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2008 was a powerful General Assembly of the UUA for youth and for Young Adult ministry in general. The one and only business resolution on the floor of plenary, co-written by Victoria Mitchell, Youth Representative from Eliot Chapel, and Kimberlee Tomczak, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Central Midwest dealt directly with our commitment to youth and young adult ministries at every level of our association. This resolution passed unanimously at the CMWD District Annual Assembly, and the dialogue continued on the GA plenary floor.

After a lively debate that included statements from Denny Davidoff, the Reverend Daniel O’Connell, CYF delegate Jonathan Craig and the whole of the youth and young adult steering committees, the resolution passed overwhelmingly, affirming our congregations’ support of ministry to these two essential populations.

Watch the video of the Plenary III discussion here >>>
(discussion starts at 00:58:00)

But more important perhaps than even the passing of the business resolution was the opportunity that its passing provided to create and debate responsive resolutions about how the UUA and its member congregations put the spirit of the resolution into practice.

The first responsive resolution reads as follows:

RESPONSIVE RESOLUTION: Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution Accountability

WHEREAS the Moderator in her report referenced the “Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution” Business Resolution passed by the 2008 General Assembly on Friday, June 27, 2008, which “…urges the Unitarian Universalist Association, its congregations and district structures to:

1. Invite ministerial support to youth and young adults through inclusive worship and intentional presence; and
2. Invest financial support in youth and young adult leadership bodies and programs when viable; and
3. Provide support for youth and young adult staff and volunteers to receive suitable training and resources, including self-directed anti-racism and anti-oppression trainings; and
4. Attend to the needs of youth and young adult constituents with marginalized identities by providing resources and opportunities within the congregation and at the district and associational levels.”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2008 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association:

• requests each member congregation; each district; the UUA Administration including specifically the Offices of Youth Ministry and Young Adult Ministries, and Youth Ministry Working Group; the UUA Board of Trustees; the Nominating Committee; the Ministerial Fellowship Committee; and the General Assembly Planning Committee to report back annually for the next three years (2009, 2010, 2011) on their planning, implementation, results and recommendations on each point 1-4 in the above-referenced “Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution”;
• invites the participation of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association and other professional associations; and
• requests the UUA Administration create a reporting mechanism for all these stakeholders, inform them accordingly, collect their reports and present a consolidated report to the General Assembly plenary in each of the next three years.

The second responsive resolution reads as follows:

RESPONSIVE RESOLUTION: Youth and Young Adult Consultation on Ministry

WHEREAS the Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth has presented a positive report with regard to the future of youth ministry throughout the Association, and

WHEREAS the 2008 General Assembly has expressed its support for youth and young adult ministry through passage of the “Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution” Business Resolution;

And WHEREAS using grassroots, bottom-up processes involving stakeholders, accountability and collaborative consultations such as future search, open space, and / or appreciative inquiry, a consultative process could engage the Association on young adult ministries led by young adults and their allies,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2008 General Assembly endorses and voices its support for the continued work of the Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2008 General Assembly encourages the Unitarian Universalist Association to consider engaging a Consultation with regard to Young Adult Ministries.

Watch video of the two responsive resolution discussion at Plenary VI here >>>

(discussion starts at 01:33:40)

At the closing ceremonies, both UUA President Rev. Bill Sinkford and UUA Moderator Gini Courter spoke about young adult ministry as a priority for the UUA as set forth by this General Assembly. The CYF and young adult ministry was on everyone's lips as they left Ft. Lauderdale and we have yet again affirmed our importance to the larger UU movement.

Watch video of the closing ceremonies and Bill and Gini's speeches here >>>

Written by Erik D. Carlson