Common Ground II

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In some respects, Common Ground was a conversion process. It served not only as a construction site for a new youth organization, but also served to allow those who had doubts and fears concerning that organization a chance to be heard and to have their concerns treated with consideration and respect. I and many others arrived at the conference with a great deal of apprehension and skepticism toward the new youth organization we were to create. Through the course of the week, that apprehension changed to an overwhelming feeling of hope for, and eagerness to begin the implementation of our new organization. That change came about with some pain, but the pain was shared by all delegates, and was dealt with through the concerned, cooperative spirit that played such a major role in the Common Ground experience.

Another conversion that took place, vital to the success of any organization, was the meshing of ideas and opinions. When the conference began, its delegates included 250 different people with 250 different opinions about the structure, purposes, ideals, etc. of the proposed new youth organization. When the conference ended, its delegates had cooperated to produce one unified youth organization that would serve the needs of a continental body of youth. Common Ground had carefully meshed those ideas, listening to and considering each one. Finally, when all were satisfied that they had been heard, a growing feeling of eagerness and hope for the newly created Young Religious Unitarian Universalists spread through us all. We knew our dream was coming true. Our Y.R.U.U. was taking form, and that form was one that we had all helped to create.

Conversions are always difficult and painful. Those that took place at Common Ground were no exception. They were, however, brought about within a caring, concerned atmosphere that was upheld and nurtured by all those that were a part of Common Ground.

For any organization to succeed, it must have concern and compassion for all its members. Its assemblies must reflect that concern. Because concern for the future members of the Y.R.U.U. was such a major part of Common Ground, and because the participants of Common Ground showed such concern for each other, I feel nothing but optimism towards the success of the Y.R.U.U.

-Mark Halsted
Traverse City, MI


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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