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March Call: Bridging

Posted by Kayla Parker // February 22nd 2013 // Events and Opportunities, Guides and Tools, On Campus, youth // 5 comments

Our March call is open to anyone who is interested in having a discussion about the Bridging process and what we can all do to enhance this. The bridging process in this context refers to youth who are bridging to young adulthood. The Unitarian Universalist Association provides resources and a bridge connections program nationally, and most regions/districts also provide programming.Bridging_iStock_000001900316XSmall

Whether you are a UU youth approaching bridging, young adult, campus student, youth advisor, lay leader working with youth or young adults, religious educator, minister, campus ministry leader, college chaplain, or any other role involved in this bridging process, we welcome you on this call.

We will be meeting on Sunday, March 3rd at 8:30pm Eastern time.

Content Details:

We will learn more about recent and upcoming developments in the Bridge Connections Program and resources on Bridging from the UUA, followed by an open space for sharing thoughts on how we can all improve this program. Present from the UUA to answer questions will be: Carey McDonald, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; Shane Montoya, Young Adult Ministries Program Associate; and Kayla Parker, Campus Ministry Associate.

How to Connect:

We will be connecting both through the telephone and online through anymeeting, so that we might see one another’s faces. If you can only connect to the phone call, please still join us! Connecting to anymeeting is not required, but is great.

We will be meeting on Sunday, March 3rd at 8:30pm Eastern time. (Note time change: we have been meeting at 9pm Eastern, but will be meeting 30 minutes earlier as 10 pm has been late for some east coast folks.)

Step One: Anymeeting

Simply connect to our anymeeting gathering by copying and pasting the link below, and you’ll come to the online portal.


Step Two: Phone Conference Call

Do not use the number that anymeeting provides, we’ve got our own number so we’re going to keep using that one:

Instructions for Connecting to the Conference Call:
Call into the conference call:  1 (605) 477-3000
Enter your access code 571431#
Touch Tone Command Explanations:
Instructions – *4 key
Plays a menu of touch tone commands
Mute – *6 key
Press *6 to mute your line, press *6 again to un-mute the line

If you get dropped from the call, just call back in! You won’t be interrupting anything.


I am looking forward to having all on the call!

Your fan,


About the Author

Kayla Parker is editor of Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood. She is currently a seminarian at Yale Divinity School, and Ministerial Intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden, CT.
5 Responses to “March Call: Bridging”
  1. Randy Becker says:

    Thinking back to my own time of transition from High School to University, I don’t think I would have welcomed nor participated in a Bridging process. My home congregation (Utica, NY) had integrated me into the life of the congregation in gradual, appropriate steps across my High School years: I was welcomed as a Sunday usher, then a Sunday School teacher (I am still in contact with some of the 2nd graders I taught 50 years later), responsible for the semi-weekly changes of the street-side bulletin board (Wayside Pulpit up on Sunday, sermon title on Thursday), and finally delivered my first sermon to the whole congregation when I was 17. Along the way I was invited onto several committees of the congregation.

    When I arrived at University, the local congregation (Waltham, MA) welcomed me in and involved me as if an adult member.

    I guess what I am saying is that for someone like me, Bridging would have seemed superfluous because the local congregations were doing their part in making the transition of roles and relationships fluid, progressive, inclusive, and open. Maybe Bridging becomes necessary when and where and if local congregations are not doing their jobs of creating a truly inclusive community . . . and if that is so, I suspect the youth/young adult element is not the only element being neglected.

    So. I am glad that Bridging is available for those who feel they need the recognition and affirmation, but I dream about a time ahead (or once again) when it will be unnecessary because local congregations adequately journey with people of all ages and life-transitions to move through the many stages of life.

  2. Julie Dybdahl says:

    I’m so sorry I won’t be available for this call Sunday night, as I’m very interested in the topic. Will this call be recorded? I’m not seeing any info about how I could access the call after the fact.

    • Kayla Parker says:

      Hi Julie,

      So great to hear this conversation is of interest. In order to ensure that folks feel comfortable speaking and sharing, this call will not be recorded. We will take notes, and those will be posted here: http://www.uua.org/re/campusministry/multimedia/190936.shtml.

      This is also simply one conversation on the topic of Bridging, not The Discussion on the topic of Bridging. We’ll post the notes and then would of course love to hear thoughts from all who couldn’t be at the meeting but have ideas and reactions to what was discussed and recorded on the notes.

      We’re also happy to host more conversations on this and any other topics folks would like to discuss. Just let us know! I can be reached at ya-cm @ uua.org.

  3. Doug Jones says:

    The Evolution of Bridge Connections
    The Bridge Connections program of today is very different from how it started. It was conceived of as a referral system about 2001. Below a descriptions of the program from 2005 and a description of its predecessor, Bridging Cards from 2001. I believe with the creation of ConnectUU, it morphed into a Bridger/YA self opt in database. With the discontinuance of ConnectUU… it seems to be searching for a current definition.

    I would like to start a conversation to explore the roles of 4 stakeholders in the Bridge Connections program.
    1. The Bridger 2. The Bridger Allies from the home congregation 3. The Bridger Allies from the “new location” of the Bridger. 4. The role of the UUA Y&YA Office and District/Regional Staff.
    2001 “A Youth Advisor, RE Director, Campus Minister, or Minister can fill out the card…”
    2005 “gives graduating high school seniors a welcoming gift as they bridge…”
    2012 “All congregations receive cards to give to their senior youth…”

    —- From UUA.org Nov 2001 (via the WaybackMachine) —-
    Bridging Cards:
    Created and designed by Jesse Jaeger
    These are greeting cards designed to assist congregations introduce Young Adults moving from their community to the UU congregation in the Young Adult’s new location. A Youth Advisor, RE Director, Campus Minister, or Minister can fill out the card with their contact information and send it to the nearest UU congregation in the community into which the Young Adult has moved. When that congregation receives the card they will have the contact information for the new Young Adult in their community, plus a helpful list of ways to welcome that Young Adult.
    $8.00 – for a ten pack plus envelops – available through the Young Adult & Campus Ministry Office

    —- From UUA.org Nov 2005 (via the WaybackMachine) —-
    Bridging Cards Jesse Jaeger $10.00USD…
    Bridge Connections Program
    The Bridge Connections program, instituted in 2003, gives graduating high school seniors a welcoming gift as they bridge into a new community. Included in this gift are information about finding local young adult and campus ministry groups, a Unitarian Universalist collection of stories and meditations, and a postage-paid reply card that entitles the new young adult to a free year of UUWorld, Quest (the CLF newsletter) and, if they’re in Canada, the Canadian Unitarian.

    Help your youth stay connected to Unitarian Universalism. Look for Bridge Connections order forms in your late fall and early winter Congregational mailings or contact the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.

    • Doug Jones says:

      This got left off of the original post….
      —- From UUA.org Last updated on Thursday, October 25, 2012 —-
      The Bridge Connections Program

      Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the Bridge Connections program helps keep bridging youth connected to UU communities and campus groups when they go off to college, get their own apartment, or start a new job. Each spring, bridging youth have the opportunity to send the contact-information of their new location to the UUA’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. All congregations receive cards to give to their senior youth so they may provide their new contact information online or print out the Bridges Connection Form (PDF) and mail it in. For more information or to request postage-paid business reply cards, contact the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at youngadults @ uua.org or (617) 948-4350. In the fall, the UUA notifies local congregations and campus ministries of those recently bridged young adults moving to their area, so that they may welcome them and notify them of services and programs in that area.

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