Depicted below: a group photo from a past PCUUYA conference at the Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek.
What are conferences?
Conferences provide a safe and inclusive space for young adults (ages 18-35) to come together as a community for an amazing weekend with the intention of connection, social action, and spirituality! We spend two nights sleeping at a UU church during which we connect through peer-planned, volunteer programming and tons of free time playing games and hanging out! The entire event is peer-planned including the various staff positions (see leadership roles) such as cooking, planning/executing worships, and leading fun workshops. In addition to large-group programming, we have small-group programming in the form of touchgroups.
What are touchgroups?
Touchgroups are smaller groups within the conference that attendees are divided into. These groups meet several times throughout the event to touch base and forge stronger bonds of friendship. Usually, each group is lead by another attendee who volunteers before the conference, but sometimes our touchgroups are communally lead. On our registration form, there is an option to opt-out of touchgroups, but we highly encourage everyone to experience them at least once!
What are workshops?
Workshops are peer lead activities that take place a few times throughout each conference. These can consist of anything people are interested in from social justice to dungeons and dragons! If you’re interested in leading a workshop, specify what you’d like to lead on the registration form or let us know when you get to the event. Make sure you bring the materials you need, and let us know ahead of time if you’ll need to be reimbursed.
What are meals like?
Meals at conferences generally consist of a main course and one to two side dishes (including vegan, vegetarian, and other dietary needs). We do not provide dinner on Friday night (just dessert!) so make sure you arrive full! Saturday we have three meals served (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and a dessert. Meals are generally very casual, and served cafeteria-style. Sunday morning we have a quick breakfast before preparing for service. Along with the aforementioned meals, we always have snacks and food on hand for anyone who may get hungry during the course of the day, along with coffee, tea, water, and some type of juice.
What are sleeping arrangements like?
For the duration of the conference, we sleep at the host church! You’ll notice that we ask what type of room you prefer to sleep in on the registration form. This is to be sure we accommodate everyone’s comfort levels around who they will be sharing a room with. Generally we have a: female identified quiet room, male identified quiet room, non-binary quiet room, gender inclusive quiet room, and a gender inclusive loud/speaking room. Quiet rooms are for folks who want the lights off after worship, and voices kept to a minimum. Loud/speaking rooms are for folks who would like to stay up and talk with lights on after worship. Most folks bring some sort of sleeping surface (air mattress, sleeping pad, etc.) and bedding (blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, etc.). We will not have bedding provided, but if you need an air mattress or something of the like we will do what we can to find something for you. If you are uncomfortable sleeping at the church, you are welcome to stay off campus. Just be sure to give us a heads-up that you will be doing so beforehand.
What is worship?
You may have noticed that each night of the conference we host something called “worship.” This is a time during which we intentionally gather as a community, in spirit and body, to explore our spirituality as it relates to us as Unitarian Universalist young adults. At every conference, we have a worship coordinator who plans and creates the worships for the entire event. Each worship begins by a gathering of the community outside of the worship space (usually the sanctuary but occasionally outdoors), taking a few deep breaths to ground ourselves, holding hands, and singing a song while walking into the space and gathering in a circle. Most worships consist of a few short readings, a guided meditation or other deep-thinking/grounding activity, singing, and an opportunity to share. Our worships range from being about social justice, to vulnerability, and anything that we can relate to as young adults in this world. During worship (and throughout the entire event) we have dedicated chaplains who are there to help confidentially process emotions. You may opt out of worship if you are not interested, along with any other activity that takes place during the event.
Below are our mission statement and covenant, both created at a conference by our community through a process of collaboration and consensus. They are entitled “living” because they are intended to grow and change as our community does, as if they are alive.
Our Living Mission Statement
Pacific Central Unitarian Universalist Young Adult (PCUUYA) strives to be an intentional young adult community that:
- Practices UU faith; welcomes, supports, and affirms
- Enables and encourages growth, exploration, and introspection both personal and communal
- Fosters equity, justice, and liberation
Our Living Covenant
Our community will create a safe and sacred space.
- Listen to ourselves
- Tend to our needs (emotional, spiritual, and physical) to the best of our abilities
- Ask for help as needed and empower others to voice their needs
- Agree to respond to conflict with honesty and respect
- Strive to leave behind the things that keep our hearts and minds closed and distracted; connect to our location and community.
- Respect each other’s boundaries and practice a “Culture of Consent”
- Support equity in participation; balance collaboration with individual initiative
If your church is interested in hosting a PCUUYA conference, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org