Meeting Times and Places
Wednesdays - year round (except summer) – 6:30 – 8:00 in the youth rooms in the basement on the northeast corner of the building
Weekly meetings consist of meaningful discussions of topics brought to the group by the youth. It is good to be in a community where all ideas and feelings can be discussed openly without fear of being judged. Topics can include religion, politics, relationships, empathy, social justice, and school concerns. This is also a time for them to plan future activities.
Activities are planned by the youth with the help of their experienced advisors. These include lock-ins, movie nights, social justice outings, trips to district rallies, float trips, and fundraisers.
One of the highlights of our program is the planning and delivery of our Annual Youth Service. The youth develop a service surrounding a theme that they feel is important to them and would be of interest to the entire congregation. They write their own homilies, and choose and perform music and readings.
We put a strong emphasis on social justice and have many activities throughout the year to allow the youth to experience this for themselves. We make regular trips to the animal shelter and food bank, help with ‘Hotdogs for the Homeless’, and continually educate on community and world issues.
Trips and Travelling – we attend several district youth events (called rallies) each year in addition to a float trip down the Illinois River and a Labor Day weekend excursion to another UU congregation. Travelling together is awesome.
CongrUUity is a social justice conference for our 6th – 8th graders. We also invite youth from other congregations to join us. We focus on understanding what social justice is. Some of the themes of this conference have been oppression, understanding poverty, racism, and stereotypes. The weekend includes speakers, small group discussions, off site project (such as the food bank), and a worship planned and executed by our high school youth. We have found that these conferences are instrumental in helping our younger youth to realize that they can make a difference in their communities and the world.
First Unitarian Church also sponsors a week long youth camp for 9th – 12th graders. Known as Camp Murray, it is held at a group camp at Lake Murray State Park in Ardmore, OK. Though this camp is sponsored by this congregation, all Unitarian Universalist youth from throughout the Southwest UU Conference are invited to attend. All activities at Camp Murray are planned by the youth staff – workshops, special events, speakers, social action projects, and worships. We have a wonderful group of qualified advisors who assure that a safe environment is maintained in which our youth have the resources they need to develop their leadership skills. It is a fabulous immersion experience in which they can explore their own UU identity.