YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists)
Meets: Sundays at 11:15am
Status: open to church members, friends, and visitors in grades 9-12
Advisors: Jenny Benjamin, Nancy Christensen, Mary Jonke, Elba Karim, Andy Montgomery, Bill Pokorny, Tom Zimmerman
YRUU is our Senior High youth group. Youth begin with worship in the Sanctuary at 11:15am, and then proceed to their classroom.
Youth provide primary leadership for group meetings while adult advisors provide ongoing mentoring and support for youth leaders.
YRUU activities include building community, worship, social action, workshops, leadership development, and participating in district YRUU conferences.
YRUU youth can also participate in the Habitat for Humanity program. This year-long youth social justice program includes fundraising events, planning meetings, and training sessions which culminate in a ten-day out-of-state trip in July. While the core objective directly supports Habitat for Humanity’s purpose to bring decent and affordable housing to those in need, it simultaneously affords each participant personal involvement and growth in areas such as leadership, teamwork, communications, planning, etc.
In YRUU, youth and adult advisors work together to build community, develop youth leadership, and engage in worship and social action. Our youth develop ties to our area congregations and wider UU youth movement by attending district YRUU conferences. YRUU has also elected to be a part of Habitat for Humanity Service Project, which includes fundraising events, planning meetings, and training sessions which culminate in a ten-day out-of-state trip in July.
Advisors lead the youth to take greater leadership in their own learning, and to select and discuss topics relevant to Unitarian Universalism and the greater world. Additionally, topics relevant to healthy adolescent development, decision-making, and relationships are also addressed. Together, these programs give our youth the opportunity to deepen their religious and moral understandings and bring their beliefs and values to bear on the world. As such, youth may become members of UUSG with limited voting privileges.
Because YRUU has many specific events and functions, the advisors often use the Facebook page, in addition to emails, to inform and communicate with youth.
Several times a year the YRUU group enjoys Social Outings. Some of the social activities include; Corn Maze, trips to a local coffee shop, or a sporting event, as well as other activities that the teens suggest. Our Advisors organize and attend the outings with the group. These activities are a great opportunity for the teens to get to know each other in a social setting.
YRUU has the opportunity to assist in the community as a group. There are several service projects throughout the year to participate in. Often times a fun activity like games or a potluck along with helping the church and the community is planned. The current organizations in which they are assisting are; Lazarus House Lunches, Birthday and Holiday Gifts for Abused Children, Rusty's Kids, Dress for Success, Batavia Community Garden. The group also can help with church functions such as the Cookie Walk, Pizza Booth, Auction and babysitting for events.
District-Wide Youth Conferences
The youth typically attend two “CONS” per year. These are district youth conferences where they work on social justice projects, attend classes, participate in a Coffee House, worship, and generally have fun with other teens and advisors.
YRUU Worship Service
The teens write, plan, and execute an entire Sunday's worth of worship, from greeting to the sermons and everything in between. This service is done in February each year. It allows the teens the opportunity to provide a service from their point of view.
A few times a year the YRUU group gets together for overnight lock-ins. During these times they work on their worship service, Habitat for Humanity, service projects, worship, create their gifts for the incoming freshmen. An evening worship service is always included on overnights. This is a great way for the teens to bond as a group.
When our youth grow out of the YRUU program, they like to return. In December each year we have a pot-luck event which welcomes all former and current YRUU members to come together in fellowship.