Youth Group (gr 9-12)
Our 9–12th grade High School youth can join our Youth Small Group Ministry, which will gather on alternating Sundays in the Old Stone Church from 12–1:30 p.m. throughout the year from September to June. There will be no set curriculum for the youth gatherings. Instead, the time together will focus on social time, fun, and relaxation with opportunities for the youth to organize social justice or other activities. In addition, several “lock-ins” or sleepovers at Dodd Hall may be scheduled throughout the year to help build community.
Only the youth who are invited by email may access and participate in the group, which is moderated by the DRE. Parents are aware of the group’s existence, but may not view the content or participate. This page will be updated by the DRE and Youth Group advisors with content for the youth audience relating to activities at FUUFHC, Metro NY and beyond, as well as interesting and relevant UU information on a broader scale.
We also encourage the Senior High youth to participate in local and regional CONs (social conventions), which give students an opportunity to get to know UU Youth from around our NY Metro District and beyond! Check out the RE-REVIEW for the latest information on the youth events in our district.
Please be sure to submit the appropriate PERMISSION FORM for your youth prior to any off-site field trips.
We use the REMIND system to send one-way text and email communications to our Youth Group participants. This helps our DRE and advisors stay in touch with families in a safe and convenient way.
Students & guardians need to OPT IN to this system each year in order to receive notices.
This highly recommended system provides the most current event & program info to participants!
Youth empowerment is both a goal and a practice that has intrinsic merit for each of us in our ethical and spiritual lives. The practice of fostering youth empowerment varies by context. In congregations, youth empowerment practice depends on the geography, culture, history, and structure of the congregation. Youth empowerment and youth leadership development reinforce one another—calling for our personal and community commitment to right relationship between youth and adults. Across diverse contexts, the principles of youth empowerment remain the same, but the details of its practice must address the particular needs of each community.
The task of youth empowerment is not to make our congregations safe for youth or to determine authority within Unitarian Universalist institutions. These are the responsibility of our shared faith community. If covenant is the backbone of our faith, youth empowerment is one vertebra among many. In order for individuals, groups, and communities to determine the structural barriers to youth empowerment and enact the practices in which youth empowerment might be fully realized, we must first define a philosophy of youth empowerment grounded in our Unitarian Universalist principles.
Youth empowerment is a covenantal practice in which youth are safe, recognized, and affirmed as full and vital participants in the life of our shared Unitarian Universalist faith community. This covenantal practice is based on the following set of guiding principles:
- Love and trust between youth and adults, between youth and youth, and between adults and adults
- Mentoring relationships among children, youth, and adults, which draw from direct experience and wisdom
- The development of youth confidence and self-identity through building community, learning to use one’s voice effectively, and realizing a more robust expression of themselves
- Encouragement for all to grow together in accountability
- Youth defining their issues and participating in the decisions that impact youth communities and the larger multigenerational communities we share
- Youth and adults having access to information through direct and honest communication expressed with grace, humility, and respect
- Trust in the competence of youth and the authenticity of their insights
- Appreciation of the prophetic wisdom and energy of youth to be agents of social change, justice, and service
- The recognition that youth ministry is an integral Unitarian Universalist ministry and part of our collective past, present, and future
WINTER 2017: Coming of Age (COA)
The Coming of Age (COA) program is done throughout the UU denomination with 14 – 16-year-olds as a way to acknowledge the transition from child to adult. COA is currently being conducted every other year and will be offered again December 2017 to May 2018.
The goals of COA programs are:
To encourage youth to explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist;
To help youth move into the adult role of identifying and acting on personal beliefs and values;
To recognize and publicly honor the movement of a youth from childhood to adolescence within the Unitarian Universalist tradition.
Through mentoring and classes, the COA program:
Encourages youth to discuss, reflect on, and clarify his or her personal religious beliefs as part of lifespan faith development;
Provides opportunities for independent thinking, assuming responsibility, decision-making and exploration of values;
Encourages youth to put faith into action in his or her own life and community;
Components of COA usually include youth being paired with a mentor to work on above stated goals, planning and implementing a service project, presenting a credo (statement of faith) as part of a Coming of Age ceremony, and can include a trip to a site of UU heritage, such as Boston to visit the UUA and other historical UU places.