YRUU A Five-Year Review of Programs for Youth 1989 - Implementation

YRUU Five Year Review

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YRUU 5 Year Review - IV - Implementation

IV. Implementation
The following steps need to be taken to carry out our recommendations. Most of these actions will require teamwork and good communication.

Our challenge to all Unitarian Universalists - to pay more attention to youth ministry - is not in this list. Here we confine ourselves to what is measurable. But that challenge is the most important part of this report: Without a change of heart, a renewed emphasis on ministry to youth, no institutional change can make us effective.

A. UUA Board of Trustees
1. Additions to UUA budget

2. Other items
The Youth Council could adopt proposed amendments to the YRUU bylaws at its 1989 meeting. We urge the UUA Board to give Youth Council proposals prompt consideration so that any changes can be effective in time for the Youth Council elections in the winter and spring 1990.

B. The Youth Council and the Steering Committee
1. Bylaw amendments
Amendments to the YRUU bylaws must be approved by both the YRUU Youth Council and the UUA Board of Trustees. We recommend that the following amendments be considered by the 1989 Youth Council and forwarded to the UUA Board for immediate action, so that they can go into effect in 1990:

  • Article III, Section 1. (Membership) Amend to read: "All youth between the ages of 14 and 20 years who either attend local, district, or continental YRUU activities, or who are in sympathy with YRUU's purposes and principles, are invited to consider themselves members of YRUU. To be eligible for YRUU office or youth Program Coordinator positions, a candidate must be under 21 at the time of election."

  • Article III, Section 3. (Advisors) Replace "An adult ... is defined as someone over the age of 22" with "An adult ... is defined as someone over the age of 25 years."

  • Article V. Section 1, part b. (At-large delegates to Youth Council) Delete current part b) "three at-large youth. Each youth shall be from and represent one age group defined as follows: junior high, ages 1215; senior high, ages 15-18; post high, ages 18-22. During their terms, the youth at-large must remain within one month of the age group for which they were selected by the Steering Committee without being subject to approval of the UUA Board of Trustees." Replace with "The youth member of the Religious Education Advisory Committee of the UUA."

  • Article V, Section 2. Delete the words "with the exception of the at-large youth delegates who shall serve one year terms."

  • Article VI, Section 1, part a. (Steering Committee) Delete the words "with at least one youth representing each age group: Junior High, Senior High, and Post High."

  • Article VII, Section 2. (Youth Staff) Amend first sentence to read "Two Youth Program Coordinators shall serve as members of the UUA Department of Religious Education under the supervision of the Director of Youth Programs."

  • Article VIII, Section 2. Delete the words "and Age-Specific At-large". The sentence will now read: "It shall be the responsibility of the district youth organization to submit nominations for adult delegates."

2. Other items

  • (a) We recommend that the Steering Committee, guided by our recommendations under "Behavior" above, propose a process for the Youth Council to follow in revising the behavior code for youth and adults, with the revised code to be approved by the UUA Board of Trustees at the earliest opportunity.

  • (b) We recommend that the Steering Committee develop a process through which the Youth Council's priorities concerning policy and programs are annually reevaluated. Our recommendation is that district service be a first priority. We hope the Steering Committee will give special attention to staff projects that consume time and other resources, but which are less clearly related to the bylaws purposes of YRUU.

  • (c) We recommend that the Steering Committee work with the Youth Staff to clarify the division of responsibility for UUA youth programs among YRUU, the Youth Staff, and other entities.

  • (d) In view of the dire need we have found for leadership training of adults and youth, we hope the Steering Committee will continue to take advantage of the opportunity, both at the Youth Council and at the Continental Conference, to offer leadership training.

C. Department of Religious Education
1.Curriculum Office

  • (a) We recommend that the Curriculum Staff, in consultation with the Youth Staff, review current and forthcoming curricula as recommended under "Program Content" above. We especially urge consideration of the increased interest of senior high youth in structured religious programs, and in programs youth can lead.

  • (b) We encourage the speedy commencement of new curriculum projects to achieve the balance of topics and issues needed by today's youth. Authors could be commissioned to write programs needed immediately and these could be published as part of the UUA's "Lifespan Series" or in some other inexpensive format. Some existing adult programs may be adaptable for use with youth.

2. Independent Study Program

  • We recommend that the Independent Study Program for ministers of religious education specifically require knowledge and competence in youth ministry.

3. Renaissance Program

  • We recommend that the Renaissance Program for directors of religious education include a module on youth ministry.

4. Junior-High Programs Director

  • (a) The proposed Junior-High Programs Director position should be designed carefully. This person should work under the supervision of the Director of the Religious Education Department in close cooperation with the Youth Program Director and the Curriculum staff. The goals listed in Recommendation number 8 under "Age Range" should form the basis for the job description.

  • (b) We look to the new Junior-High Programs Director to draw on expertise that already exists within and beyond the UUA to create, publish, and disseminate materials on ministry with junior-high youth, including a statement of philosophy for junior-high youth ministry, and a guide for organizing and conducting junior-high programs at the local, cluster, and district levels, including the five components listed in the "Visions for Youth" paper.

5.Youth Office

  • (a) Changes in structure and procedures
    • (1) Job descriptions for all Youth Office staff need to be reviewed to reflect (1) the supervisory role of the Youth Programs Director and (2) the focusing of the Youth Program Specialists' assignment on serving high-school youth.

    • (2) The Youth Program Director's job description should be reviewed. In addition to his or her supervisory role, this person's primary personal assignment should be to serve the needs of senior high youth.

    • (3)The Youth Office and Administration will need to implement our suggestion (under "Structure and Accountability," above) that YRUU's full program costs appear separately from the "Youth Programs" budget lines.

  • (b) Tasks
    Leadership development
    • (1) The Youth Office has primary responsibility for implementing the proposed "Leadership Development for Youth and Youth Advisors"program when it is funded.

    • (2) Our proposed travel budget calls for the Youth Staff to provide more leadership training and consultation in districts.

  • Age range
    • (3) We recommend that the Youth Office collect and promote successful models of mentoring and leadership by youth across age boundaries.

  • Program content
    • (4) We urge the Youth Staff to state a UU philosophy of youth ministry as we have recommended under "Program Content" above. Youth ministry needs a compelling vision like that which has revitalized religious education for children and adults In the past decade. This process will require the participation of the whole UUA staff as well as denominational leaders from outside headquarters. We recommend the attached "Visions for Youth" paper as a starting point for this process.

    • (5) We recommend that the Youth Programs Director develop a guide to assist congregations in making a quality audit of their supports for and practice of youth ministry and that these materials be made available through REACH and the UUA Book Store.

    • (6) We suggest that the REACH packet collect and share articles on both the theory and the practice of intergenerational programs that include youth, and consider a "REACH Collection" on this subject.

    • (7) The proposals for (1) a guide on developing group worship experiences for youth and (2) a source book of songs, hymns, and readings would be implemented by the Youth Staff in cooperation with the UUA Worship Resources Office. The UU Musicians Network might be asked to collaborate on the song and hymn collection.

    • (8) A guide to social action for youth could be developed by the Youth Office in consultation with the UUA Social Justice Department, and sold through the UUA Bookstore.

    • (9) The Youth Office is currently writing a conference planning manual; we urge its completion and dissemination. Youth Office staff could implement the recommendation to offer workshops on conference planning at such events as the YRUU Youth Council meetings, the General Assembly, etc.

  • Behavior
    • (10) The Youth Office should collect and develop educational materials about the consequences of substance abuse and sexual behavior (See Recommendation 2c [sic] under "Behavior"). This work could begin before the new behavior code is completed. The office should also develop a plan for distributing these materials and information.

    • (11) When the new continental behavior code is completed, the Youth Staff should publicize it through The World, Synapse, REACH, a mailing to all district YACs, and in all Youth Council and Continental Conference literature.

D. Department of Extension and Field Services

  • The proposed Office on Young Adults has the role of assisting efforts by congregations, metropolitan areas. camps and conferences, campus ministries, and the UU Young adults Network to serve the post high age group. Our recommendation that the YRUU age range be reduced makes their work all the more important.

E. Districts

  • We urge all district officers, executives, boards, and YRUU leaders:

    • 1. To create regular positions for youth representatives on district boards, religious education committees, and other appropriate district bodies where they do not already exist.

    • 2. To make sure good communication and a clear division of responsibility exist between district religious education and youth-adult committees.

    • 3. To accept responsibility for actively recruiting adults, including professional leaders, to work with youth.

    • 4. To make sure that policies exist requiring conference organizers to send publicity to congregations that have not recently sent participants to youth conferences, and to ensure that such policies are followed.

    • 5. To institute a regular review of district policies regarding behavior of youth and adults at youth conferences, along the lines of what we recommend for the continental level under "Behavior" above.

    • 6. To inform congregations regularly of the services available for youth programs from the district and the UUA Youth Office.

F. Theological schools

  • We recommend that all theological schools offer specific courses covering the special religious needs of youth and the methods of youth ministry.

G. UU Ministers Association

  • We recommend that the UU Ministers Association add programs on youth ministry to its continuing education program.

H. Camps and conferences

  • 1. We recommend that camps and conferences offer leadership training for youth and adults to supplement the continental program we have recommended.

  • 2. We urge all conferences and professional gatherings to consider youth ministry as a program topic.

I. Religious Education Advisory Committee

  • Finally, we suggest that REAC, in conjunction with the Youth Office, the Department of Religious Education, and the Board Representative to Youth Council, regularly monitor progress on the implementation of these recommendations.

Figure 1: Additions to UUA budget

[Back to Top]
Budget Item1989-901990-911991-92
Junior-High Programs Consultant (Footnote 14)
  • Salary
  • Travel
  • Assistant
  • Program funds, including for guides, manuals, etc.



Leadership Development Training Programs (Footnote 15)
  • Adult Advisors' Conference
  • Youth-Adult Conference



Restore and augment Youth Staff Travel to distric YACs 4,0004,0004,000
New Cirricula for Senior Highers2,5002,5002,500
Restore third meeting of Steering Committee3,0003,0003,000
Renaissance module on youth ministry (Footnote 16) 3,0002,0000
Youth Staff assistant to become full time8,0008,0008,000

14. This projection assumes that the Junior-High Program Director would be hired in the middle of 1989-90. [Back]

15. In 1990-91, the conference would be for two adult advisors from each district. In 1991-92, the conference would be for one youth and one adult from each district. After that each format would occur every other year, and the annual cost would be $15,000. The first year's expense for each of these programs is for develoopment of the program. This budget would cover conference leaders' expenses, program materials, the cost of the conference site and a partial travel subsidy. [Back]

16. First year, development; second year, launch. [Back]


Translated from the original text document to htm by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on lryer.org. I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that lryer.org appears to be down.

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