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  • DRE Susan

We Gave it the Old College Try

For those of you out of the RE loop, I set out to organize a teen/youth weekend lock

in event here at UUCFL. In the old days, we called them Cons, and they usually

involved folks from the entire state. We were trying for something much less ambitious,

just our Southeast Cluster, the congregations of South Florida. The event would have

involved lots of socializing, a couple of workshops, eating, playing of games, and a

social service portion. It would start Friday evening and finish Sunday after church. We

have a lot of hurdles to climb here at UUCFL-our building schedule is very busy; as the

main organizer, I am very busy playing music during the busy arts season, and our own

teens Cat, Tyler and Zachary are booked up with activities of all types themselves. We

finally picked a date in April, and I sent out an ask to all the churches(with the help of

Rev Susan with contact info) to see if they would be interested, and if so, to let me know

numbers so I could plan an event accordingly. I only heard from some of the

congregations, but the ones I did hear from were very excited, and went off to talk to the

parents and the teens. Unfortunately, two of the churches came back and said none of

their kids were available, one said only two were, and again, the rest never responded

at all. So, we just let it go. Of the congregations that responded, one has ten teens, but

they don’t actually ever show up. Another one has ten, and they had two that were

interested, and some of the others seemed to imply they just did not have time. I’m not

sure how often those kids are actually in the building, but a few years ago the youth

leader of that congregation and I discussed how she could not seem to get her kids to

do anything. The last congregation that responded only has three kids, and none of

them were interested. Our three kids were all going to be here, but then again, I

designed it to suit their schedules pretty much. I have to say I am disappointed but not

surprised nothing came of this. The only good thing is that there is supposed to be a

teen organizing event at ROG in April, and our kids are going. It is a one day event on

a Saturday where teens will learn about different areas of getting involved in advocacy

groups. Hopefully this will also let our kids meet some other kids who are socially

conscious and some other UU kids. We see fewer and fewer families at our

congregations here in South Florida, and there are probably many reasons for this. I

would like to start a conversation about what this means for the future of not just our

congregation, but our entire faith. We are looking toward a future of changing how

children spend their Sundays at UUCFL when they do show up-traditional RE in the

back is on its way out, while kids in service, special event Sundays, and other things are

coming soon to a congregation near you. Please contact me and Rev Susan with

ideas that you have regarding this and other things that involve the youngest UUs.

Love and blessings, DRE Susan Dirgins-Friend