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Youth Lead with the Common Read

Posted by Carey McDonald // January 5th 2012 // Issues and Trends, Stories and Voices, youth // no comments

There is a great opportunity for youth leadership with Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith, this year’s Common Read book. In this autobiography, Mr. Patel discusses his faith journey starting as a young Ismaili Muslim in the suburbs of Chicago through his experiences with the Catholic Worker movement to the founding of the Interfaith Youth Core. The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, as part of its Youth Ministry Project Grant Program, is offering up to 20 free copies of the book for congregations that are using it for youth-led multigenerational projects.

Acts of Faith:The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation emphasizes the importance of investing in youth who are searching for meaning in their lives and new ways of remaking the world. Mr. Patel points out that the most extreme, right wing theological groups in the world target these emerging adults for recruitment, while institutions on the other end of the spectrum that push for more a more just and compassionate world often neglect the demographic. Says Patel, in reference to religiously-motivated terrorists and assassins, “If we had invested in our youth programs, could we have gotten to those young people first?”

Patel’s book is a call for greater investment in meaningful youth ministry and engagement. His organization, the IFYC, puts this into practice and has a huge Unitarian Universalist presence (read more about the UUA’s work with the IFYC here).

The priority deadline for applying for Youth Ministry Project Grants, including the Common Read grant,  is January 9 (to fund events scheduled February-June). The application is available here on the UUA website.

If you have any questions about the grant program, don’t hesistate to give us a call at 617.948.4350.




About the Author

Carey is the Chief Operating Officer for the UUA.
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