Thursday, May 25, 2006

Everything our faith has to offer, young adults are ready for more of it.

What are you doing this Summer?

If you are a UU young adult, young adult minister, or religious educator join me this Summer for the STAR ISLAND Religious Education Week. Provided registration is good, I will be leading one of the morning workshops.

The workshop is called "SUPERSIZE THIS! A Young Adult workshop on engaged spirituality, leadership and community." If you are NOT a young adult but still want to hang out on the porch and talk with me, you can still come. There are other workshops to choose from.

If you know of any young adults, young adult professionals, etc... could you forward this to them? Thanks! I'm trying to help the STARlings get the word out.

Here is the full description from the STAR RE WEEK site:

A Young Adult workshop on engaged spirituality, leadership and community

Everything our faith has to offer, young adults are ready for more of it. Aren't you? During this week we're going to take Unitarian Universalism to the next level. We'll start with an honest UU reality check, looking at the assumptions, structures, language/terms that congregations have been using to operate. After identifying what we think has been, we’re going to challenge the status quo! Drawing on wisdom from small group ministry, life coaching and other sources we will look at new ways of doing spiritual growth, leadership development and community building.

Topics will include spiritual leadership in group ministries, covenants and group health, peer spiritual direction and coaching, weaving spiritual disciplines into group life, cultivating relationships that matter, and techniques for sharing our faiths with those who are hungry for it.

Peter Bowden is the director of UU PLANET Ministries, an independent Unitarian Universalist training and resource center (, and a children's television producer ("Peep and the Big Wide World" and "Curious George"). He has worked with youth and young adults since 1990. This work led him to Star Island a number of years ago where he discovered Small Group Ministry and become one of its greatest advocates. Peter is one of the founders of the UU Small Group Ministry Network ( He lives in Newport, RI, with his wife, the Rev. Amy Freedman.

Faith, Culture and Politics

I had a great discussion recently with a small group of frustrated UUs. The claim was made that when issues that we have been championing for years become "mainstream" our members get sensitive about mixing faith with politics.

Is this your experience? Another conversation raised the issue that in our Small Group Ministries it is not okay to talk politics or issues that might challenge people.

I was raised in a UU church where our minister challenged members every Sunday. His colums in the local paper, he rated how good they were by the number "hate mail" letters and death threats he received.

Faith, Culture and Politics. I don't think you can separate these without the church losing its relevancy. Is your church relevant in peoples lives? God I hope so! If your numbers aren't growing, chances are your missing something.

My wife, a UU minister, recently subscribed to the magazing Sojourners. Its subtitle is Faith, Culture and Politics. Since she's subscribed to it I've read every issue. Doing so has been, well, enlightening. It has been refreshing to have regular contact with a liberal Christian perspective, one that can balance what I'm getting from our dear President.

May George Bush be fileld with lovingkindness.
May George Bush be well.
May George Bush be peaceful and at ease.

May George Bush be happy.

Those of you who are ministers, I'd highly recommend subscribing to Sojourners. You can get a taste of SOJO by going to the website and getting their free email updates.

In faith,