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Becoming

Becoming

A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood

A spiritual companion for young adults and all who live amid transitions and tensions. Dozens of carefully selected readings address themes that are prominent for people in their twenties and early thirties.

Edited by: Kayla Parker

Price: $8.00

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Picked by Spirituality & Practice as One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2016
"A wide-eyed and wonderful spiritual resource for young adults." -Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

This elegant volume offers itself as a spiritual companion for young adults and all who live amid transitions and tensions. Dozens of carefully selected readings address themes that are prominent for people in their twenties and early thirties. The topics include: passion and purpose, identity, community, losing and finding, and justice and creation. Each section features reflections from Unitarian Universalist young adults, as well as poems, prayers, and opening and closing words from contemporary and ancient peoples. This treasury of uplifting and thought-provoking meditations can serve as a guide and provide comfort on our never-ending journey of becoming.

For the free downloadable small group ministry guide created by Rev. Annie Gonzalez Milliken, Young Adult and Campus Ministry Associate, click here.

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Contents


Preface

Growth and Change

Passion and Purpose

Community

Roots

Family, Friends, and Loves

Identity

Lost and Found

Spirit of Life

Justice and Creation

Hope and Praise

Hymns and Songs

About Unitarian Universalism

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
—Kurt Vonnegut


Wisdom, fundamentally, is knowing who you are, where you are, and what you're trying to do or be. —Gordon B. McKeeman


Trust Walk

My high school years were speckled with trust walks. In my Unitarian Universalist youth group at the First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, each year, the incoming freshmen were given blindfolds and a partner. They were led out into the dark, with only hands on their shoulders to guide them. When it was my turn to be blindfolded, I found, while stumbling over gravel in the parking lot and trudging up the hills behind my church, that despite all the efforts to fool me, the whole time I knew exactly where I was. This was ground I knew. Before even pressing down my foot I knew exactly how much the earth would give beneath me. I knew I was safe. I trusted the people around me, but it was easy. I knew I could have gotten along without them.   After high school I moved away for college, and was looking for the belonging that I had found at home. I joined a poetry group, and our first meeting included an initiation ceremony that reminded me of my youth group trust walks. The evening started with a scavenger hunt around town and culminated in a trust walk. Blindfolded by the more senior members, I could not orient myself in the dark. For the first time in my life, I was truly lost. In this new town, I barely knew where I was with my eyes open. When I allowed a new acquaintance to guide me, I truly gave them control.
  Growing up, I was fortunate to be able to find ground I loved and people I connected to at church. When I moved, the trauma of leaving such a beautiful home led me to be incredibly insecure my first few weeks away. Once, when I introduced myself, the person I was meeting told me, "You say 'Ann Arbor' like it's the center of the universe." To me, it was. It was how I related myself to the world. It was where my friends lived. I believed I could not love the people in my new home in the same way. They hadn't watched me stumble through adolescence; they would never really know me. I felt that I was living away from where my life truly was.
  I only started to adjust when the fall colors began to paint the trees around me. I found a sense of familiarity in the season. Time had not stopped even though little else in life felt continuous.
  When I took a second to fall in love with fall, I started taking time to fall in love with the people around me. I began to discover the ways in which my new friends were similar to my other friends, and to appreciate the ways in which they were different. I learned to be comfortable with not always recognizing the similarities.
  People keep telling me that in order to make the most of this time, I must live like I am dying. I find this idea constricting because so much of the idea of dying for me involves being my final, complete self-the person I want to grow into. This self, who lives her values perfectly and only creates beauty, is quite far away from who I am now. Instead of trying to achieve that impossible state, I am letting go for now. By allowing myself to trust the future and the change that comes with it, I get to stop and question. I do not need to rush.
  Today I'm with new people, learning new norms, and new definitions of everything I thought I understood. I'm learning to take steps forward, without knowing whether the ground will hold me. I do not look down to search for familiarity, but instead look forward to the seasons ahead, to the inevitable change and growth.
—Rianna Johnson-Levy

This is a terrific resource. I read it and thought of all the young adults I'd give it to. Then I read it again and thought of, well, me: a half century past the designated audience. A spiritual guide for ALL adults.
—Kathleen Montgomery, retired Executive Vice-President of the Unitarian Universalist Association


Becoming is a gift to anyone in transition. It's a cairn marking the trail, a warm meal with friends, a talk with a long-time mentor, a spontaneous dance party, and a hundred one-sentence biographies.
—Matt Meyer, Unitarian Universalist worship leader and founding member of the Lucy Stone Cooperative


We are always facing transition, always in need of fellow travelers and touchstones on our journey of becoming—perhaps never more so than when we are in our twenties and thirties. In these pages, poems speak to our souls; essays by young adults connect with us about their experiences; and songs and prayers lift our hearts in worship. Taken together, this poignant collection gently reminds us that none of us is alone as we navigate the shifting tides of adulthood. —Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

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