Youth Ministry Competencies – UUA hosts free webinar series

Inspired Youth jumpingFrom now to July 2017, the UUA is running a webinar series to train adults working with youth. The “Competencies for Ministry to and with Youth” is the UUA’s new approach to youth advisor training, focusing on training adults who are part of youth ministry in congregations (that includes advisors, religious educators, ministers and other adults).

Each webinar features one of the competencies, and is given twice in the month. Canadians are welcome to participate! The webinars will be lead by UUA and regional staff who are excellent resources for those working in youth ministry in any capacity. I would highly recommend participating in these webinars, and passing this information on to any new youth advisors coming on board this fall. The webinars will be recorded for later viewing.

Upcoming Webinars include:

  • Healthy youth/adult relationships – Oct 11 at 1:00 pm EST or October 12 at 8:00 pm EST
  • Safety in youth ministry – November 9 at 1:00 pm EST or Nov 10 at 8:00 pm EST
  • Pastoral care to/with youth – December 8 at 8:00 pm EST or December 13 at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to find more information and to register.

Regional Fall Youth Programs

Youth-CanUUdleThis fall we have youth-focused programming in each of our four regions! Please have a look at what’s happening in your region and join us in beloved multigenerational community at an event near you.

Western Regional Fall Youth Con – October 14-16
Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon – Saskatoon, SK
Registration now open! Deadline is October 7 so register now!
Open to all youth aged 12-20.
$55 per youth/advisor – weekend food and accommodations included

Join us for Drama Con – an exploration of all kinds of meanings of drama. We’ll talk about how to deal with drama in our lives, learn about ourselves and push past our comfort zone in improv games, and explore the theme of truth, healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. Most of the weekend will be youth space at UCS, but we’ll join in multigenerational community with the rest of the gathering on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as for the Sunday morning worship.

Register at:

Eastern Regional Fall Gathering and youth con – October 21-23
Lakeshore Unitarian Universalist Congregation – Montreal, QC
Registration now open!
$40 per youth/advisor – weekend food and accommodations included

The Eastern Regional Fall Gathering includes a youth con from Friday to Sunday. Join us on Saturday for an exciting and interactive multigenerational program where we’ll explore what it really means to be UU and how we can share our true selves and our diverse beliefs with each other. The afternoon program includes a fishbowl activity where we’ll hear from voices of all ages and get to learn more about what touches each of us and what gives us spiritual sustenance.
There will be many other highlights of this weekend including youth worships on Friday and Saturday, con games, and a multigenerational Sunday worship about what it means to have interdependence, love and justice at the centre of our church lives!

Register at:

Central Regional Fall Gathering – Saturday, October 29
Grand River Unitarian Congregation – Kitchener, ON
Registration now open. Homestays available so you can join us for Sunday morning too!
$25 youth/advisor and young adult – lunch, dinner and coffee included

Dear youth: This fall gathering has been designed with YOU in mind! Our workshop streams on Saturday include music and song leading with Matt Meyer and UU-style leadership skills with Asha Philar. In the leadership stream, you’ll learn about group facilitation, and how to plan meetings that are meaningful, efficient and give us spiritual sustenance. Carry these skills with you so you can bring more inclusive group process into the world! The afternoon at the gathering will include a fishbowl activity where we can share our learning from the day and learn more about each others’ beliefs, and a closing youth-style worship.
We’ll also have an evening activity for youth and advisors in Kitchener after the day’s programs (details TBA!). Please stay over in town on Saturday night to join us for Sunday morning worship, which will be an amazing, interactive, musical experience led by Matt Meyer.

Register at:

BC Regional Fall Con – November 11-13
North Shore Unitarian Church – Vancouver, BC
Registration open – deadline is October 28.
$55 per youth/advisor – weekend food and accommodations included

Here’s a taste of the delicious programming at this year’s SoUUl Food themed con! At this year’s Unitarian Universalist Youth BC Regional Fall Con, we will be exploring how food is intertwined with our identity, spirituality, and social justice. Food could tell a thousand stories with every bite, so we will be taking the time to listen deeply to the tales of the earth that grew, the arms that gathered, the hands that cooked, and the grumbles of our own cravings. Inside every act of cooking lies a revolution — and a story about who we are. Let’s forge a deeper understanding of what nourishes us in hopes that it will nourish our souls too.

Register at:

Questions? Please contact Asha Philar, the CUC’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff at or 226-820-9311.

Seeking Youth and Adult Leaders to Join the New CUC Youth Ministry Team!

Youth WordleNew this year, we’re forming a collaborative group of youth leaders, adult advisors and the CUC Youth and Young Adult Ministry staff (Asha Philar) that work together to set the direction of Unitarian Universalist youth ministry and youth programs in Canada. This group will help connect Canadian UU youth and advisors, and will work to develop youth ministry programs and events across the country.

All YMT members will receive formal facilitation and meeting skills training and ongoing support to share in the leadership of the group. We are looking for people with some leadership experience, but you don’t have to know everything – just be passionate about Canadian UU Youth Ministry! Continue reading

Finding Our Place in the Circle: Western Regional Fall Gathering

Place in the circleOct. 14-16, 2016, Hosted by the Saskatoon Unitarians

You are invited to find your place in the circle …

This year’s Western Fall Region Gathering is an inter-spiritual, multi-faith response to the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.

Friday Multigenerational Ingathering and Reception 7pm
At the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon

Saturday Adult Program: A Medicine Wheel for the Indian Act
Responsibility * Relationship * Respect * Reciprocity
With Marjorie Beaucage, creator of Medicine Wheel for the Indian Act

  • 9:00am – 4:30pm Program at Wanuskewin Heritage Park
  • 5:00pm – 6:30pm Adult Dinner at Wanuskewin
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm Multigenerational evening at Station 20 West

Sunday Networking & Sunday Service
At the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon
Join us for the installation of Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz as Saskatoon’s settled minister.

Continue reading

Making the Bridge

Bridging-2015It’s that bridging time of year again! As the school and church year winds down, many youth in the 18-20 age range are thinking about bridging out of youth group and the adventures that lie ahead.

“Bridging” is what we call the step from youth to young adulthood, when youth choose to transition out of the youth community and into the young adult one. This important transition is often marked with a bridging ceremony that youth can participate in at a youth group event, a conference, or during a Sunday service (or sometimes all of the above).

Youth can choose to bridge whenever it feels right to them (within that age range), and they can bridge as many times as they want. It can be an incredibly emotional transition, as youth leave the beloved community that has been their UU home throughout their high school years. Some may be starting new school programs, jobs, travel, or a move to a different city, so the separation from youth group may be physical as well as mental. Continue reading