Common Ground 1

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The Youth Assembly Planning Committee was set up as a committee of the UUA Board, charged with planning and implementing the 1981 UUA Youth Assembly.

Anne Heller functioned as the committee's convenor, and Wayne Arnason, the UUA Consultant on Youth Programs, acted as the committee's secretary and staff person.

The committee met three times. The first meeting, held in Knoxville, TN in August, 1980, included a meeting with the Liberal Religious Youth Board of Trustees. The second meeting, in September 1980 in Boston, included a meeting with UUA President Eugene Pickett, and with the members of the Continental Youth Adult Committee of the UUA. The third meeting in January, 198 1, was in Dallas, Texas.

The proceedings were recorded in detail and distributed to UUA Board members. Additional copies are available, but the minutes are not included in this report.

The Planning Committee also sponsored a Hearing at the 1981 UUA General Assembly for all interested individuals wanting to know more about the Common Ground process.

The Committee generally made decisions by consensus, with occasional votes to clarify positions. All the committee's decisions were presented and supported unanimously.

The major decisions of the Committee were:

  1. To hold the assembly in the Twin Cities, MN area because of:
    • (a) the low cost and excellent facilities available at Carleton College.
    • (b) its proximity to the LRY Continental Conference site.

  2. To limit the size of the assembly, and to restrict it to delegates only, because of:
    • (a) the costs involved.
    • (b) the nature of the work to be done.

  3. To seek the broadest representation possible at the assembly within a ratio of three youths to one adult; to create at-large delegate positions representing UU organizations and constituencies as well as district delegate positions; to leave the delegate selection process up to each district.

  4. To title the assembly "Common Ground", after a song by Paul Winter, as an expression of our best hope for the outcome of the assembly.

  5. To employ a "small-consensus-group" to "large-business-group" process because:
    • (a) it allowed the greatest possibility for communication and exchange of values and visions.
    • (b) it allowed for the broadest input from the largest number of people.

  6. To commit ourselves to worship as an essential part of the fabric of the assembly.

  7. To seek funding from UU sources for a Delegate Travel Reimbursement Fund, and for general support of the assembly.

  8. To recommend that each district sponsor a preparatory youth assembly in their own area, with staff support from Wayne and our committee if desired.

  9. To seek a skilled facilitating staff, and the funds to insure their full participation in and commitment to the process.

Furthermore, the Youth Assembly Planning

Committee drafted a statement on behavior at the assembly, and requested each delegate to sign and affirm it before registering to attend. A full discussion of this statement and the events around it appear in the appendix.

The recommendations of the Youth Assembly Planning Committee may be found later in this report.


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

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