"I think knowing more about history might have helped during the LRY-to-YRUU transition -- it might have provided more context, might have underscored the importance of "by and for youth." That part seems to have gotten lost between then and now (to the extent I know what "now" is like). As I remember the end of LRY, there was not much of a choice between an LRY path and a non-LRY path. By the end, LRY seemed tattered and dysfunctional and under-resourced and sort of tired and played-out. (Of course, lots happened before then.) So anything new, with resources and support and energy, was more attractive. Also, the world was changing, including the way the world viewed minors and liability. I'm glad I got to be part of some truly youth-led efforts before all of the changes."
Kirkman, Jana - YRUU -- Northwest UU Congregation in Atlanta, GA -- Mid-South District. 1983-1986.
"Although I loved our advisors, and was extremely dedicated to ConCon, regional cons, and GA when I could get to it, I didn't mesh terribly well with some of my own congregation's other youth. It's possible that the program we were doing didn't suit me, although the ones I remember, I liked (mainly Building Your Own Theology). In any case, when I turned 16, I joined the congregation as a voting member, joined the choir, and spent most of my Sundays in the service instead of in YRUU. I continued socializing with the people I liked, but avoided the others, who mostly didn't go to cons anyway. I got a lot more spiritual experience, social consciousness activities, and intellectual stimulation from the church itself, and from cons. After I graduated, and in my sister's heyday, the youth group thrived in its awesome new space, and I understand that it was a very different feel. It just wasn't a good fit for me, in my time -- too many "cool kids" who smoked, drank, and mocked people."
"I was a hippy kid in the age of preppies and did not fit in at school, in our LRY group those distinctions disappeared. We talked about deep issues, were involved in social action, had fun and generally provided an intimacy that was lacking elsewhere in my world. I loved worship, I went from a very timid kid to a leader and I found a voice in LRY that I don't think I had elsewhere in my life. I was in LRY in one way or another through the Common Ground Process and into Leadership as the first staff in the YRUU office."
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