Good News in Pacific Western Region Youth Ministry
Good news about Youth Ministry in the Pacific Western Region (PWR) is here! And there is so much to talk about that I simply don’t know where to begin. Many district programs like Goldmine Leadership School, Spirit Quuest, and Quuest Camp are now offered regionally so that more youth can take advantage of these incredible programs. Hooray, that is something to celebrate!
In Mountain Desert District and in Pacific Northwest District we have created Multicultural Support Teams who are charged with creating programming at youth events to support intercultural sensitivity and awareness and to also promote caucusing opportunities for our Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth of color. This is a small step toward making our youth communities more inclusive, but a necessary one nonetheless.
There is a new scholarship process for youth events in PWR. This process engages youth, their families, the congregation, and beyond (district and regional resources) to ensure that all four support systems play a role in an individual’s participation. The scholarship acknowledges that when youth are transformed by these spectacular, faith forming offerings, they return bringing new skills and abilities which contribute not only to the youth, but to their family, congregation and wider community as well.
Multicultural Leadership School is now called "Thrive!" See the Video about this amazing leadership opportunity that will be coming to the Pacific Western Region July 9-13, at First Unitarian Denver. This immersion experience is for our youth of color and has been lauded as truly transformative.
And we are proud to announce that PWR will be hosting a Youth Ministry Summit called “Engaging Spiritual Practice” September 23-25th at First Unitarian Portland. The youth and adult attendees will look at various ways to practice our faith via many methods, tapping into our historical roots and embodying youth ministry best practice models. Rev. Tandi Rogers is our keynote speaker and we have an amazing cadre of support staff including worship genius, Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, musician, Matt Myers, leadership guru and Director of Faith Formation, Jessica Laike, among many others! Teams of adults and youth are encouraged to attend from UU congregations both within PWR and across the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Registration will open in early 2016! Be there or be au contraire!
Save the dates and thanks for tuning in! If you have youth ministry ideas or interest, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Eric Bliss, Youth Ministry Specialist
ebliss [at] uua [dot] org