Technically, who are UCC young adults?
In the UCC, young adults are technically those people between the ages of 18 and 30. The reality is that a young adult could be female, male, a student, a professional, single, married, a parent, still living with a parent, Generation X or a Millennial, a seminarian, an ordained minister, someone who hasn't set foot in a church since high school and anything in between. "Young Adult" is a distinction of age that encompasses a group as diverse and dynamic as any in the UCC. This webpage is a ministry resource for these young adults, those who minister with them, and all those seeking a better understanding of the needs of young adults and their many roles within the United Church of Christ (categories which are most definitely not mutually exclusive). The links below describe the resources offered by this site.
Groundwork "Ministry with Young Adults & Next Generations"
As we come into contact with young adults in our daily environments, whether at work, in our casual connections with strangers, in greeting visitors in our congregations, it is useful to acknowledge that there are various spiritual perspectives and experiences that persons bring with them. Consider the following typology which might be useful for mapping your surroundings (this is intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive).
Youth and Young Adult Survey
In our year-long assessment to shape a comprehensive plan (in 2008 and 2009), some dominant priorities and needs emerged from this assessment work. For example, we learned that:
* Youth AND young adults value opportunities to do justice work and mission service
* Youth AND Young Adults overwhelmingly stated that the ideal congregation and ministry groups for them are inclusive. They seek a place where everyone is welcome and accepted.
* Young adults had a yearning for opportunities to network with peers in the wider church.
* Top needs among youth and young adult ministry leaders include opportunities to network with UCC colleagues, and leadership training to help them in their ministries with young people.
The next step within the national setting of the church is to use the recommendations and identified priorities to guide staffing, resources and support for youth and young adult ministries.
Read the Report and Recommendations for Youth and Young Adult Ministries; we hope the information will also be helpful to your conference, association, or congregation in your desire to support young people in your ministries.
Volunteer and Mission Opportunities
Volunteer and Mission Opportunities. Here's information about volunteer and mission opportunities available for young adults, as well as links to organizations and websites that host such opportunities.
Our Whole Lives Education
Link to the Our Whole Lives Education Page. If you want to start or continue a Young Adult group, this resource would be the one to use!! It is written by young adults – trainings for its use are being set up all over the country.
Links to other UCC pages of interest, young adult webpages from other denominations and faiths, resources on young adult ministry, Christian online magazines, young adult-focused websites, sites on postmodernity and Christianity and more.
Nicole M. Havelka: The return myth
One mainline Protestant myth is about the religious practices of young adults. I often hear church folks talk about how young adults will come back to church once they get married and have children. read more . . .