Eric Bliss is the new Youth Ministry Specialist for the Pacific Western Region, including the Pacific Northwest District. He introduces himself in the current front page message on the PNWD website, and shares his threefold vision for youth ministry throughout the Region:
1) Cultivating a “Constellation of Connection”
Eric’s vision for vibrant youth ministry in a regional setting arises from Mark DeVries’ concept, a “Constellation of Connection.” This is devoted to fostering connections and building bridges for the youth to engage with Unitarian Universalists across the generations. Eric is convinced that if we are interested in creating a liberal religious revolution, then we must invest heavily in the avenues that strengthen the bonds between our youth, their mentors, congregations, and their faith.
2) Leadership Development
It is absolutely necessary to train and counsel energetic youth and adult leaders, says Eric. Any successful endeavor requires capable organizers who have interpersonal skills, knowledge of systems, and a commitment to the cause. Leadership training opportunities based in best practices, mentoring processes, and a commitment to partnership, are all extraordinary tools for cultivating the leaders of tomorrow. Stay tuned to the PWR and PNWD websites, Twitter, email, and Facebook for future webinars, retreats, cons, camps, and other immersion experiences designed to this end.
3) Faith Formation
Our youth leaders require a sturdy spiritual center from which to draw strength and inspiration for their work, explains Eric. There is a need for an understanding of mission, and a necessity for self-awareness—an attribute that instills resiliency for when events do not go as planned. Eric is committed to working with multi-generational (multigen) leaders to instill and nurture a robust UU core identity that evokes a spirit of wonder, an emphasis on the transforming power of love, and an enduring commitment to exploring religious ideas.
Congregations and religious leaders are encouraged to contact Eric any time to learn more about youth ministry resources and events available through the UUA and the region. Read Eric’s full letter of introduction at www.pnwd.org!