I am a lively, intelligent young woman in her 20’s who is skilled socially: my presence will attract and support young adults into the congregation. I am inherently in touch with my generation: I know intimately our anxieties, how we express what is on our hearts and minds, how we communicate, and how we envision a future. Plus, we millennials have come of age in the time of the Internet; we have tools and skills that will structure not only the future of our movement, but of the world. In order for Unitarian Universalism to remain relevant to the national and global conversation on religion, young adults must be involved. Congregations cannot expect to persist into the future without a healthy body of young adults who are involved in the leadership and life of the congregation.
Our movement’s future will unfold in the hands of my contemporaries. Strength and clarity within young adults is imperative for the health and longevity of both individual congregations and the wider Unitarian Universalism. It will be my honor to work with my peers to create a meaningful home in congregations for young adults.
So many of our young adults are lost after they graduate out of our youth programming. As someone who has (more than) stuck around after my adolescence, I understand what is missing for many UU young adults. I myself had to find it in the chaplain’s office at my college, and working at UU camps. Like older adults, young adults thrive on fellowship, meaningful justice work, rituals, education, and acknowledgement of service to the congregation. But more so, young adults need to be fostered and supported through the difficulty of becoming an adult. Every year contains a huge life-decision, so our congregations should be there to support them. This means emphasis on justice, opportunities to be visible in the service, training and education (because the brain doesn’t finish forming until you’re 26, eight years after you’re an officially an adult!), support of addiction and abuse, marriage counseling from older long-married couples, and the support of using shared resources.
While I am also comfortable serving and preaching to all ages, I am very well positioned to offer young adults the humor, joy, depth, and meaning that they are looking for in their lives.