“No vision for the future of Partnerships, the future of Unitarian Universalists around the world, and the future of a global UU community can be complete without the active participation of our youth. Youth pilgrimages and connections made with Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists around the world are life-changing experiences.”
—UUPCC Board Charge to Youth Initiative
Get involved in the excitement and fun of getting to know international U/U youth!
UUPCC’s Committee on Youth/Young Adult Initiatives has been hard at work this past year developing accessible ways for youth to connect—virtually and in-person. No vision for the future of Partnerships, the future of Unitarian Universalists around the world, and the future of a global UU community can be complete without the active participation of our youth. Youth pilgrimages and connections made with Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists around the world are life-changing experiences.
Here are some ways your youth group can participate in exciting international connections.
Congregational Youth Exchanges
We continue to support congregations that want to organize a youth trip to visit their partners in Transylvania and Hungary. These trips often have a service component, including English tutoring at summer camps for Transylvanian children. Of course they also include a pilgrimage to historic Unitarian sites.
Some churches have organized a modified version of a “Youth Con” where US and Transylvanian youth share what it is like to be a Unitarian in their culture. We have a guide for youth trip leaders at www.uupcc.org/pilgrimages/planning-pilgrimage. Several churches have also brought youth from their partners to the U.S., in exchange. We can connect you with those who have done this successfully, if you want to know more.
Virtual Youth Groups
Internet access is becoming more of a reality and provides a great way for UU youth around the world to connect in a meaningful way. UUPCC Youth Initiatives Committee has been pilot testing Virtual International Youth Groups. Our goal is to offer opportunities for our youth groups around the world to participate in theological exploration and discussion of current issues through structured conversations. We have created the program so that it can used between North American UU youth groups wishing to connect with their Partner Church youth groups outside the U.S, as well as for youth groups within a single country, to connect with one another via video conferencing. Maybe you have a connection with a church in another part of the U.S. who wants to give this a try with your church.
We are pilot testing the virtual U/U youth group meetings. The sessions follow a small group ministry model of focused and structured conversation. The few pilot sessions that have already happened have been very well received by the youth and we look forward holding our first international session by the end of the calendar year.
We have developed a facilitators’ guide and a series of discussion session outlines, linked above. We also have information on the technology needed and can help get you started. Once your youth group decides to do this, you can set up your own schedule that works for you.
Want to join in? SEnd an email TO US AT firstname.lastname@example.org OR GIVE US A CALL: 314-918-2618
UUPCC is your organization, and we are all here to help each other. We want to hear from you! Let us know if you have some great ideas to add to ours.