First Unitarian Church of Providence
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Comm-UU-nication: Senior High youth Service
A multigenerational service presented at the First Unitarian Church in Providence, RI, April 10, 2016

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Our second reading today is

CS - We now recognize a milestone in the life of our congregation, by honoring our seniors in high school, who will be graduating not so many months from now. Some of them were dedicated here, as infants, receiving a rose at that time (one without thorns) to symbolize the unfolding promise of their young lives. Some have joined the community more recently. All are in transition to young adulthood.

Today marks the beginning of the last months of their participation in our youth group program. This morning we recognize them and the step they will take onto the next leg on the path of their faith development. Later in the year, some will leave home for work or college and some will remain in our local community. We sincerely hope that anyone who stays in the region will remain active in this congregation. If you do leave, for college, be sure to seek out or start a UU campus or young adult community in your new location. Our love and support will be with you, wherever you may go. We would want you all to know that there are processes in place, just about anywhere they might go, to help bridging youth to stay connected to Unitarian Universalism.

CBO - Bridging—transitioning from youth into adulthood—is important not only in the life of an individual, but also in the life of a family and of a faith community. As youth prepare to enter young adulthood, they are opening the door for new experiences and greater understanding of their faith. Congregations and other UU communities can support them during this transition by keeping their connection to Unitarian Universalism alive and relevant to their lives, and by continuing to minister to them as they transition to young adulthood. Unitarian Universalists use the term “bridging” to describe both the ceremony and the transitional time in the young person’s life.

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, the Bridge Connections program helps keep bridging youth connected to UU communities when they go off to college, get their own apartment, or start a new job. Each spring, we share information and encourage youth to sign on to Bridge Connections. In the fall, the UUA notifies local congregations, campus ministries and young adult groups of those recently bridged young adults moving to their area, so that they can welcome them and notify them of services and programs in that area. We do that welcome here through our campus ministry - BUUUG.

CS - As your name is called, please come forward to receive a few gifts we have for you to take with you. They’ll be presented by Emily & Lisa, members of the Young Adult community.
  • A bamboo flaming chalice, symbol of Unitarian Universalism.
  • Your own copy of the UU Pocket Guide, a resource to help answer those tricky questions about our faith tradition.
  • And, a rose (with thorns), to help you remember that when you face the thorny challenges of adulthood you need not be alone.

CS - As we call your names, Please come up front and stay so that the congregation can honor you all at the conclusion. ......names....

Everyone, please join in the Congregational Response, printed in your order of service:
To you who are standing on the threshold of adulthood, we pledge our sustaining love and friendship.

For those of you who will leave here to study or work, we pledge that you will always be welcome in a constant, yet changing, faith community.

To all of you, we affirm your faith development and welcome your participation as adults, in the creative and sacred work of this world.