It was 2002 when I signed up to be an advisor for the Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU) group. That’s code for “high school youth group” at the UU church. I had recently 1)moved to Portland, 2)joined First Unitarian Church. When I signed on, I was still living with my Aunt, Matt and I were flirting, but thing had gotten going, and I was temping at Wedbush Morgan. By the time my first year of YRUU was done I had moved into a studio apartment downtown, Matt and I were a thing, I had quit working for Wedbush Morgan and started graduate school at PSU.
When I signed on, it was only me who had made a firm commitment, with maybe Jimmy, one of the current co-advisors, sticking around for another year or so. By the time we started in the fall there were five adults total: myself, Jimmy, Frank, Chris and Eric. Dana, the head of Religious Education for Youth, broke us in. We had an amazing group of kids that year, with Kitty, one of the few seniors, setting the tone. She loved the song “Take me Home, Country Roads” and we sang it a lot that year and in nearly all the years to follow. She also realized that by pressing your hands together you could make a chalice, which is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. So that was cool and it went on the back of our sweatshirts.
On the front it said YRUU, which was not only the name of the group, but also an excellent question. We had shirts or sweatshirts every year, but this first one remained my favorite. For seven wonderful years I got to hang out with incredibly cool high school kids. Seemingly a million things changed during that time, while everything also stayed the same.
It is with sadness I say goodbye to the YRUU sweatshirt, but it lives on in many happy YRUU memories.