What follows I also originally posted to one of the threads in the same Faceboox group as, not my last post but the two before it.
This is what I concluded from reading the “Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth Summary Report”, the UUA is trying to move the focus of youth programming from an “adult facilitated but youth led and organized program” to an “adult administrated ministry for youth”. It should be noted that I am getting the impression that the UUA’s goal is to do more things for youth. Instead of what has been the practise amongst Canadian and US UU communities for years, which was manly to help youth billed and maintain healthy communities of their own which would serve their needs. I don’t like this change but maybe it is just because the old way of doing things really served my needs rather vary well for the most part.
Also I fund these passages from the report rather interesting.
Some groups, such as the UUA Board, asserted that lack of ministerial involvement with youth in their congregation, which is sometimes explained by the philosophy of youth empowerment, is actually abandonment. The Board was also concerned that many adults and congregations lack a deep understanding of how to nurture, protect, and empower youth in healthy ways. Ministry & Professional Leadership staff at the UUA noted a lack of pastoral care and attention to youth’s pain. Similarly, others mentioned the need for UUs to be more sensitive and to listen to the lived experiences and emotional and spiritual suffering of marginalized people, including youth.
Some youth seek pastoral care in community with one another; for example, 72 percent of survey respondents of high school age indicated that their youth group helps them explore options and offers suggestions on how to deal with life situations. Congregations discussed the strong bonds formed among youth and the way they form a peer ministry.
Unitarian Universalist youth are like all Unitarian Universalists – they embrace a wide variety of spiritualities and worship styles. Participants at the Central Midwest District gathering reminded us that “youth are members of a community and communities work with the different needs of its members.” Other groups pointed out to us that UU youth communities do not always welcome this diversity; for example, youth at the Metro New York District and Joseph Priestley District gatherings talked about the strong reactions they receive when they talk about God or Christian beliefs. YRUU leaders envisioned a community where youth feel comfortable naming their higher power. Many groups (youth and adults) identified a gap between lifelong, raised-Unitarian Universalists and those who have found Unitarian Universalism. These groups also discussed the perception in congregations that becoming UU is an adult process, rather than something we should raise our children to be.
Some youth communities (particularly at the district and continental level) experience tension with the Continental Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network (C*UUYAN) or young adult community. According to C*UUYAN leaders, this is due in part to inappropriate boundaries of some young adults, generalizations based on age, and no intentional welcoming relationship between the two. The UUA Board called youths’ departure from youth programs a “bridge to nowhere” and called for more welcoming of youth into young adult and camps ministry.
So if you are a Unitarian Universalist (UU) and care about UU youth and or the future of UUism in North America I do urge you to go and read the “Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth Summary Report”. And then do give me your thoughts on what you think of it as well as your thoughts on my impressions of it.