"Take courage, friends.
The way is often hard,
the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
Take courage, for deep down, there is another truth:
You are not alone."
— Wayne B. Arnason
Kayla Parker has edited this sterling collection of readings, reflections, poems, and prayers. There are ten thematic sections: Growth and Change; Passion and Purpose; Community; Roots; Family, Friends, and Loves; Identity; Lost and Found; Spirit of Life; Justice and Creation; and Hope and Praise. These Unitarian Universalist spiritual resources have been organized for young adults who as cohort seem always to be in transition. Since constant change is something people of all ages face, as the editor points out in the preface, "The readings in this book might strike a chord with people of many generations." That is certainly true for us.
During young adulthood we discover that we owe gratitude to those who have preceded us and we in turn can open doors for the next generation: "Those who come after us will move more easily because of what we have accomplished," writes Andrew Coate in an essay. Elandria Williams expresses a similar theme of gratitude to those who came before us but adds a call to activism:
"We are the children of freedom fighters, visionaries, and radical liberal theologians.
"We are the phoenix rising out of the ashes of the McCarthy era and the civil rights, women's, and queer liberation movements.
"We are the survivors and beneficiaries of youth-led and youth-focused beliefs and programming that encouraged us to be change makers, boundary pushers, and institutionalists at the same time.
"We are and will be ministers, religious educators, congregational presidents, organizers, and social change leaders our faith has led us to be.
"We wear our faith as tattoos on our bodies and in our hearts as testaments to the blood, tears, dreams, and inspirations of our community ancestors and elders."
The inspirational spirit of "becoming" runs like a banner through these wake-up calls. A final example are these lines from a poem by Jean M. Olson called "Go Boldly":
"May you sing the music within you,
composing your own melody,
playing your song with all your heart."