Our youth in grades seven through twelve will meet together in different configurations throughout the year. The following opportunities will be together as a large group.
Justice Learning and Faith in Action
This year we are beginning to explore the power we can have as we meet together with youth groups from other UU congregations in the area. In coordination with our SWUU Youth Group we will learn about areas of social justice concerns during Sunday morning RE sessions then go out into the community with other UU youth groups to put our faith into action.
This is a new cooperation and is in development so it may change and shift throughout the year as we see what works. We hope to have two or three learning and service or advocacy opportunities this year.
Preliminary Topic Areas: Poverty and Homelessness, Water Quality, Worship Creation.
Thematic Learning: SouthWest UU chooses a worship theme for each month. Once per month the youth will spend some time exploring the theme for that month.
The themes that we will be coordinating in RE this year are:
September — Covenant
October — Democracy
November — Mission/Vision
December — Compassion
January — Authority/Leadership
February — Generosity
March — Forgiveness
April — The Divine/God
May — Sabbath
Junior Youth — 7th through 9th
Building Bridges with ChUUrchCraft
We will continue this exploration that we began last year. This year we will learn and explore Hinduism and Taoism, Humanism, Aethism, Agnostisism, Christianity, Paganism, and Indigenous religions.
Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. The program is organized roughly chronologically, capturing the strong parallel between societal change and religious evolution over human history. However, this is not a history course. It is a series of workshops that attempts to lovingly and reverently examine some of the closest kept treasures of the human heart. This exploration nurtures participants’ positive outlook toward other faiths and the people who follow them. This program provides youth a unique opportunity to engage the world’s diversity of faiths in a safe, affirming atmosphere that is grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith. We will create an environment where respectful exploration and questioning are encouraged, where differences are encountered with open minds and hearts.
ChUUrchcraft uses the popular app, Minecraft, as a vehicle for processing learned information on world religions. A building with multiple rooms is created and supplied to the class. As the class learns about a world religion, part of each class is dedicated to designing a room within the building, devoted to the practice of that religion. Also, doing online research we will inform the design of the room.
Senior Youth — 10th through 12th
The following paths will be woven throughout the church year.
Be The Change! Project: A UU Training for Building Multicultural, Anti-Racist Beloved Community
We will continue this exploration that we began last year. The last two topics, Can We Live with Racism and What Can I Do to Break Down Racism will be our focus this year.
This offers our Unitarian Universalist youth a starting place for discussions about the role of race, identity and justice in living out their faith. We will engage youth participants in ways that are culturally relevant, accessible, and lead to action, regardless of participants’ past experience talking about race. The sessions integrate technology and multimedia to ensure high-quality presentations and include diverse voices.
The areas of exploration are:
Race: What’s the Difference? – We demonstrate how groups exclude people, and guide participants to name their identities as a foundation for examining race and other differences.
Why Should UUs Talk About Race? – We will document the effects of persistent racism, give voice to UUs doing anti-racism work and demonstrate how our Principles call us to resist racism.
- Race is Something We Create – We will define key terms, demonstrate ways race has been and continues to be legally, scientifically and socially created, and affirm that race is not biological fact, but is a concept made up by societies.
- Open to Differences: The Change Starts With Me – We will introduce the obstacles to cross-cultural communication, reflect on personal experiences with race, and explore the creation of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination and how they limit the beloved community.
Can We Live With Racism? – We will demonstrate how racism and privilege operate at different levels of human interaction and develop participants’ multicultural interaction skills.
What Can I Do to Break Down Racism? – We will teach tools to spread the word about ending racism, help participants identify their own strengths, and encourage participants to further action.
Meaning and Music
In five sessions the youth will:
Consider what music means to us and how it can inspire.
Share what specific styles and artists resonate for the participants.
Examines the intersection between music and justice making.
Study how music can be an expression of one’s faithful views.
Reflect on how music and song writing can make an impact through stories and storytelling which build empathy and / or lift up our interconnectedness through shared experiences.
Why does consent matter? What does our faith tell us? What are common myths about consent we need to let go? Discussions about the pervasiveness of sexual assault are more common in mainstream society. And there are multitudes of other ways consent is affirmed or brushed aside in our everyday lives. Faith leaders and justice activists say it’s time to talk about faithful consent. This is an opportunity for us to deeply examine where ideas about autonomy, safety, power, and intimacy intersect. Join us in creating a culture of consent!
Faithful Consent is a video project by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The youth and their leaders may plan an alternative worship service for the congregation.