Central NJ YoUUth Group Coalition
This year, four congregations will join their youth together in a central NJ youth group.
Youth will be joined by high schoolers from Princeton, Somerville, and Washington Crossing.
Meetings will alternate between rotating on-site visits to hosting congregations, and off-site events which be planned in local public spaces – such as hiking, bowling, pizza/movie, etc.
All youth are invited to each event, regardless of the hosting congregation or off-site location.
We will be using the Remind system to communicate with participants & families about the upcoming youth group meetings, any program or schedule changes, and important Covid updates. All parents/caregivers & students should sign up for this communication system to be most up-to-date.
High school youth are invited to connect with other UU Youth nationwide in a safe, online community sponsored by the UUA.
Students are invited to build community through sharing & “swapping” songs & games, passions & hobbies, questions & ideas. In the process of community-building, youth will get inspiration and resources they can bring home to their congregation’s youth community.
Students must register to get the online login information.
Regional Youth Group Programs
Our youth are also encouraged to participate in the wider world of UUA and Central East Region events, which draw together groups from many congregations. These opportunities offer our youth a chance to explore worship, leadership, social justice, and faith development within the broader context of our denomination. Learn more about these events by clicking the buttons below.
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