I want to state upfront that I am glad I went to Arizona, I am proud of what was accomplished, and I would do it again.
But I felt out of place, like I didn’t belong. It was really hard for me. There were not many folks my age and those who were close to my age were in, or going to, seminary. I thought that there would be a lot more people there who were like me – socially active young adults. There weren’t. I am proud that so many of the people there were UU Ministers, but I just felt like there was a strange power dynamic in some sense.
The easiest example of this I have is the textblast we were all on. For the uninitiated, a textblast is a way to text anybody who signs up to quickly get out information. One of this things that they were sending out was when people were arrested or… more specifically, when ministers were arrested. They announced a few lay people. but mostly the announced when ministers were arrested. The ministers were the ones who went up to the mics to offer prayers. I get that it was important and powerful that our ministers were standing there, but the fact remains that laity went, too.
I know I’m new to this faith tradition, but I am not new to activism, to organizing with faith groups, to speaking in front of groups, to being arrested, to any of it. I know that this was not about me, but it was also hard for me to feel unrecognized. I already feel like that a lot at my church, like I am young and unrecognized and people kind of discount me as cute but ineffective. I just wonder if there is a place in this religion for folks my age. There’s a lot of active youth stuff, and stuff for families, but what about the young adults? I have tried to find some folks online, but by and large they just don’t seem to exist, at least not in any big, organized way.
It was an uncomfy feeling.