Spirituality and Worship

Young Adult Worship at General Assembly 2015

Nourishing the spirituality of young people is a key function of Unitarian Universalist communities. Our faith tradition holds diverse theological perspectives and supports a variety of spiritual practices. Through worship, ritual, small group ministry and other practices, Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth and young adults can find support, inspiration and transformation in our communities.


Unitarian Universalists worship in a variety of ways and so do our young people! From traditional Sunday morning worship to the classic circle worship known in youth and young adult communities, younger UUs attend and create meaningful worship experiences. Young UUs tend to find participatory and emotionally moving worship compelling, but just like UUs of other ages, we are diverse and appreciate many theologies and worship styles.

Sunday morning...

Because Unitarian Universalism comes from the Protestant Christian tradition many UU congregations hold worship services on Sunday mornings and use a traditional Protestant format with hymns, readings, prayer or meditation and a sermon. However, every UU community is different so worship styles and practices vary widely. Check out a congregation near you and experience what they have to offer!

...and beyond

Many UU congregations and communities also hold worship at times other than Sunday morning and use formats other than the traditional Protestant style. Contemporary worship, contemplative worship, and vespers are just some of the possibilities. Youth and young adults might also hold worship among their peers in youth groups (PDF) or young adult groups (PDF), in campus ministries or at conferences, camps, trainings and other gatherings. Youth can deepen their faith by attending a Summer Seminary.

Get Your Worship On

Planning a worship? Try these resources:

Small Group Ministry

Many UU communities offer small group ministry as a way to deepen connection and spirituality. Small group ministry is also a great practice for youth groups, young adult groups and campus ministries. All you need are some committed participants, a strong facilitator and a curriculum, prompt, or series of questions. Through careful listening and intentional sharing young people can explore meaningful questions and strengthen their own commitments.

Plan a Small Group Ministry

Virtual and Personal Practice

Virtual spiritual communities, such as Church of the Larger Fellowship, can enhance our lives whether we have an in-person group we also attend or are unable to participate in local UU community life. The Worship Web mobile app is a great tool to keep on hand as well.
Developing a personal spiritual practice is also a healthy part of spiritual life. UUs draw on six sources for our theology and these sources can inform our practices. Spiritual practices can take many forms, as shown in the Spirit in Practice curriculum or as practiced in the UU Wellspring program. Whether you feed your spirit by keeping a gratitude journal, meditating in silence, singing, studying a text, building an altar, creating your own new practices, or one of the thousands of other ways UUs connect to the sacred, spiritual practices nourish our lives.

SHARING THE JOURNEY: Small Group Ministry with Youth


Becoming A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood

By Kayla Parker

From Skinner House Books

A spiritual companion for young adults and all who live amid transitions and tensions. Dozens of carefully selected readings address themes that are prominent for people in their twenties and early thirties.

Buy This Book

Young Adults Building an Altar at General Assembly 2015

Young adults collaborating on building an altar during worship.

Emma Merchant lighting the chalice at General Assembly 2014

Youth lighting a chalice, the central symbol of our faith.

Multigenerational Synergy worship at General Assembly 2015

Multigenerational Synergy Worship at General Assembly

Rev. Erik Martínez Resley on spiritual community