Remember June? Things felt so hopeful. Vaccines were happening; businesses were opening; so many things seemed perched on the brink ofpossible. It was in those hopeful days that three of us started talking about offering a national two-part webinar series on emergent youth ministry. How we might collectively shape the next generation of youth ministry, post pandemic? How might we rethink youth ministry through the lens of all we’ve learned in the last 18 months?
To paraphrase an old Yiddish proverb, We planned; Covid 19 laughed.
Friends, we are not post-pandemic; we are still very much in the middle of it. This is not the time to shape new models of youth ministry or glean wisdom from the lessons we aren’t done living through yet.
We are hearing from many religious professionals and lay partners in youth ministry that this is a time forconnection - andreconnection. We have been apart too long. It’s time for using trauma-informed ministry to acknowledge the grief we are all experiencing - for lost friends or family members; for lost time; for lost experiences that cannot be recaptured. This is time for somatic care - for grounding our minds, emotions, and spirits in the bodies we care for. inhale, exhale, repeat. It’s time to drink water, get through another pandemic-impacted fall, and simplify. We heard you.
Youth Ministry is about a lot of things, and sometimes that involves modeling healthy practices for the people we are serving - even when that wasn’t our plan. So we are following the same advice we’ve been sharing with congregations. We are using our trauma-informed lens to postpone our webinar series. It’s not time for rethinking and reshaping new models - not yet.
For now we will share with you a few resources we think will be helpful in this moment.
We invite you to consider the Youth Ministry Toolbox Webinar.
Watch Rev. Sunshine Wolfe’s brief video on recognizinglow level trauma responses in ministry.
Reach out to your colleagues in Youth Ministry. Connect with your youth - safely - and remind them we will get through this, and they are beloved. Check in with your regional staff for more ideas, support, and connection.
Wewill invite you to dream with us about the next shape of Unitarian Universalist Youth Ministry.
Just not today.
Stay tuned. And take care of yourselves.
This webinar is 2 sessions, you must attend both sessions.
- October 6, 2021 7-9 pm ET/4-6 pm PT
- October 16, 2021, 1-3 pm ET/10a-12p PT
This is a team-learning centered program to start, restart, or reboot your congregation’s youth ministry. Each congregation’s youth ministry is unique and youth around the country have similar needs including: trauma informed formal and informal pastoral care, age specific and all ages community building, and opportunities for spiritual growth and justice making. This two part event will provide UUA staff expertise, opportunities to share ideas with other congregations, and time to work as a congregational team.
We encourage congregations to send teams, but also accept registrations for individuals. Individuals will get to work with other individuals during time set aside for teams. Teams should set up a separate zoom number available during the training for team breakout sessions. (We do not encourage teams to get together in person to attend. Setting up a congregational specific zoom space will allow you to get together for congregational group time).
Youth are welcome to attend. Youth need to register on our “youth drop in” form to complete a permission form for all online drop in events. Visit the UUA Youth Page for this form.
Costs: $20 per individual, $100 per team. Register once and share the link with others in your congregation. Congregations are responsible for ensuring their youth are registered with the youth drop in form.
Part of the Youth Ministry Series, find other offerings on the Youth Ministry Series page.