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We would like to invite you into an exciting discussion about how we might make our district youth and young adult ministries even more effective. 

This year needs to be a time to rethink our district ministries with youth and young adults.  Currently the district services have been focused on district youth and young adult committees and district events. We believe that to truly grow multigenerational congregations it is necessary to redirect our work.  To make time for this growth and exploration, we are planning a change in responsibilities for our Youth and Young Adult Coordinator.

 

Our plan is to suspend our District Youth and Young Adult Coordinator’s previous duties with both the District Youth and Young Adult Steering Committees (and their activities and events) during the second half of our fiscal year, January-June, 2011.  This includes ending our support of the spring youth conference.

 

The second half of the year would then be spent researching possibilities, learning what works in other faith traditions, reflecting on what we hear from you, and creating plans for stronger and sustainable means to support congregational ministries with and for youth and young adults.

We will continue supporting those events that are primarily focused on congregational ministries (like the Youth Advisor Training – as a series of online classes).  However, this year we will take a break from organizing the spring youth conference and other district-wide events. 

Originally, we had hoped to move our Youth and Young Adult staff position from half to full time.  We have come to the realization that, with present resource constraints, we are not able to do this. Had we been able to afford a full-time position, we might have been able to continue our existing services while we explored what a new model would look like and embrace a new vision.  As it is, we need to declare a sabbatical from the current work and make space to work with you to determine the future course for supporting congregations in their ministry to and with youth and young adults.

The question we wish to explore this year with you is:  What can the district do to best support your ministries with youth and young adults?  
Some corollary questions are:
? What would our congregations look like if youth and young adults were fully integrated into congregational life? 
? Can Unitarian Universalism grow if we do a better job of retaining our youth and attracting young adults? 

We actively seek your input as we look to answer these questions and create district support that is vibrant and financially sustainable.

Although resources are tight, we all bring valuable assets to this conversation:

• The first is you:  the congregations of this district have been consistent in their exceptional support for youth and young adult work, financially and programmatically. 
• Second is Kimberlee Carlson.  We have in her someone who, in our opinion, is one of the most capable and wisest in the association.  To have her commitment and work during this time of transition will be a wonderful assurance of continuity and a wonderful asset in planning something new that is our collective best answer to the question of how we can best support your congregational ministries with youth and young adults.
• Third, will be a Chalice Lighter Grant.  We do NOT use Chalice Lighter money for ongoing work of the district.  Yet the Chalice Lighter committee agrees that on a one-time basis and as a tool for reinvention they would give us a grant resulting from the Fall 2010 Call - likely to be about $8500. 

We are making this announcement now in order to give us all ample opportunity to discuss this crucial question together.  How can the district best support your congregational youth and young adult ministries? 

We look forward to hearing about your plans for ministry with youth and young adults and what we can best do to support that ministry.  We hope you can understand that in this financial environment we cannot give this important work the attention it deserves while continuing to do everything as it has been done.

We look forward to engaging you in this exciting work!


dori-sig2   Dori Davenport Thexton
ian-sig2  Ian Evison, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
kimberlee1   Kimberlee Carlson

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