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Wrestling with Adulthood: Unitarian Universalist Men Talk About Growing Up

General Assembly 2008 Event 3025

Presenters: Rev. Ken Beldon, Rev. Manish Mishra, Rev. Anthony David, and Erik Kesting, Acting Co-Director for Young Adult Ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Sponsored by UUA Staff.

From the Skinner House book of the same name, these Unitarian Universalist (UU) leaders presented deeply felt and honest personal stories about growing into adulthood. These stories showed the vitality of mature masculinity within our faith and testified to the important role our congregations play in supporting both character development and spiritual development in young adults.

Rev. Ken Beldon, who edited this collection of powerful essays as well as authoring one of them, introduced the panel. Each of the contributors then read an excerpt from his story, each focusing on a pivotal, life-changing time or event on the path he took to adulthood.

One was about divorce, disorientation and recovery. Another was about a marriage that was made in haste, never worked as it was envisioned, and ended, still, with an awakening shock. One talked about his father, repeating those traits he liked least in his father’s life, finally learning to break that cycle—and, in spite of this, coming out with a deep respect and love for the man. The fourth told about the complete dislocation he felt in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and the path he took and the help and connections he received as he returned to a full and fulfilling life.

If you are contemplating your own journey into adult masculinity you are likely to find resonating passages in this collection. If you work with young men in some capacity, especially in mentoring, you are likely to find helpful, deepening insights here. And if you have had some encounters with young men in this season of their lives, you may find a revelation or a new awareness in these stories.

"Ken Beldon and the fine crew he has assembled here prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that liberating our inner adult beats the daylights out of coddling our inner child," says Forrest Church, author of So Help Me God, and minister of public theology at Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City.

Reported by Bill Lewis; edited by Dana Dwinell-Yardley

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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