Three Responsive Resolutions, one in response to the Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution, one advocating a consultation on ministry to young adults, and the third asking the UUA to leverage its power through socially responsible investing to achieve affordable health care for all, passed in the closing minutes of the 2008 General Assembly.
Responsive Resolutions, which are resolutions created in response to a substantive portion of a report by a UUA officer or committee, require a two-thirds vote to be passed.
The first Responsive Resolution called for accountability for the Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution. The original resolution, passed Friday, called for ministerial support of youth and young adults through inclusive worship and intentional presence; financial support for youth and young adult leadership programs; support for youth and young adult staff; and special attention to the needs of youth and young adult constituents with marginalized identities. The Responsive Resolution instituted a system of accountability asking each congregation, each district, the UUA administration, 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 on their progress in implementing the above. The UUA administration would be charged with creating a reporting mechanism and presenting these reports at the next three GAs.
The Responsive Resolution, which was presented by Victoria Mitchell, one of the authors of the Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Resolution, was created in response to criticism that the original resolution lacked a structure of accountability. “This Responsive Resolution will allow us to monitor progress at all levels as the UUA moves toward youth and young adult empowerment,” she said.
The second Responsive Resolution called for the continuation of the Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth, also calling for a similar process for young adult ministries. The Consultation on Ministry To and With Youth was a multiyear survey process resulting in a series of recommendations for improved youth ministry. Several speakers pointed out that youth and young adult ministerial needs were very different and that young adults warranted their own survey. “We need to support young adults as the leaders of the next generation,” said Frank Wells.
The responsive resolution requesting the UUA support affordable health care through corporate shareholder activism was proposed by the Rev. Sydney Morris in response to Financial Advisor Dan Brody's report on Friday. Morris is chair of the UUA's Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. The resolution says that “in accordance with the 18 resolutions of the UUA, from 1961 to 2007, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UUA will leverage its power through shareholder engagement with the corporate world to further and create avenues for the realization of the right of all people to high-quality health care.”
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Jane Greer is a former senior editor of UU World magazine.