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Reosurces for Spirituality in Youth Ministry
CER Resources for Spirituality in Youth Ministry
High School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Nourishing the Spirit

As a faith community, spiritual practice is at the core of what we offer each other. We know that spiritual practices of all kinds help us be our best selves, ground us in difficult times, even re-wire our brains to be more compassionate and less reactive. We practice spiritual discipline communally, as in worship, and individually. Both communal worship and learning individual spiritual practices are important!

During adolescence we are helping our youth “pack their backpacks” for their young adult lives. Helping them explore a range of spiritual practices, so they have the support of these practices now and so that they can turn to these practices in the years ahead is critical faith formation work. Read UUA staff Eric Bliss’s personal reflection for more.

Three Keys to Spiritual Development (from this UUCSJ program)

  • Attention...pay attention to the present moment
  • Intention...deliberate engagement of our will
  • Repetition...makes centering activity into a life fulfilling practice

How are these embodied in your youth ministry?

Best Practices

  • Include youth in your congregation’s worship and in youth centered worship
  • Support families in engaging in spiritual practice at home both with youth and younger children
  • Consider a full range of spiritual practices from the Eight Spheres of Spiritual Growth
  • Spiritual practices include interpersonal practices to truly live covenant including active listening and reconciliation. These interpersonal practices are frequently very important to adolescents and core to our theology of covenant
  • Consider spiritual practices that are explicitly for healing including healing prayer and releasing rituals
  • Include prayer--to whom is not important--many UU youth do not get exposed to prayer
  • Ideas to include: gratitude journal, guided meditations, studying a text, and traveling altars.    

Neuroscience Resources

Some of the best new resources are coming from psychological and neurological researchers. This is information that can help change the lives of our youth.

Youth talk about spiritual practice

Justice and Resilience Resources

Justice centered spiritual practices are a key part of Unitarian Universalism. And spirituality is central to sustaining ourselves

Learn more

About the Authors

  • 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...
  • Shannon Harper has been serving the Central East Region as the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator since the Fall of 2016. Before coming to the UUA, Shannon served the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Dayton, OH for five years as their Director of Religious...

For more information contact cer@uua.org.

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