Is UU a Philosophy or a Religion?Is UU a philosophy or a religion? Are UUs heretics, Christians, or even a cult?  Where did the flaming chalice come from?   How do you answer these questions?  How do you articulate your faith?  Our youth struggle with their Unitarian Universalist identity in a questioning world every day.  This weekend at the first CMWD Youth Council held at the Community Church of in Park Forest, IL, we tried together to find some answers. 


The Articulating Y(our) Faith curriculum explores the challenge of explaining our remarkable Unitarian Universalist faith and gives us tools to guide us through the tough questions.  The youth this weekend shared their frustrations and successes with each other and begin to create and practice using language that will empower them to describe what they believe and what Unitarian Universalists believe. This affordable curriculum can be purchased at: .

CMWD Youth council is a new opportunity and event we have created this year for youth in our district to connect, share resources, receive leadership training and participate in the democratic process.   For many years our youth leadership has been elected at our youth conferences. This excluded youth who could or did not attend district youth conferences from participating in the elections of district youth leaders and running as candidates.   District youth leaders and staff have worked to create a new model this year, youth council, to allow representation from all the youth in our district.

Each congregation was asked to send two youth representatives to the Central Midwest district youth council for a weekend of leadership development and elections.    Representatives spent Friday evening munching on snacks, getting to know each other and in worship together.  On Saturday, after Articulating Your Faith, Dori Davenport presented, asking our youth to define the qualities of a good leadership and asked the youth what they had to offer as leaders. 

The afternoon was spent in conflict and consensus, the healthy kind.  Heather Godbout, a member of Unity Temple and DYSC youth advisor, facilitated a detailed search into the causes and responses to conflict.   Then the youth practiced handling conflict, using improve theatre and realistic UU congregational scenarios developed by Ellen Carvill-Ziemer and Aaron McEmrys.

Twelve of our districts congregations were represented, youth council used the consensus process to decide how to direct the District youth Steering Committee to grow and expand this opportunity for more youth next year.   Did your congregation send youth?   We will be working to have all our district congregations represented there next year!

Congratulations to Camilla Brewer of Unity Temple-Chicago, Eliot Seppos of Countryside Church-Palatine, IL and Kyle Simone from Bradford Community Church-Kenosha, WI who were elected to DYSC at Youth Council.