A Place to Be Yourself

What’s dynamic, democratic, deep, playful and comes with tasty snacks? If you are a high-school aged youth who seeks a community where fun and kindness are appreciated, then come: discover the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence + UUSA Youth Group

Youth group (YG) meets weekly on Sundays from 4-6 pmsometimes online and sometimes outside in-person as COVID-19 and weather allows. We invite newcomers who are in 9th-12th grade to join us. You can experience YG first hand, then decide if it is right for you and commit to continue. Register Here.

We endeavor to share with one another and build relationships across ages. We explore meaningful questions, learning and growing as people and as Unitarian Universalists. We engage in social action on issues that are important to us. We plan and participate in unique and special worship. And we always have fun!

Youth Group is a program of the Religious Education Program of USNF & UUSA. It is guided by our part-time Youth & Young Adult Coordinator and the Youth Adult Committee (YAC) which represents the entire group in decision-making and leads by example. The YAC is a dynamic team of elected youth, along with two adult advisors and the youth director. Four dedicated volunteer advisors, adult members of both congregations, support YG through their presence at meetings and events.

If Youth Group sounds like your cup of tea and tasty snack, or if you are interested in other activities, please contact our Youth & Young Adult Coordinator at  youthandya@uusocietyamherst.org.

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Introducing Johnny Williams, the UUSA and USNF (UU of Northampton and Florence) Youth Group and Young Adult Coordinator

Johnny (they/them) is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for self-directed learning, solidarity economies, comparative religion, and warm beverages. After a secular upbringing in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, Johnny was introduced to Unitarian Universalism by their mother and attended services at the Unitarian Church of Evanston (IL) throughout high school. Johnny continued to explore spirituality and religion as a student at Hampshire College, taking a variety of courses on comparative religion in addition to participating in the campus meditation group and in a local Friends (Quaker) meeting.

Upon graduating from Hampshire in 2018, Johnny worked as a camp counselor for Farm & Wilderness, which led them to the realization that they wanted to pursue youth work as a vocational calling. Since then, Johnny has worked with youth in a variety of settings, and currently works as a music instructor at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens in addition to this role. Johnny is thrilled to be the first youth & young adult coordinator to get to work with youth at both the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence and the Unitarian Society of Amherst. Having lived in both of the communities that these congregations represent, they are very excited to see the kind of chemistry and cross-valley connections that form between both groups of youth over the course of the year.

Johnny grew up in a musical family, and is the oldest of three siblings. They started out on violin/fiddle at an early age and later picked up bass, guitar, piano, and ukulele. Music has been a big part of their spirituality and identity over the course of their life and they hope to share this passion with youth in both congregations. Johnny currently resides in Florence with four humans, four chickens, two turtles, two tortoises, a cat, and a dog.

For more information please contact youthfulusnf@gmail.com.