Young Adults

Young Adults @ First Church (ages 18-35ish)

First Church has a vibrant young adult community (ages 18 through 20- & 30- somethings), a diverse mix of students (grad & undergrad), young professionals, seekers and skeptics, singles, couples, and families of all configurations. We come from all kinds of religious backgrounds and beliefs. We gather regularly to build spiritual community, meet new people and deepen friendships, talk about real things that matter, get and give support, work and serve for justice in our community together, and grow in faith and relationship with God.

Our signature ministry is our 1st Wednesday Open Chapel services (Sept-May; see more info below!) for and by young adults. Beginning in September 2018, we will also be offering a Young Adult Yoga Class every 3rd Thursday, 5:30-6:30pm (also in Loper Chapel). Other regular offerings include our new Young Adult Theological Book Group, along with other service opportunities and social gatherings. Recent gatherings include potlucks and picnics, game nights, serving at the Berkeley Food Pantry & Prisoners Literature Project, hikes, LGBTQ country two-step, froyo outings, etc! We hold an annual day-long Young Adult Retreat in the spring. Beginning in Fall 2018, we also hope to launch a series of Young Adult Neighborhood/Life Small Groups to invite folks deeper into community connection. Stay tuned!


Photo of open chapel worship, 30 or so young adults gathered in a chapel singing with twinkly lights



Open Chapel @ First Church

open chapel logoJoin us every first Wednesday of the month (Sept-May), 6-8PM for dinner + our young adult contemporary worship service, "Open Chapel" as we slow down, sing out, tune in, break bread, and open up. This progressive, experimental, inclusive, participatory Christian worship gathering is open to all young adults and takes place in First Church Berkeley's Loper Chapel (right at the corner of Dana and Durant near the UC Berkeley campus). Services are led by Young Adult Minister Rev. Kit Novotny, with a team of young adults and folk musicians Sarah and Thomas Gettys, and Director of Music Derek Tam.

(*note*: Open Chapel will take its usual break June-August 2018 and will resume again Wednesday, September 5, 2018).

Every Open Chapel gathering is a little different, but includes some combination of delicious food and informal hanging out as a community, singing together with guitar, banjo, and/or piano, creative prayer, meditation on scripture and poetry, a sermon that opens up into stories shared from the heart, and an open communion table. Young adults in our community describe Open Chapel in the following words: "Warm, ritual, communal, diverse; Musical, reflective, collaborative; Welcoming, inclusive, nourishing; cozy; Fullfilling and a safe space; Friends; community; Open and affirming! Genuine. Love.; Welcoming, warm, open, beautiful music, interactive; Reflection; Safe, sincere, socially conscious, devoted, accepting, enthusiastic; A blessed place.; Open Chapel: welcoming, safe, feels like community; Beautiful, intimate, touching, invites sharing , community , warm, welcoming; A great opportunity to connect with others; Innovative; Very friendly; Mid-week Spiritual Fix."


Young Adults @ First Church Email Newsletter

Sign up to get Rev. Kit's occasionally inspiring & often irreverent Young Adults @ First Church newsletter delivered to your inbox every other week. aka the ministry of gifs. Click here to read through past newsletters.

Enter your email address to receive regular updates for Young Adults @ First Church!

powered by TinyLetter


Young Adults @ First Church Facebook Group

Connect with fellow young adults at First Church by joining our open Young Adults @ First Church Facebook group! Find young adult group events,  post & initiate events, share articles / links / songs / inspiration, engage in spiritual discussion, crowdsource, post/seek job/housing opportunities, etc. A great way to support & stay connected with fellow young adults & the life of the church.


photo of 15 happy young adults

Why church? Why First Church Berkeley?

Wondering if our church & young adult community are for you? If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, then yes, find a way to check us out!

Are you in the midst of some big life transitions:

  • Are you less than settled/far from rooted in your place of residence / sense of "home" ?
  • Are you exploring significant relationships?longing for new and true friends, and people you can be real with?
  • Are you seeking direction for a course of study / career that is more than a job, but a vocation or calling where your deep joy meets the world's deep needs?
  • Have you been burned or bored by church in the past, but know there's got to be something more alive and life-giving out there?

Are you looking for a faith community...

  • that is inclusiveprogressive, and Open and Affirming?
  • where you can explore God in community... even if you're not quite sure what you believe or where church fits in?
  • where you can connect with people of all ages, but also be supported by a vibrant group of peers?
  • that works together for peace, justice and joy for ALL people?
  • that will love and accept you exactly as you are, and as you are becoming?

Young adults on retreat, playing guitar, hanging outYoung adults in a bowling alleyphoto of 3 smiling young adults and a little white dogyoung man drawing in the sandYoung adults playing board games
Young adults gathered outside brick church, goofy faces