A Unitarian Universalist Multigenerational Ministry Resource

Dear Friend:


Two to five minutes of your time answering this very brief survey will ensure your voice is heard by the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the UUA Board of Trustees.


It was designed specifically for Youth & Young Adults and people of color connected in some way with the Unitarian Universalist Association. The results will augment survey results received eight weeks ago from a broader group of randomly selected UUs.


Please complete this survey only once, but feel free to share it with anyone else who identifies as a youth (ages 12 to 18) or young adult (ages 19 to 35) or as a person of color by forwarding this email, posting on your Facebook page or blog, tweeting the link, or any other method you desire. We hope for enthusiastic participation.


It is completely confidential, though the aggregate results will be public. If you would like your personal copy of the final report, email Kiki Giatis at kgiatis@uua.org. She will send you the final report when it is complete in early April.


Background: a survey very similar to this one was distributed two months ago to approximately 3,000 UUs. About 1200 responded within a week. However, the respondents did not include nearly the number of youth and young adults or people of color needed to serve as valuable feedback to the UUA President and the UUA Board of Trustees. The survey is an attempt to remedy that fact.


Thank you for taking the time to make your voice heard. A response within five days would be greatly appreciated.


Click here to begin the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NationalUUsurveyFebruary2012.


Passing the Baton

How might we get serious about leadership develpment of our younger and upcoming generations?  It is not uncommon for our congregational leaders to be comprised of members of our eldest generations.  Certainly they have experience, wisdom, and in many cases, the possibility of more free time as their child rearing responsibilities have ended. 

“When the Baby Boomers retire, some fear they will leave a leadership vacuum in their wake. Boomers have not been good about passing on their leadership knowledge, and Xers have not been good about accepting Boomers as mentors, Gilburg writes.”

How can our congregations prepare for a successful handoff? 



The Big Day of Serving is coming to Nashua, NH on May 12, 2012!  As a founding member of the NH Council of Churches, the Northern New England District of the UUA supports this interfaith endeavor!  Here is an opportunity for your junior or senior youth group or Coming of Age class.    

“As of right now, working with the community development personnel and Ward 3 Alderman, day long projects have been established which would require approximately 500 plus youth to complete. This is a day of service, prayer, and reflection with fun, food and faith interwoven.  It is a day that will not only benefit a neighborhood in Nashua, but also set the stage for other similar days in the future throughout New England. It is also an opportunity for youth groups to sample the work camp experience to see if such a week long mission might be possible for them in their future schedule. ”


Please join us! 

Here is the website with all the info:

Here is the you tube video:

Stay tuned for more information!

“Com-passion:” A Theological Foundation for Intergenerational Worship.

This came to my inbox this afternoon via The Legacy Project:


As children, parents, and grandparents get together over the
holidays, and as students set new goals in the New Year, it’s the
perfect time to learn from the life stories of older adults.

Young people can learn about their family, themselves, and even
history when they interview a grandparent or grandfriend. And
they can win a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer and $25,000 of
EdOptions’ educational products when they enter the Legacy
Project’s 12th annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest.

In addition to connecting generations, the contest helps young
people develop interviewing, listening, writing, and technology
skills. Many students are surprised by what they learn, and
teachers consistently report students are inspired to do some of
their best writing.

To enter the Listen to a Life Contest, students 8-18 years
interview a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or older about
the older person’s hopes and goals through their life, how they
achieved their goals and overcame obstacles, or key life
experiences. The student then writes a 300-word essay based on
the interview.

This year’s Listen to a Life Contest runs to March 30, 2012.

For complete contest details, interview tips and sample

It all started with an idea.  We dreamed of holding a Youth Assembly at Ferry Beach, complete with a dynamic keynote speaker, quality musicians, and a myriad of workshop choices, all grounded in our Unitarian Universalist faith.  We put aside some money, found an available date at Ferry Beach, and hit the ground running. 

Getting the Word Out.  We started with the obvious.  The flyer and registration forms were sent to every DRE and Minister in our District.  They were displayed at the top of our website, and were included with every newsletter or electronic bulletin that left the District office.  Invitations were printed and packets of them were mailed to every DRE in the hopes that every youth would be personally invited.  The news spread to Facebook, and personal invitations were made at gatherings and meetings across our 3 states. 

Workshop Planning.  Several months in advance, we sent out a request for workshop proposals to all of our youth.  We asked that they propose a workshop that they would co-lead with an adult on any topic of their choosing.  We received two.  This forced us to be creative, and quickly!  It was a lot of work, but we found material in some of the Chrysalis Training materials at the UUA, and identified some volunteers to co-lead the workshops.  We also invited several others to present some content specific workshops.  Our hope is to have more workshop proposals from participants each year.

After months of planning, more logistics than one person could imagine, and a ton of excitement, the NNED Youth Assembly took place at Ferry Beach in Saco, ME, October 28-30, 2011…………….and, it SNOWED!

We certainly didn’t see the snow coming, but it did not dampen our spirits.  We kicked off the weekend with an orientation for both youth and adult sponsors, and some ice-breaker/getting to know you games.  We had nearly 50 youth from 5 states, and adults who were ministers, youth advisors, DREs, parents, District Staff, and UUA staff.  Everyone was committed to creating a fun, safe, faithful and memorable weekend!

What we learned: 

  •  Almost all of the youth who attended learned about the event directly from their DRE.
  • Many congregations offered scholarships and fundraisers to send their youth.
  • A Fall Youth Assembly provides challenges in spreading the word and raising funds at the start of the church year.
  • Participants almost unanimously agreed that the schedule for the weekend provided a good balance of scheduled activities and free time.
  • There are LOTS of great ideas for future workshops already brewing!
  • We need balance between reflection and action.
  • Having separate weekends or completely separate Assemblies for Junior and Senior youth would be ideal.

Some highlights from the weekend:

  • Witnessing the inclusive and accepting nature of our youth
  • New friendships were formed
  • Roughly 15 youth participated in one of the UUA’s latest projects, “Gathered Here”.  Their feedback will be shared with UUA leadership.
  • Fantastic youth-led worship
  • An energetic costume dance party
  • Closing community workshop led by GoldMine graduates

We learned some other wonderful lessons and received a bounty of positive and constructive feedback.  Here are just a few of the notes we received:

”  I just want to say: YOU GUYS ROCK!!!  It was one of the best experiences of my life.”  age 13

“i just want to thank everyone involved for making this weekend possible, it was awesome and I hop there are more like it.  I haven’t had good experiences at youth CONS and I’m glad this was a little different…”  age 15

“It was awesome!”  age 12

“There was a great sense of community and I felt that it was, as a whole, incredibly well planned and organized.”  age 17

“My whole congregation had a great time and that was one of the best things for me, to be able to share this experience.”  age 15


Where do we go from here?  We know what we can do, and we have concrete feedback about ways to improve.  Later this spring, a Conference Planning Team will be assembled to begin planning next year’s NNED Youth Assembly.  If you, or someone you know, would like to be a part of this planning team, please contact Kim Paquette at multigen@comcast.net, or at 603-228-8704.

Communicating With the Masses

I am of Generation X.  I grew up in a home where our phone was located on the wall of the kitchen.  The cord was about 30 feet long, enabling us to talk in the other room if we stretched it far enough.   I was sometimes caught passing written notes to friends in class.  When it was time for dinner, my mom yelled my name out the front door and I came home. I went to college with a word processor and checked my mailbox in the campus mailroom every day for letters from my family and friends.  I listened to my favorite songs when the DJ was kind enough to play them on the radio, and watched my dad read the newspaper each night for the news.  These were the ways people communicated.

Today, I communicate via email, text message, cell phone, my ipod, and Facebook.  For my children, this is as normal to them as the telephone with the ridiculously long cord was to me. 

Communicating with people from multiple generations can be difficult.  Is there one sure-fire way to communicate with our children, youth, adults, and elders?  Do we need to transmit important information in a variety of ways?

What has been your experience?  What has worked for you or your congregation in an effort to reach all of our members, with their varied connection to technology.  Please share!!