In July 2014, we attended Youth Midwest Leadership School (YMWLS), a week-long UU leadership camp for UU youth in Beloit, Wisconsin. It was the best week of our lives.
We arrived with little preconception about the week's activities. We hoped for fun and eye-opening experiences. What we encountered was far more than we could have hoped for, particularly the relationships we developed with 28 other open-minded UU youth. We created a unique UU community where, together, we pursued acceptance, spirituality, communication, peace, equity, and unconditional love. We bonded until the idea of leaving sounded impossible. We departed feeling we'd evolved into new and better versions of ourselves who had experienced a real taste of what community, spirituality, and love truly means.
We are blessed to have clusters of congregations in our respective former districts (Central Midwest, Heartland and Prairie Star) who help to create, with youth and adult leaders, distinct structures for youth events in their respective areas. In FY14, there were more than a dozen youth ministry events across the region, serving just under 1,000 youth and adult leaders!
To enable and foster such a robust youth ministry experience, we are working with a variety of geographical structures for youth events, to keep them all engaging and safe.
Our MidAmerica regional staff member, Nancy Combs-Morgan, email@example.com, continues to work with congregations on developing sustainable youth ministry experiences, as well as continuing education training, such as the “New Youth Advisor Webinars" (Sept. 9th and 18th). Nancy Combs-Morgan serves as advocate for the three area youth councils; she organizes the training for the Con-Coordinators for the Central Midwest Area. Nancy works directly with the Con-Coordinators, and is the point person for congregational leaders who questions about youth conferences in the MA region.
You can always go to the MidAmerica Region Youth and Young Adult page for the latest!