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Got a UU Social Life?

Posted by Carey McDonald // September 20th 2012 // Guides and Tools, young adults // 3 comments

Fellowship is a critical step in building the meaningful spiritual communities for which our young adults are searching. It’s that open time for getting to know one another, joking around, and relaxing, away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are a few popular, tried-and-tested easy ideas from young adults around the country:

  • Sunday Brunch – A favorite of young adult groups, Sunday Brunch usually follows the Sunday morning worship service. It’s easy to gather people together afterwards, and find a cheap place nearby to grab a bite and chat about the week.
  • Monthly Theme Supper – This idea riffs on the simple group meal by asking someone (hopefully not the cook!) to bring a few discussion questions or a video clip to spur conversation on a timely topic, or an area of expertise they would like to share.
  • Movie Night – Go out or stay in, but find an interesting or provocative movie to watch as a group. Who wouldn’t want to debate the plot twists and turns afterwards?
  • Group Outing – Seasonal activities (pumpkin carving? spring gardening?) are good and inexpensive options, and it helps us make time for these annual rituals.
  • Cultural Trip – Visit an art gallery opening, try a new ethnic restaurant, or see a visiting speaker at a nearby college. Always more fun to have a new experience with a group.

Two questions to keep in mind while you’re planning social activities:

1) Who can participate? Since the point is to build spiritual community, Consider the financial and resources of the members in your group, as well as their physical and transportation accessibility. If you want families to participate, are children welcome? What about partners who aren’t in the group? And a reminder that activities which include alcohol may or may not be cool with all your group members.

2) How do we keep it grounded? Keeping your young adult group a part of a religious community, rather than just a social group, is key to its long term success. People can find friends in many places, but they have far fewer where they can connect on a meaningful spiritual level. Also, being clear about the purpose of your group helps you seem open to new members who would tend to avoid a group that felt like a social clique. Chalice lightings, anyone?

So use your imagination! Get creative! Mix it up!




And, for God’s sake, have fun!

About the Author

Carey is the Chief Operating Officer for the UUA.
3 Responses to “Got a UU Social Life?”
  1. Bill Baar says:

    When I was a teen in a Congregational Church, we’d go out as a group and see a movie and then come back to Church to discuss. I have some great memories of those discussions.

  2. Rachel Stevenson says:

    The Young Adult Group at Towson UU Church in Towson Maryland, Is making sure that the group has social aspects as well as oppurtunities for spiritual community with ourselves as young adults and with the larger community. we encourage members to join Chalice circles, for members to help create worship and then to have a young Adult small group ministry ourselves.

    In addition we go out and do lunches and other actities outside of church as a group too.


  3. ALCoate says:

    The young adult group at first parish in Cambridge meets weekly; the topics rotate weekly on a month-long cycle. Following each meeting most people head out for food and drinks somewhere nearby.

    We also go out to lunch most Sundays after church. We grab food in Harvard Square and meet up at a local park and eat together in warmer months. We also go apple picking, have an annual BBQ at a state park, and people regularly decide on smaller outings – hikes, plays, etc.

    Recently someone tried to start up a uu COA-for-Young Adults class but there wasn’t enough interest.

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