What not to say to young adults

So, you know that it’s the right thing to do to talk to young adults when you see them on Sunday morning, correct? But what should you say? To help with that, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries has created a list of what not to say.

Don’t ask “How old are you?” “What do you do?” “What year are you in school?” or  “Are you new here?” says Carey McDonald, office director. “Age is just not important,” he adds. “Asking about work is also tricky because so many people are unemployed or underemployed. And asking about school implies that someone is a certain age.”

Instead, ask “What did you think of the service?” Or give them an opening like “I don’t think we’ve met, my name is . . .”

Rather than saying, “We need more young people,” say, “Great to meet you!” says McDonald. “Like everyone else, young adults want to be seen for who they are rather than as a token for their age group. And rather than asking, ‘Have you met our other young adult?’ say ,’May I introduce you to my friend?’ Don’t assume they only want to know other young adults.”

These questions and others are on a flyer, Coffee Hour Caution, which can be posted at your congregation. It might even serve as an opening for conversation. McDonald discusses the flyer further on the Youth and Young Adult Ministries blog Blue Boat.

 

Monthly call helps UU campus ministries connect

All those involved in UU campus ministries are invited to participate in a monthly campus ministry community call at 9 p.m. Eastern on the first Sunday of every month. The next call will be December 2.

The call is facilitated by Kayla Parker, the UUA’s campus ministry associate. She notes, “Whether you have been doing this work for years, have just begun, or are overwhelmed by the idea of beginning, we welcome you. We are student leaders, lay leaders, and religious professionals and all others involved in UU campus ministry.”

Parker said nine campus programs were represented on the November call. Each call has a specific topic and includes time for questions from participants. Information on accessing the call can be found on the UUA’s youth and young adult ministries blog, Blue Boat, and on the Young Adult Campus Ministry email list.