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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More change in YRUU.

YRUU's Steering Committee appears to have reached some impasse with the UUA administration over the selection of the next one-year staff position in the UUA's Youth Office. In the past, the Steering Committee has had a role in selecting the two YRUU Program Specialists, or YPSes, who are full-time employees in the office. UUA President William G. Sinkford says in a letter to the Steering Committee (which Joseph Santos-Lyons posted on his blog) that the next appointment will be called the "Youth Ministry Associate" and will not involve input from the Steering Committee. Sinkford explains:

Whatever the reasons, the Steering Committee’s demand that UUA staff leave the meeting so that SC alone could decide on the September YPS recommendation was clearly outside the boundaries of established procedures.  Excluding the people who would work with and be responsible for the YPS staff, and refusing to discuss the issues interfering with collaboration, moved SC outside of right relationship with UUA staff to an extent that needs to be acknowledged. At this point, proceeding with “business as usual” is not possible.

Is there another side to this story? There always is — but again, with a letter circulating and, to the best of my Googling ability, no sign of any response, Joseph's post is all I have to go on right now.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 12 April 2005 at 5:41 PM

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Joseph Santos-Lyons:

April 13, 2005 01:02 AM | Permalink for this comment

Yep, not much else to go on. Not sure if there will really be much else, given that few folks really pay critical attention to Continental or UUA politics. It does sever one of the last carryover relationships from LRY. I triple checked with Jesse Jaeger before putting this up on my blog.

tim fitz:

April 15, 2005 03:32 AM | Permalink for this comment

sigh. it's pretty tough to know how to feel about this. the steering committee has been put in a very hard position and i have great reservations about Rev. Sinkford's approach to youth/adult relations. I have a hard time seeing this as an interesting institutional phenomenon; I think it may be something more along the lines of a strategic/leadership blunder, if not simply representative of oppressive attitudes prevalent regarding youth. I don't know what Steering Committee's role in this situation is, though. Relationships are strained. I can guess as to why Rev. Sinkford felt justified in this, but I remain relatively unconvinced that there is any possible justification.

Steve Caldwell:

April 15, 2005 09:11 AM | Permalink for this comment

I don't know if two instances is enough to establish a repeating pattern, but I wonder if Unitarian Universalist adults and youth working on their respective developmental issues create situations where youth ministry crashes and burns.

Look at the timeline for the birth and death of Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) and the birth of Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU):

LRY 1954 - 1982

YRUU 1983 - 2006 or 2007??

I'm wondering if what we're seeing here isn't simple a youth issue.

This problem may also be due to adult developmental issues that impact on youth ministry.

Maybe crashing and burning every 25-35 years is a normal expectation for Unitarian Universalist youth ministry given our polity, theology, and traditions (not to mention the adult and youth developmental issues referenced above).


April 22, 2005 12:44 PM | Permalink for this comment

I've weighed in on this at my own blog, for whomever is interested in hearing my take on this saga.

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