New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
In "Virtue Ethics," a Tapestry of Faith program
Youth examine decisions made by the congregation's governing body.
Ask the youth if they know who makes decisions for the actions of the congregation. The answer is probably a combination of congregational members and the congregation's governing body. Discuss the following, adapted for the process, policies, and specific recent actions of your congregation, to make sure participants understand how decisions are made:
Ask if anyone has attended any congregational and/or board meeting recently. If so, what was it like? Can they remember any decisions that were made? Were the decisions voted upon?
Distribute the meeting minutes you have assembled. If decisions were made and the group is interested, ask them to vote on whether they think the best decision was made by holding up index cards, where one color means "Yes" and the second color means "No." Pick decisions where you can impartially supply background the youth need to make informed decisions. Can youth imagine what emotions came into play as decisions were made? What about the reasoning involved?
Say that voting members make the best decisions for the congregation they can make at the time. Sometimes, in hindsight, they may wish they had decided differently. Yet, we believe the democratic process is usually the best tool for making decisions that affect us all. Ask if there is evidence that UUs believe this. [Hint: Look at the seven Principles.]
Ask if any one else makes decisions in the congregation. Committees, staff, volunteers, and individual members make decisions all the time. Are the youth involved in any congregational decision making?
Plan for the youth to attend a congregational or board meeting together. Before the meeting, gather the group to discuss the agenda and any decisions that may come up for a vote. If any youth are members, they might decide to speak at the meeting and share from the group's discussion. If non-members can speak at meetings, urge youth to do so about any decision they feel strongly affects them.
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Last updated on Thursday, March 15, 2012.
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