Common Ground II

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The YAC divided the work of the Assembly into two areas: Program and Administration. joining YAC members Cox, Schoeny, Southworth, and Gibbons on the program team was:

James Bowers
James was a 1981 Common Ground delegate from Thomas Jefferson District, and also represented his District on the LRY Board of Directors. He acted as Moderator for the Business Sessions.

Beth Cox and Mara Schoney were Co-chairs of the business process, Bruce Southworth acted as Parliamentarian, and John Gibbons was Worship Coordinator.

On the administrative team, Wayne Arnason was Site Manager, Jane Park was Assistant Manager, Kevin Clark and Fred the MicroComputer were Registrars, Lisa Feldstein was Newsletter Editor, and Lori Pederson was Communications Coordinator, Joining them were:

David Williams
Dave was a member of the 1980-81 LRY Executive Committee, and one of the Moderators of the 1981 Youth Assembly. He served this year as Office Manager.

Vonnie Hicks
Although Vonnie was actually a delegate, he served as official photographer, and is responsible for all the photographs in this report.

The YAC solicited applications for program staff, and selected twelve of the applicants. Although the business sessions were lengthy and ran over, all the workshop slots in our schedule were honoured this year. The members of the program staff, and their workshop titles and designs, are reprinted below as they appeared in the delegate workbooks:

Jeff Brooks
Jeff is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has a long background with the Thomas Jefferson District YAC/LRY. His workshops: MINISTRY TO YOUNG ADULTS. Along with Jim Eller, Jeff will be meeting with people in the 18-22 years age range, as well as people who want to start some programs for that age group. The frustrations and the importance of work with people both on and off campus will be discussed. DISTRICT YOUTH ADULT COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION AND IDEAS. Along with Pat Schwing, and members of successful YACs from around the continent, notes will be compared on different styles of YACs that are really working. Projects and program approaches for district YACs will be outlined.

Jim Eller
Jim is the minister of our church in Peoria, IL, and is married to Barbara Moore. He comes from a background in Methodist youth ministry, and a theological education at Starr King School. He was a facilitator at Common Ground last year. Jim's workshops include:

GAMES, IMPROVS, AND PLAYS FOR LOCAL GROUPS. Great ideas for icebreakers or whole evenings for your local. A chance to get to know yourself better while having some fun and letting loose trying some of these games and improvs out. MINISTRY TO YOUNG ADULTS. Along with Jeff Brooks, Jim will bring in some of his past experience with another denomination, as well as his current knowledge of successful young adult programs in UU churches.

Bob Goodbread
Bob is a marriage and family counsellor from Clearwater, FL, where he serves as one of the LRY advisors. He has a broad background in both community youth work and in leading workshops at UU Youth conferences. His wife, Connie, was last year and is this year a delegate to Common Ground. Bob's workshops include: SECRETS. This workshop has a maximum enrollment of 25 people. It involves anonymously submitting personal secrets to a pool. Individual secrets are drawn and discussed by the group members. Something to try for your own local next year, or for the experience of finding out what we feel about our secrets. CREATOR FANTASY. Participants fantasize themselves in the role of the creator of a world and its inhabitants. This also has a limit of 25 people.

Jane Koestler
Jane is a freshman at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She has been an active LRY'er in Main Line Church, near Philadelphia, and has served on the LRY Board. She was a facilitator on last year's Common Ground staff. Jane's workshops include: OLD AND NEW GAMES. For both conferences and local meetings, competitive and non-competitive games are always good to be able to know, use, and lead. Jane will teach people some of the most popular and successful ones. HUMAN LIBERATION. A workshop not about sex stereotypes, but sexism. Sexism, an issue too little understood. Through values clarification and discussion, we'll explore this social disease in our attempt to conquer it. Limit 15 participants.

Barbara Moore
Barbara comes from Peoria, IL, and is married to Jim Eller. She is a political activist and has been the representative of the UU Service Committee in Southern California, as well as at last year's Common Ground. Barbara was advisor to the Pacific Southwest LRY Federation. Her workshops include: WHY SOCIAL ACTION IN OUR YOUTH MOVEMENT? We tend to assume that it would be good for youth groups and our new youth organization to be involved in social concerns. Why bother? What do we get out of it? Can social concerns really work with a high school group? The reasons for social action will be explored, with special attention to the role social action programming could play in our new youth organization. HOW TO MAKE RAP GROUPS AND DISCUSSIONS WORK IN YOUR LOCAL. The most obvious program for any local youth group is a discussion about some interesting topic. Yet, many discussions fall apart because nobody knows how or wants to lead them. This workshop deals with how to properly lead group discussions without doing all the talking yourself, and when/why discussions are appropriate. Limited to 12 people. Barbara will also be involved with the second part of Kate Titus's workshop.

Pat Schwing
Pat is the Co-Director of Religious Education at the Birmingham Michigan UU church, and past Chair of the Michigan District YAC. Her high energy and enthusiasm have been very important in the revival of Michigan youth programs. Pat's workshops include: YOUTH SUNDAY FORMULAS THAT WORK. A Youth Sunday is always a great project for a local to undertake. It's fun to plan, the church appreciates it, and it brings a group together. But how do you get original ideas and formulas that you can actually pull off? What are the pitfalls to watch out for? DISTRICT YOUTH ADULT COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION AND IDEAS. With Jeff Brooks, and members of other successful YACs contributing, this workshop will survey the most successful organizations and programs that are happening in our UUA Districts.

Doug Strong
Doug was the Bursar at last year's Common Ground. He is the minister in Augusta, ME, and has a long background as a local and District youth advisor in both Pacific Central and Northeast Districts. His workshops include: ONCE UPON A NIGHTMARE-A PERSONAL ODYSSEY. By the time we are six or seven, we know that there are some things you just never can talk about-sex is one of them. Growing up gay and not being able to tell anyone; afraid of my feelings; tormented by guilt and shame; with no role models and no support. No help resulted in a thirty-year nightmare. This is a workshop designed to help anyone understand homosexuality. It is intended for straights and gays (no one will ask you which you are). HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR PARENTS. The worst thing about being a parent is that there is no "perfect parent;" in fact there is no expert that we can look to for advice and to get answers on how to do a decent job of parenting. Things get more complicated when you consider that there is also no such thing as the "perfect child"-it is natural that conflicts can arise. This workshop is designed to deal constructively with parent-youngster (especially teenagers) interaction. It is significant that it is taught by a non-parent!

Kate Titus
Kate is one of the leaders of the New Hampshire-Vermont LRY Federation. She has been active in her Manchester, NH local group, at Star Island, and is also on the District YAC. Kate's workshop is: POLITICAL ACTION ISSUES FOR YOUR LOCAL OR DISTRICT (in 2 parts). Kate will bring material and offer advice on how to organize around a number of specific issues that are current-including abortion rights, El Salvador, disarmament, and the ERA. Participants will be able to talk through some of their own feelings about these issues.

Rich Vaughn
Rich has been a junior and senior high advisor at Eliot Chapel in St. Louis, MO, for a number of years. He has been a significant lay leader in the congregation, chairing the RE Committee, and serving on the Board of Trustees. His workshop is: WHO'S IN CHARGE? Free-flowing, outwardly unstructured, but with a dominant theme that the quality of our lives is mainly determined by ourselves. Basic notations such as the meaning and value of peace of mind won't be lectured on, but rather explored in practical ways that could give participants something tangible to work with when they leave the workshop. Limit 16 participants.

Nan Warshaw
Nan was a member of the 1980-81 LRY Executive Committee, and a member of the LRY Board from the Central Midwest District. She is now a freshman at Evergreen College near Olympia, WA. Nan's workshop is: DREAMWORK (in 2 parts). We all dream regularly, but few of us remember or talk through our dreams on a regular basis. The opening session will provide basic information and an exchange of feelings about group dreamwork. People may also bring dreams to share. The second session will focus on dreams that people have had during the youth assembly, as we see ourselves and our conference reflected in the mirror of our own minds. Limit 12 participants.

Several guests from the UUA also led single workshops for the delegates:

DAVID PARKE, editor of UU World, led a workshop on UU YOUTH, THEN AND NOW, reflecting on his own experiences as President of American Unitarian Youth in the years just prior to the merger into LRY.

PRESIDENT EUGENE PICKETT led a workshop on HOW TO GET THINGS DONE AT THE UUA, a free flowing dialogue on the Common Ground process and the UUA's response to it.

BOB ALPERN, Director of the UUA's Washington Office, led a workshop on NUCLEAR FREEZE ORGANIZING.

EUGENE NAVIAS, Director of the UUA's Education Section, attended the closing days of the assembly in order to observe the meetings of the Interim Council.

All concerned greatly enjoyed the facilities, food, and hospitality at Bowdoin College. In addition to business and workshops, the delegates had an outdoor picnic, a feature film, a contra dance with a live band, and free time for swimming, relaxing, or seeing Brunswick.


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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