LRY Advisor's Handbook, 1955

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Thanks to Ed Inman and Nina West for this contribution. Back in 2003, Ed Inman passed the 1955 LRY Advisor's Handbook along to Nina West, who has passed it along here.

The handbook states it was the project of the Joint Youth Activities Committee (American Unitarian Association - Universalist Church of America) during the 1954-55 year.

The contributions came from many sources, but the following actually took part in the writing of the handbook:

Mrs. Barbara DeWolfe, Universalist representative, JYAD, 1954-
Miss Alice Harrison, associate Director for High School Program, LRY, 1954-56
Miss Eileen Layton, associate Director for Channing-Murray Foundation, LRY, 1954-57
Mrs. Clara Mayo, President, Liberal Religious Youth, 1954-55
Rev. Peter Raible, Unitarian representative, JYAC, 1954-55
Mrs. Lorraine Savage Carr, LRY representative, JYAC, 1954-55
Mr. Charles Sherover, Unitarian representative, JYAC, 1954-57

Peter Raible was the editor.


Chapter listing from the Table of Contents

The Philosophy of Advisership in Liberal Religious Youth
Personal Qualifications and Training Oneself for Advisership
What is Youth?
Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets on Youth
Denominational Aid for Advisers
Local Aid for Advisers
Education: Discussion Programs, Speakers, Audio-Visual Techniques, Trips
Service Projects
LRY Organization
Other Affiliations
Choosing an Adviser

Some Snippets

From the Philosophy of Advisership in LRY section:

The philosophy of LRY from the local group to the continental organization requires a youth-run program.

The role of the adult in the LRY program is a delicate one. The pathway the adult must follow is often narrow with twists and turns. In general therms the adult must avoid the abysses on both sides of the road -- the pitfall of attempting to be "one of the gang," to try to be a youth himself; and the other cavern of becoming the dictator to the youth group. Youth resent interference from adults and are often suspicious of even the best-meant attempt to help; for young people are seeing to establish themselves more and more as independent individuals, free from adult control. LRY believes that whatever failures youth may incur in directing their own progress that such mistakes can be learning experiences. The long-run effect of this youth-run approach is far better, both in personal growth and direct results, than the expedient of an adult run progress.

The word "adviser" summarizes well the relation of the adult to the youth group. The word is not supervisor, director, chaperone, manger, or any term denoting a position of command. The adviser gives advice; but the youth themselves make the decisions. By governing themselves in their own youth group, young people may gain insight into the governing of self, as well as learning the responsibilities of group life. In LRY, too, youth become aware of their relationship to the church and larger community.

The Manual on the Function of the JYAC (Joint Youth Activities Committee)

The function of the Joint Youth Activities Committee (JYAC), paraphrased from the book, was this: In order to coordinate LRY work with the two adult groups -- the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America -- the JYAC was set up. Each adult denomination appointed four members and the LRY two members to this committee. The JYAC assisted LRY in crisis situations, provided a liaison with the two denominations, and assisted in various projects. It also set a representative to attend and observe the LRY Council Meetings and the Convention.

The 1955 description of LRY in the book is as follows:

The Local Group

The meat and meaning of LRY begins and ends with the individuals in local youth groups. The local group functions as the main continuing interest of its members by its week-to-week program. Nonetheless, there are regional and continental organizations, which are based on teh local group and which, in turn, can be extremely helpful to the local group. It is the local LRY groups which send delegates to the Annual LRY Convention to make basic policy. It is also the local groups which elect Council Members to carry on regional work, to aid local groups, as well as to assist in the work of the Continental Council between Conventions.

The Convention

Once a year local group delegates and observers come together from all over the United States and Canada for the purposes of education, recreation and enacting LRY policy. The Convention delegates also elect the continental officers. Youth-led commissions meet daily to study and prepare resolutions for presentation to the total Convention. These commissions are generally in fields such as college and high school programming, affiliations with other organizations, denomination affairs, leadership and membership, and regional problems. Adult-led workshops provide an opportunity for the discussion of particular aspects of the Convention theme. Through the commissions, workshops, and creative worship services conducted by the young people, the Convention provides a balanced program of education, inspiration and fellowship.

Officers and Trustees

The four officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) are elected each year to serve the specific functions suggested by their titles. The four trustees serve as continuity persons and are often assigned the responsibility for overseeing a particular part of the LRY program, e.g. committee chairmanship, committee coordination, or the editing of one of the LRY publications, such as the Youth Leader, the official LRY publication.

The Council

The LRY Council consists of the 4 officers, the 4 trustees, and 20 regional representatives. The Council meets following the Convention and during the Christmas holiday to implement the policies set forth by the Convention.

Regional Representatives

The regional representative carries a large and responsible job. He is the organization's "tier-inner" or correlator. He is expected to have first hand information on all aspects of LRY, particularly on the state of and needs of his particular region. The regional representative helps start new youth groups and strength old ones. He field trips to local groups to help on programming and specific problems. He interprets continental LRY policy to the local groups in his region and, in turn represents the needs of his region on the Council and to the LRY Headquarters. The regional representative works closely with the regional officers on the converences, program, and activities of his area.


A list of committees is given: The Affiliations Committee, The Service Projects Committee, The Worship Committee, The International Religious Fellowship Committee, The Channing-Murray Committee, The Nominating Committee, The Convention Committee. Descriptions are also included.

LRY Staff

LRY IS youth-run. The Council employs a headquarters staff of adults who work full time at implementing the program laid down through the Conventions, Council meetings, LRY committees, etc. Currently this continental staff is composed of an Executive Director, an Office Manager and a secretary. As soon as funcs become available, associates to the Director will be appointed.

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