for Youth (7th-12th Grade)
The goal of First Unitarian Church’s youth program is to involve all youth in the total life of the church. The balanced program includes five major components of a strong youth program: discovery, worship, social action, and ministry, and leadership. All are incorporated into fellowship with the church; an understanding of the roles and responsibilities that comes with participating in a healthy community.
Youth programs are offered as ministry to an age of change and discovery. Supportive communities and dedicated time with a caring adult can make all the difference in adolescent lives. Adults who volunteer to be advisers provide healthy guidance in decision-making and constructive peer group interactions can help youth negotiate some of the choices and challenges during this stage of development.
It is important that youth feel at home here, and that they are in a safe place where they can think through their own values and beliefs in the context of supportive relationships. It is a place to kids their own age about matters of significance without fear of rejection. And a place to build character and develop moral truths to survive in today’s world.
COMING OF AGE
7th and 9th graders
Coming of Age is the Unitarian Universalist equivalent of a bar or bat mitzvah, quinceañera, or vision quest. In offering Coming of Age, our congregation seeks to honor the passage of young people into greater maturity, responsibility, and spiritual commitment. In a safe and supportive environment, youth will better define their own beliefs and values, better understand Unitarian Universalism, and explore how those weave together. Through music, classic television shows and movies, real-life scenarios, social justice projects, and discussion among peers, Coming of Age will help youth continue to develop and trust their own moral compass.
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)
YRUU is our Youth Group for high school freshmen through seniors. In YRUU, youth are encouraged to be leaders. They take turns leading on Sundays, and through an elected council that meets monthly, they have a direct role in choosing discussion topics and planning special events. Adult advisers are guides along the way who maintain a supportive space where youth can share and be heard. The Youth Group offers opportunities to explore what we mean by fellowship, social justice and worship as Unitarian Universalists. The Youth Service (April 13, 2014) is an annual spring tradition in which youth writes and designs the service, performs the music, and gives readings, along with personal homilies. With many of our youth having grown up at First Unitarian, it is a wonderful celebration of their individual and collective "responsible search for truth and meaning."