CER Youth Resources for Building Community

youth building community

Being known and loved as who we are is one of the saving experiences Unitarian Universalism offers all. This is the difference between fitting in and truly belonging. Adolescence is a time when many young people feel like they have nowhere they can truly be themselves and belong. UU youth communities have offered the life saving experience of belonging and being accepted for generations. It takes leadership and effort to build this kind of youth community and to include youth in multigenerational communities like this.

Best Practices in Youth Communities

  • Intentional community building, especially when adding new members to a group; the Five Steps of Community Building is a helpful tool for this
  • Give youth voice, especially in difficult times. Let youth be actively involved in handling conflicts, especially among youth. Youth communities often take a lot of time to resolve difficulties. Youth care very much about including all and helping all speak. And youth are actively learning how to be leaders. This requires adults who understand youth-adult partnership .
  • Use a framework of restorative practice to help adults prepare to support youth in conflict in ways that fit with our UU theology of covenant
  • It’s helpful for youth to explore issues of identity and marginalization as they build community that’s welcoming to all such as through this workshop: Building Inclusive Community (PDF)

Connecting to the Larger UU Community

Building Interfaith Community

  • The Interfaith Youth Core is an organization that helps communities build interfaith youth service work for the purpose of building interfaith youth connections
  • A Chorus of Faiths is a Tapestry of Faith program using many elements of the Interfaith Youth Core program.

Learn More

About the Authors

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...

Shannon Harper

Shannon Harper joined the Lifespan Faith Engagement Office as Co-Director in the summer of 2022. Previously, Shannon worked with the Central East Region since the Fall of 2016.

For more information contact .

Evin Carvill-Ziemer and Shannon Harper

Resources Curated by Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer (left), CER Program Manager for Youth Ministry and Shannon Harper (right), CER Youth and Young Adult Coordinator

Nurturing Children and Youth A Developmental Guidebook

By Tracey L. Hurd

This book belongs to the Tapestry of Faith Toolkit Series provided by the UUA Faith Development Office. Toolkit Books provide background knowledge, inspiration, and practical guidance to program and lead UU faith development and to help us explore and live our faith in our congregations,...

Nurturing Children and Youth

Teambuilding with Teens Activities for Leadership, Decision Making & Group Success

By Mariam G. MacGregor

Teambuilding with Teens

Soulful Sundown Reimagining Unitarian Universalist Worship for Young Adults

By Marlin Lavanhar

Soulful Sundown

Learn about youth conferences for Senior Highs in our Region

From Central East Regional Group

You’ll find a range of different kinds of youth events on our youth calendar. Some are trainings like Fundamentals of Healthy Ministry and Chaplain Training. Others are youth ministry weekends focused on specific topics such as racial justice, social action, or leadership. Some are called...

Youth Conferences