We Welcome You. For Real.
Adolescence is not the time to step away from youth, and Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation is committed to remaining a strong companion along their continued faith development.
Middle School Youth:
With the middle school kids we recognize this is a tender time. Emotions run close to the surface or get stuffed far below; friends can be closer than ever or painfully absent. Their capacity for reasoning grows by leaps and bounds. Through friendships and mentoring relationships, they engage in the age-old question “Who am I?,” doing the serious (and not so serious) work of identity formation—gender identity, racial identity, and religious identity. Our aim is to grow people who know themselves and are valued for who they are, with all their gifts and quirks. Our programs build social confidence, personal and religious identity, and friendship bonds that cross generations and last into the high school years and beyond.
- community and acceptance,
- joy and love of life,
- exploration of ideas and beliefs,
- development of ethics and values, and
- a chance to work alongside others to make the world a better place.
This year our middle school youth are exploring the differences and similarities of our faith neighbors, as well as our own Unitarian Universalist faith and history, through the curriculum Building Bridges. Each month they will engage with one faith through workshop experiences that may include guest speakers, field trips, and an inquiry process meant to facilitate faith discovery, cultural appreciation, and spiritual development.
Consistent student participation is very important to make this class effective. Not only will the material be covered over multiple Sundays, but it is important that youth build trust and community amongst themselves.
Other programs in support of our middle school youth are:
- Puget Sound Middle School Youth Conference –
- In the fall we join with other UU Congregations around the Pacific Northwest for the Middle School Conference at Camp Sealth on Vashon. This weekend gives our 6th – 8th graders a chance to expand & deepen their UU connections with their UU peers while having FUN! Ropes course, archery, day spa, rockets & capture the flag are among the many activities offered.
- Our Whole Lives (OWL) Program –
- Our Whole Lives is a UU Sexuality education curricula that helps youth make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, sexual health and behavior. We offer the OWL Program for the different age groups on a rotating basis. The 7th-8th grade level of OWL will be offered again in the fall of 2016. More information on the OWL Program can be found here http://www.uua.org/re/owl
High School Youth:
As a congregation we are called to nourish the hearts, minds and spirits of our youth, recognizing they are the next generation of builders of the world we dream about. A world of radical inclusivity where however you identify, you can find a home. We are spiritually diverse and know “we need not think alike to love alike.”
To that end, our youth program provides a well-rounded religious education to our high school youth. While the details vary by year, the pillars remain the same: those of Community Building & Relationships, Social Justice & Service, and Worship & Spirituality.
On Sunday mornings youth meet from 10:30-11:30, at the same time as the service, with their adult advisors. Each Sunday supports our program in diverse fashion:
1st Sunday of the month is attending worship as a group, engaging in discussion and pizza afterwards with either the Minister or DRE.
2nd Sunday of the month is concentrating on social justice projects; thinking, planning, doing and attending.
3rd Sunday of the month is immersion in conversation, covenant and inquiry into the big questions.
4th Sunday of the month it’s all about the food; meeting up in the kitchen to cook, consume, conspire and collaborate.
We also have a strong commitment to partnering with our greater Unitarian Universalist region in offering additional opportunities for spiritual, leadership and community development.
These programs include:
- Pacific Northwest District Fall & Spring High School Youth Conferences
- The Social & Political Action Group Conference for High School Youth
- Goldmine Leadership School
- Summer Seminary
- Youth, Young Adult & Adult Chaplain Training