Monday, February 18, 2008

Bill Sinkford - A Letter to the YRUU Steering Committee

February 15, 2008
To: Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) Steering Committee
From: William G. Sinkford,
President, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
CC: UUA Board of Trustees

The two-year Consultation on Ministry to and With Youth made it very clear that we need to imagine new and more effective ways to support youth ministry throughout the Association of Congregations. The vision of multi-generational church life and support for congregational youth ministry which was created at the Summit on Youth Ministry last summer is powerful and positive. This year is intended as the time to create that new imagination. It is a time of transition and is, therefore, complicated.

The findings of the Consultation demonstrate that there is a broad consensus that the current structure for continental youth ministry is not serving our faith well. It is true that Continental YRUU, as we have known it, will be replaced at some point by a new structure that will serve us better. It is the task of the Youth Ministry Working Group to recommend that new structure. The decision to hold the Working Group meetings at the same time as your meetings this year in February and April was intended to maximize the opportunity for Steering Committee input in the development of the new structure.

Unfortunately, as a result of failures in communication within the UUA staff, some incorrect information was shared with you at your recently completed meeting. You were told that the Continental YRUU structure would end in June of this year and that there was no funding in the UUA's budget for Youth Council next summer. The reality is that the UUA's budget for next year will not be presented to the UUA Board for approval until its April meeting. No firm decisions have been made about ending support for the Continental YRUU structure. And because of YRUU's status as a Sponsored Organization, the UUA Board will have to approve any decision to end support for the organization. I apologize for the distress that incorrect information has caused.

I've asked the Office of Youth Ministry staff to prepare a set of "Frequently Asked Questions" about this process so that there will be clarity for all of us.

I hope this letter helps clarify where we are in the process. I am very sorry that inaccurate information was reported to you as fact. It is my most sincere hope that we, together, can reclaim the positive energy of the past two years and move toward a youth ministry which will serve Unitarian Universalism well.

In faith,

William G. Sinkford


Anonymous said...

so...does this mean that youth council might happen ?

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines I'm guessing that Mr. Sinkford may now finally be getting some critical inquiry--or at least an appeal for caution--from some important ministers and UUA trustees (who may be far less enthusiastic about killing our denomination's unique history of youth empowerment than he is). I certainly hope and pray this is the case. YRUU deserves better.

Anonymous said...

I am more and more confused. Mr. Sinkford's letter to the YRUU Steering Committee is published seven days after the Steering Committee first broke the news about the ending of funds for the continental organization. If there was just a misunderstanding amongst the UUA staff, what took so long?

In the past seven days, there has been considerable upset and confusion in the ranks of current members of YRUU, past members of YRUU and their adult supporters across the nation. Will the UUA Board and President apologize to these folks as well? People who are youth members of our faith and their adult allies deserve this.

Anonymous said...

Bill Sinkford is acting like a Politician; and that is disgusting. I don´t want to here more flowery bullshit about how he really does care; his actions speak infinitely louder, and they say that he doesn´t give a shit what happens to Youth Ministry; he´s got other priorities.

Kenneth Sime

Robin Edgar said...

Well do you really expect the *President* of the Unitarian*Universalist Association not to act like a Politician Kenneth?

Let's at least be realistic here.

Anonymous said...

Just so I can get facts straight, this letter is dated Feb 15th. Does anyone know when it was first distributed?
-Robin Lea

Robin Edgar said...

One of the things that I find most ironic about letters and emails written by UUA President Rev. William G. Sinkford, and a good number of other UUA administrators, is that they emptily say "In faith" before signing their name to them when in many cases it would be rather more truthful and realistic to say "In bad faith" before putting their signature to them.

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