Meaning Makers 2020

young adults walk an outdoor labyrinth in golden light of early morning

Meaning Makers participants walk one of the labyrinths together at the first opening retreat

Register Now

Register now - the program starts on MONDAY, AUGUST 3rd!

What Is Meaning Makers?
Meaning Makers is a faith engagement program that takes seriously the particular moment that 18–24 year olds, Unitarian Universalism, and our wider world finds itself in. Usually book-ended by in-person retreats, our program this year shifts to remote engagement. Through small group connections, creative projects, collaborative decision-making, and spiritual practices & skill-building, we hope participants and leaders feel more secure in our faith, connected to spiritual community, and resourced to act for justice in their lives.
What Does Meaning Makers Look Like?
The program starts on Monday, August 3rd with an intensive virtual "retreat" with activities daily until Saturday, August 15th. After the "retreat", you'll meet virtually 1-2 times a month until summer 2021.
What Are The Focus Areas?
Activities at Meaning Makers are varied: individual reflection, small group discussions, large group democratic practices, short skill shares, relaxed hangs, and creative & collaborative projects. But all these activities aim towards (what we think are) three key parts of what it means to be a young person in our faith.
Spiritual Disciplines
We explore and recognize the many practices—as individuals and communities—that we engage in to deepen our lives as spiritual and religious people. These include: practices of self and community care, a very broad definition of "spiritual practices", and our worshipful and worshipping lives.
Roles in Faith Movement
We each have a role to play in our faith, but figuring that out takes experimentation, practice, and reflection. That starts with the community we build together: we aim to be curious, compassionate, and collectively responsible for the community we create.
Liberatory Practices
As we work for a more just world, we practice different ways of being that put us in touch with the world we dream of. This impacts how decisions are made collectively, how we interact in groups, and what we focus on.
Who Is Meaning Makers For?
This program is designed for emerging UU adults, ages 18-24. This population is less likely than other age groups to be served by local UU communities. We know that bridging out of youth community and finding ways to deepen one’s Unitarian Universalist faith as a young adult can be a challenge. That’s why this opportunity is designed for UU identified young people with at least two years of experience in UU community.
"Being a part of meaning makers opened up a space for me that I didn't believe existed. After bridging out of youth group I was lost ... Meaning makers gave me great resources. It's given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be UU and has helped me realize different ways I can be a part of my faith." 
—participant, 2016-17 program
"It allowed me to really be myself, and I was appreciated for being me. I discovered that my soul needs different modes of worship than what I had previously thought. This program was enriching in many ways, and I can't wait to go back." 
—participant, 2017-18 program

Sign Up for Meaning Makers

The two-part registration process includes an online form — and a reference. Registration is open, and closes on Thursday, July 29th.


We ask that you connect us to someone who is a leader (broadly defined) in your Unitarian Universalist communities, who can speak to you as a community member in our faith. We'll reach out to them for a brief conversation.


The cost to participants for this year's Meaning Makers retreat and program is on a self-determined sliding scale, with a recommended donation of $50. We intend to keep this program as affordable as possible for all participants.

a young white woman is concentrated on writing on a piece of paper in the foreground and behind her a young black woman is doing the same thing

Two participants staying focused at the opening retreat

a fire is surrounded by chairs under a starry night sky

The retreats for the program take place at UBarU Camp and Retreat Center in Texas Hill Country.