Thank you for tuning into the final youth ministry broadcast of the church year. This will also be my final broadcast as your Youth Programs Coordinator. I would like to thank you all for the support and encouragement you have offered me and our youth ministry. As I look back over the last two years, I can think of many challenges, successes, and opportunities within youth ministry at FUUSN.
One of the decisions we made in my first year here was to rethink our youth programming. Youth programming had focused primarily on youth group and didn’t accurately reflect the many amazing, and impactful ways youth are involved with FUUSN. Youth are members on the board, youth teachers in the RE classrooms, plan and perform in the annual Coffee House, and plan a youth-led Sunday service for the community. RE staff and various youth advisors have spent the last two years thinking about programming, and opportunities for youth that meet them where they are and where their interests and passions are at in a way that goes deeper than programming. FUUSN is engaging in ministry with the awesome youth of our congregation and developing meaningful opportunities that encourage leadership development, community building, spiritual growth, and fun. Youth work is a vital ministry within the congregation and we have been working with the youth to grow that ministry in powerful ways.
My one recommendation that I would leave you all with is get to know the incredible youth at FUUSN! I have had the honor of building relationships with our youth on Sunday mornings, during overnight retreats, on community building field trips, or apple picking in the fall. We have different events throughout the year and are always looking for adult support. Relationships are started with a “Hello, how are you?” or “Hey, how’s school going?” on a Sunday morning, but the relationships are deepened through teamwork on the high ropes course at Project Adventure, or at midnight snack during a retreat.
When we show up for our youth, when we support them as they connect with one another, to the FUUSN community, and to the wider UU community, we are not only watching them learn and grow, we are learning and growing right along with them. The youth at FUUSN are passionate, insightful, and inspiring. It is an honor to get to work with them, it’s an honor to support them and their work at FUUSN. If you have any interest in working with youth, or supporting the program in other ways (we always need food!), I would encourage you to reach out to Rowan, Beth, or the Youth Programs Coordinator in the fall. We appreciate your support and I can promise you, being involved with youth ministry at FUUSN is an important way to get to know our awesome FUUSN youth. –Dani Lindstrom