU? Does your group have to call itself UU to be UU? And if we didn't call ourselves UU, how would you know we are UU?

What is the purpose or calling of UUism today? Do we provide sanctuary for liberals from a conservative world? Are we a springboard to action in the public sphere? Is our purpose to change the world together? Or to nurture each other?

How do we change the world? Nearly all UU's think this is part of our job, but the how is very very different and can lead to a lot of conflicts. Is our job public activism? Political involvement? Marching? Getting arrested? Feeding the homeless? Loving our neighbor? Nurturing each other so each one of us changes the world in our own way?

What does it mean to be a leader and what kind of leaders does UUism need? Is leadership just the person up front? And if it's not, what are the ways we need leaders that aren't so obvious?

If you're an adult and those sound like good questions, maybe you should be talking about them too!

Evin Carvill-Ziemer

About the Author

Evin Carvill Ziemer

Evin serves the Central East Region in the areas of Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Intercultural Competency work and as Primary Contact for congregations in upstate and central New York. Evin holds a Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion and Bachelor of Arts from Carleton...

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