Adolescent Brain Development and Faith Formation

Posted by jennicadavishockett // February 24th 2016 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // one comment

Mind = Blown Editorial Comment: Impacting the mental health and development of our teenagers is an incredibly complex topic and this article by no means covers all bases. This article does not address mental health disorders and focuses on the development of a neurotypical adolescent. The author is eager to partner with others in learning more about this complex topic. –ed. All you adults in youth ministry out there: ever wonder if your guidance is actually “sinking in” to your teens’ brains? Well, it literally is. New studies in adolescent brain development reveal the incredible plasticity of the teenage brain and persuasively point out that adolescence is a critical “use it or lose it” time…

Multicultural Support Team Moves Toward Justice

Posted by jennicadavishockett // February 12th 2016 // 30 Days of Love, Issues and Trends // no comments

In honor of the Standing on the Side of Love 30 Days of Love 2016 campaign, Steven Ballesteros speaks up about the important work of supporting Youth of Color.  As a Unitarian Universalist young adult of color I have at times lacked a sense of belonging and of being in right relationship in this faith. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Luckily, there are places in which I can feel safe and ways in which I can apply myself. I currently live near Seattle, Washington, which places me in the Pacific North West District of the Unitarian Universalist Association. There I have helped create and serve on the PNWD Multicultural Support Team for…

Love set Ablaze

Posted by jennicadavishockett // February 12th 2016 // 30 Days of Love, Issues and Trends // no comments

  In honor of the Standing on the Side of Love 30 Days of Love 2016 campaign, Phebe Hawes speaks up about being a light of love in a time of hate. In order to love alike, we need not think alike ~Francis David. This quote got me thinking. I come from a suburban, mostly white, community. For the most part, we look alike. But we certainly do not think alike. And there’s not a whole lot of love either. So I turn to social media. Like many millennials, I spend most of my time online. I, however, spend a majority of that time defending my beliefs to people who don’t agree. I get the feeling…

Beginning Conversations about Race with Youth

Posted by jennicadavishockett // February 2nd 2016 // Guides and Tools, Stories and Voices // no comments

Sheila Schuh, Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY recently told us about an innovative idea to bring people together across congregations to start a dialogue about racial justice. The youth in your congregation could be a catalyst for a multigenerational conversation to explore their and their neighbors’ identities and experiences with racism.  Here’s what Sheila has to say about this youth group experience: On a Sunday in November, First Unitarian Church of Rochester hosted youth groups from ten area churches in a viewing of I’m Not Racist… Am I? If you haven’t seen it yet, the film is a feature documentary engaging 12 teenagers from New York City to come together for one…

Fiercely UU: Universalism and the Disinherited

Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen // January 28th 2016 // Featured Young Adults, Future of Faith, Mosaic, Stories and Voices // one comment

Fiercely UU is a new blog series where Unitarian Universalist young adults tell stories about what our faith requires of us and how they follow that call.  To be fiercely UU is to proclaim human worth and interdependence. In an individualist, greed-based, shame and fear fueled white supremacist patriarchy, we say no to isolation and oppression and yes to radical love and covenanted connection. – Ed. Read more stories of Fiercely Unitarian Universalist Faith here. The Disinherited  by Joseph Boyd Will is a friend of mine. We met at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in a two acre garden space, a little Eden in the midst of bars, blood, and stinky socks. Will sat in a corner and…

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 1!

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 19th 2016 // Events and Opportunities // no comments

THRIVE HERE Save the dates!  Thrive Youth West is July 9-13, 2016 at First Unitarian Society of Denver and Thrive Youth East is July 27-31, 2016 at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland! “Being able to bond with other people of color within the UU faith was honestly something that brought joy and hope to my heart, and makes me feel much more connected in my faith.” — Rhea, alum ’15 “I am grateful for you and the UUA for giving him the space to openly discuss and gain insight with other UUs of color. I think this experience has changed his perspective on whether he fits in this faith.  He is now ‘one of many’ instead of being…

Star Wars, Crisis of Young White Masculinity, and UU

Posted by Bart Frost // January 13th 2016 // Future of Faith, Issues and Trends // 2 comments

!SPOILER ALERT! The following post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it’s a month after the movie was released in theaters so it’s not our fault if you haven’t seen it. -Ed. Friends, we are currently suffering a crisis of identity for young white men in America. This crisis of identity is not new, but it has reached a boiling point. For the past 50 years, we have been moving towards a more progressive society and this has led to greater awareness of white privilege, male privilege, and the convergence of the two. As society takes greater strides to bring gender and racial equity, we’ve seen a pushback by white men. I…

Kick-Off a Great 2016 With the Best of Blue Boat 2015!

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 2nd 2016 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools // no comments

ALL MY BEST TO YOU AND YOURS In case you missed some – or all – of our recent social media blast campaign #BBTOP10of15 of the 10 most read stories of 2105 on The Blue Boat, we’ve compiled the list here: 10. Adulthood – Spiritually Guided Less than a year ago when we announced that Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood, edited by Kayla Parker, was available for free thanks to generous donors, we were out-of-stock in less than a month! But don’t worry – this meditation and reflection manual, crafted with Unitarian Universalist young adults in mind is available – has been republished, and can be purchased at the UUA Bookstore. 9. Hanging…

Coming to Terms with My Transracial Adoption

Posted by Elizabeth Nguyen // November 20th 2015 // Mosaic, Stories and Voices // no comments

Finding My Roots By Ellie Brown “Is she really your sister?” “Oh, she’s real alright.” I didn’t realize how alienated I felt by my surroundings during my childhood until I grew into my young adult years. My parents cared greatly for me, I had wonderful friends, a supportive Unitarian Universalist community, and a sea of opportunities. However, continuous microaggressions that I experienced relating to my transracial adoption were quickly internalized. People asked how much I cost, who my real parents were, and why I wasn’t wanted. These along with generally ignorant remarks about my race took a toll on me. My knowledge about my Chinese culture was limited, even though my parents provided me with…

Can Unitarian Universalists Really Believe Anything?

Posted by jennicadavishockett // November 11th 2015 // Future of Faith, Guides and Tools, Issues and Trends // 28 comments

Contrary to What You Might Have Heard, UUs Don’t Just Believe Whatever They Want Unitarian Universalists (UU) are a strange bunch. In any given gathering of UUs there may be someone whose faith is based on the teachings of Jesus, someone who has a daily meditation practice, someone who sees God in nature and someone who doesn’t see a god in anything. And yet they can all sing the same hymn and worship together. You may meet Unitarian Universalists who believe there’s a divine spark in each of us and others who believe that to be human means to have a fun mix of good and evil. And yet we come together to support one another and…