From Your Co-ministers Revs. Barbara W. & Jaco B. ten Hove
From Your Co-ministers
An Open Letter to Younger Adults at Cedars:
Dear Friends of More Recent Generations,
We are indeed retiring (as of Jan. 31), but our hearts will remain embedded in this noble congregation and we wish to offer some parting words of encouragement to you who are on the younger side of things.
It can seem like Cedars is largely populated by those closer to your parents’ generation, perhaps, but there is actually lots of room for you all to also have impact and create an even greater, thoroughly thriving community inclusive of your peers, which can coexist and complement both the important, beloved elders among us and the cool kids who are learning early on what it means to be a UU.
We’re aware that young adulthood and midlife are often accompanied by various uncertainties that can make dedication to a congregation challenging. But we hope you also realize the value that can derive from any increase of connection here. We would eagerly testify: both of us grew up in UU congregations, including some of our important young adult years. (Jaco led a YA group actually called the “Young Wingnuts” back in the early 1980s, and Barbara was a leader for the early national organization of UU Young Adults.) Cedars is an enriching, sustaining place for people of “all ages,” as we are fond of noting.
And if you are currently raising kids yourself, one of the more lasting gifts you can give them is a grounding in liberal religious education, which will serve them and help guide their values for many years ahead. But their formative years fly by, so it takes a regular commitment to connect them to our Cedars RE program, very ably led by Jennifer Conway. She is a strong leader with great materials, and hungers for more young ones to participate (not to mention more adult helpers).
We urge you to prioritize attendance at Cedars, perhaps especially during the meaningful holiday season directly ahead, and then as the upcoming ministerial transition unfolds (and certainly as a powerful touchstone community during, say, the next four years). We’re confident that the growing cadre of your peers that already centers among us will embrace and support you further.
Bring your friends, too. Unitarian Universalism is an excellent, non-creedal religion for the 21st century in ways that many people have no clue about. We’ve loved being a part of things here for some years, and we know Cedars will continue to express itself well for years (generations!) to come, warmly welcoming you and your spirited authenticity—all of which can really make in difference in our world!