Ally Letter

October 23, 2018

Hello, everyone! First off, we here at YRUUP would like to thank everyone for their continued support of our community over the past three years. Our organization has grown and changed immensely through the process of re-affiliating from the PCD to our current partner organization NCUUCC. We have gained valuable insight from all of the challenges and exploration that have happened as a result of that decision, and we couldn’t have done any of this without our wider YRUUP community. If you would like more information on YRUUP’s re-affiliation, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page at yruup.org/FAQ or contact Council at council@yruup.org.

Many people have asked us what they can do to support the YRUUP community in this continuing conversation. The short answer is that we want people to share their own experiences in YRUUP with others, and to make an effort to educate themselves about the many differing perspectives in this conversation. Before we get into specifics about that, however, we want to make sure everyone understands where we are in this process.

Over the past two years, YRUUP Council has been in continuing conversation with Eric Bliss, the Youth Ministry Specialist for the Pacific Western Region. We have had numerous meetings with representatives from various “stakeholder groups", including youth, parents, ministers, religious educators, and other people invested in the future of YRUUP. Most recently, we have had a series of meetings with ministers in the PCD in which we have started to develop a process for continuing this conversation.

During the last of those conversations, we delegated a small search committee to hire a neutral facilitator to ensure that this conversation is healthy and productive. This committee determined what is needed from a facilitator, reached out to a number of possible candidates, and conducted interviews to select a final candidate. They will be sending out their own update soon with their final decision and next steps.

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Though the process is slow, and we have had no shortage of obstacles along the way, YRUUP is on the path to rebuilding a healthy and supportive relationship with our wider UU community in an effort to provide the best possible programming for our youth community. So, now that you know exactly what you’re helping with, we can tell you how to help.



Local Outreach

The most helpful outreach our allies can participate in is with their local UU congregations and communities; this means ministers, Directors of Religious Education (or similar professionals), church boards, youth group advisors, parents of youth and soon-to-be youth, and other UUs in your community. Talk to them about our history, our goals for the future, the conversations we are in right now with the larger UU community, and your own personal positive experiences.



Awareness of Multifaceted Conversations

In addition to sharing your support, we would love for our allies to reach out to people with differing perspectives in this conversation to learn about their concerns. Historically, many people have taken a very black-and-white, “with us or against us” approach in their efforts to support our community. This has meant that many valid concerns and perspectives that could help our community grow and improve have been lost. Our goal in this process is to focus on moving forward in positive ways, and speaking badly about any one party reflects poorly on others and prevents us from moving forward in the spirit of affirming right relations.



Correcting Misinformation

In conversations about YRUUP, keep an ear out for information that may not show the whole story. In the past, rumors have been shared and understood as complete facts, and this has contributed to large-scale misunderstandings which, in some cases, still persist. When you are talking to others about this situation, try to correct misinformation when it comes up. If something doesn't sound accurate, but you don't know for sure what the facts are, direct the other person to our website, yruup.org (and go check it out yourself).

That said, we request that you not go out of your way to correct rumors you have heard. YRUUP Council has been very deliberate in our publicity efforts, and the best way to support that effort is to continue sharing what we publish and to share your testimonials with us.



Testimonials

YRUUP is currently working on organizing testimonials to put on our website and send out to the wider community. Anyone who wants to is highly encouraged to send in either videos or written statements about their positive experiences in and with YRUUP - as adult advisers, as youth, as parents, or simply as supporters. You can find an online form for submitting written testimonials at yruup.org/testimonials. Also, keep an eye out for when we publish testimonials (and other PR) on our website and on Facebook, and share them with people in your local UU community.

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If you have any questions about YRUUP's current situation with the PCD and PWR, or about how you can help support us in this conversation, you can send us an email at council@yruup.org. We expect to send out our next situation update soon, so keep your eyes peeled, and follow our Facebook page to make sure you don't miss anything.

Again, thank you so much for your continued support of YRUUP.

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On behalf of YRUUP Council, in faith,

Maddie Tuning - Social and Political Activities Coordinator ( spac@yruup.org )

Elliot Harrison-Lee - Senior Co-Conference Coordinator ( cococo@yruup.org )

Sam Janata - Energy Chair ( energy@yruup.org )

Abigail Hasting-Tharp - Touchgroup Coordinator ( touchgroupco@yruup.org )

Jasmine Stapleton-Hart - Resource and Outreach Manager ( rom@yruup.org )

 

Attached below is the original pdf version of this document. You can also access a copy of this version here.


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