>No – I don’t have a secret to end aging…this post is about our young Channing folks, the junior and senior high age Youth. Quite often I am asked, “Where are the high school kids at Channing?” That’s a complicated question to answer…
I hear stories about a vibrant senior high group, YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) at Channing. I hear anecdotes about how some years the group has been bigger than others, but always some Youth were around and gathering. Right now we don’t have a senior high group. Is there still a place for Youth at Channing?
Our Youth are living in a hard world. Life is even more fast paced for teens than it is for adults! Youth need time to connect face to face, comforting each other and celebrating each other. Youth group at its best provides spiritual sustenance, community and fun. And for youth who might not fit society’s norms, having a safe place to be yourself is essential.
The many suicides of boys and young men around the country this fall has made me realize more than ever that we need to build our youth group at Channing because it will save lives. A strong youth group of caring peers will counteract brutal bullying that causes our young people to give up hope. Yes, especially for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth a loving environment is healing, but really all youth benefit from affirming company.
Here’s what Rev. Meg Riley says about our calling to make the world better:
Whatever the reason for the decline of Youth Group at Channing, we have a chance to rebuild our program and make it stronger than ever!
Now is the time to spend extra energy building the connection of the junior high group of Youth. These 5th, 6th and 7th graders are excited about Channing and more so about each other. These junior high youth are ready to spend time together, so let’s give them what they want BEFORE they lose interest!
It is going to take some commitment from parents. The effort you put in, helping with a social night or driving will be well worth the gains in leadership, friendship and reinforcement of UU values that Youth Group provides. In just one night a month we can lay the groundwork for a rocking youth group!
I am excited to see what develops!