R.E. NOTES February 19, 2014

Dear Old Ship,

 I wish all of life could be a Youth Con… Or at least, lived by UU Youth culture and Youth covenants…

 If you’ve ever wondered why our Youth fall instantly in love with CONs, I have your answer.

It’s because Youth Con/culture is kinder… gentler… more inclusive… and by far more tolerant of shortcomings than is the real world… than perhaps are our congregations, even…

At the beginning of every CON is a covenant session… The entire group gathers; at the most recent CON, the group consisted of 80ish Youth and 20ish adults; Youth advisors, ministers and DREs…  (that’s larger than many of our district’s congregations)  

And the sole purpose of that gathering is to agree to, and to formalize, how folks treat each other while we’re together… Imagine…

Veteran CON-goers raise their hands and get the standard stuff onto the sheet early…

No harsh-ing…  

-if someone feels they’ve been “harsh-ed”, they are empowered to say, “OUCH”

The alerted harsh-er then has the opportunity to fix the bruised exchange on-the-spot…

-if the “harsh-ed” person still feels hurt, they have the right to ask for a “two-fer”; that is that other person immediately says two sincere and kind things to them…  Imagine…

Years ago, I would have thought this would be done grudgingly, maybe even resentfully…

But not so… UU Youth are so happy to be together, and so proud of their shared culture, that it is obviously a sincere joy for them to exercise it with each other…  Imagine…

 ImageImage

Another thing about Youth culture that I miss when I return to the real world: Warm and Fuzzies… Again, during the first hour or two of the CON, each person is given a plain brown bag to personalize… Some simply scrawl their name; some use the bag as a canvas and produce wonderful works of art… But the bag is just a means to an end… Warm and Fuzzies are the point… Everyone produces them and everyone gets them; that’s the goal…  Some are long heartfelt notes about one’s lovely traits or experiences shared… Some are little pieces of graffiti… I got a teeny tiny origami elephant in my bag this last time… It made me feel warm and fuzzy…

And wonderfully, there are folks, who by their very nature, worry that some may not be getting as many Warm and Fuzzies as others…. They make it their business to make extras; and at this past CON with over 100 people in attendance, that meant they sat at a table, long into the night… It was sometimes solitary; sometimes there was a group, but always, it appeared to be done with joy… Imagine…

I only have so much space, so I’ll end with this: A friend was driving home after a week at Star Island RE week (a stronghold of Youth culture) with her teenage son… He said something quite snarky to her and she said, “What happened to the kid I saw laughing and being sweet all week out on the island?”

He looked her in the eye as though she was crazy, and said, “Mom, this is the mainland.”

Imagine if we could really lImagine…                           

Beverly Tricco

Director of Religious Education

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About beverlytr

person, educator, unitarian universalist, artist, lover of the written word...
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