Online responses to 'UU World.'
A lively conversation was sparked by letters from the leaders of the UUA’s sponsored organizations for youth and young adults, Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) and the Continental Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network (C*UUYAN), which stated that their UUA funding would be ended in June. (See news coverage on page 43 and on uuworld.org, February 18 and February 25.)
YRUU supporters organized themselves online, bloggers weighed in, and the UUA rushed to clarify that, although Continental YRUU “will be replaced,” the Board of Trustees had not yet approved a change to YRUU’s status or funding.
A blog set up by the YRUU Steering Committee, YRUU UUlogy, highlights key documents and links. Youth, young adults, and supporters also formed the Unitarian Universalist Youth and Young Adult Empowerment Facebook group, which had attracted more than 1,100 members as of April 4.
Some bloggers, such as the Rev. Christine Robinson of “iMinister,” supported replacing YRUU: “I’m up for seeing if we can find something better.” (February 12) Others, including seminarian Jeff Liebman of “uujeff’s muse kennel and pizzatorium,” worried that abandoning the program “disempowers a ministry that traditionally must fight for legitimacy.” (February 12)
The UUA posted answers to “Frequently Asked Questions about the Status of Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) and Youth Ministry,” explaining that no final decision about funding had been made. The UUA acknowledged, however, that “a conversation is taking place around ending [YRUU’s] continental structure and replacing it with a structure that better supports our congregations and districts in their ministries to and with youth.” (February 25)
On other topics: At “the yes church,” the Rev. Chip Roush reacted to Esther Hurlburt’s UU World essay, “Universal Love” (Spring 2008), in which she describes how a group of women from her congregation reached out to a woman in prison. Hurlburt concludes, “We just let her find her own way, and that was her salvation.” Roush replied: “I’m disturbed by the implication that we can or must save ourselves. . . These women did not ‘let her find her own way’—they shared her journey, and showed her what gave them the strength to carry on, in their own paths.” (March 11)
Responding to William Doherty’s cover story, “Home Grown Unitarian Universalism” (Spring 2008), Elizabeth Barrett at “ExUUberance” praised several UUs she knows who “grew up in homes with strong links to our religious movement.” They “can lead the way for the rest of us, if we pay attention.” (March 4)
This spring also saw the launch of two new resources for exploring Unitarian Universalism online. ">DiscoverUU.com aggregates feeds from many UU blogs, while UUPlanet.tv showcases online videos about Unitarian Universalism.
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Shelby Meyerhoff attends First Parish UU of Arlington, Massachusetts.