As UUs, we begin with the assumption that religion for each of us begins with our own individual experience. One way to describe this feeling is as a sense of wonder, that we are deeply connected to each other and all things.
The Young Religious UU (YRUU) program helps our 10th-12th grade High Schoolers deepen their connection with each other and the congregation.
Many of them have just come off an intense year in the Coming of Age program, which culminated with them writing and presenting their Credo to the congregation. YRUU deepens this journey of faith for them.
YRUU is not just another Sunday School class with teachers and a curriculum. Instead, YRUU is about the students themselves engaging with their passions, collaborating with peers, maintaining a playful attitude, all while making a positive difference in the world around them.
Instead of teachers, YRUU has four advisors. Their role is to be the catalysts, sparking ideas, helping our young people navigate the learning process and providing new strategies to avoid frustration. We want to blur the boundaries so teachers become learners and learners become teachers.
This year about a dozen students from all high school grades are creating a new YRUU adventure. The group is about evenly divided between girls and boys, representing most of the public and private high schools in the area. They meet most Sundays during the second service.
In their first two meetings, they created their covenant and identified specific areas they plan to devote time to over this RE year:
- First Sundays: Connection. What’s up in your life now?
- Second Sundays: Inspiration. Using our awesome Maker Space to challenge and inspire each other.
- Third Sundays: Social Justice. Making a difference in their own lives and in the wider world.
- Fourth Sundays: Kitchen Meetup. A place to cook, collaborate, commune, and consume.
During the year, they will also be attending Youth Conferences at The Mountain, creating and leading a service in the Sanctuary, and producing a Bridging Ceremony for graduating seniors in the Spring.
The whole year represents our new approach in Youth Ministry, giving ways for YRUUs to make decisions, form faith identity, lead, teach, and learn.
Gordon Clark, YRUU Advisor