Electronic Communications Expectations

CER Youth Calendar

  • Monday, November 27, 2023, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CST (also: Sep 18; Oct 23 )
    Join Regional Congregational Life staff and consultants for a national three session series that will empower congregational leaders to faithfully support our transgender/non-binary community members....
    Webinar | For Adults | Sponsored by Southern Region of the UUA | From Southern Region
    Tagged as: Pastoral Care, Welcome & Inclusion for LGBTQ
  • Monday, December 4, 2023, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST (also: Jan 8, 2024; Feb 5, 2024; Mar 4, 2024; Apr 1, 2024; May 6, 2024; Jun 3, 2024; Oct 2; Nov 6 )
    If you identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC), you're invited to join us for the Central East Region's BIPOC gathering happening on the first Monday of the month at 6:30pm ET. In our gatherings we are joined by lay folks of color, lay leaders of color and/or religious...
    Webinar | From Central East Region
    Tagged as: Building Community, Anti-Racism
  • Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
    This month's topic is Raising and Protecting Funds for Your Congregation's Mission. Please join us. Led by Central East Region staff.
    Webinar | From Central East Region
    Tagged as: Stewardship for Congregations, Finance for Congregations, Leadership Development
  • Thursday, December 7, 2023, 7:45 pm - 9:00 pm EST (also: Sep 19; Oct 12; Oct 24; Nov 9; Nov 21 )
    A time for leaders of small congregations in the MidAmerica Region and elsewhere to check-in.
    Webinar | From MidAmerica Events
    Tagged as: Small Congregations
  • Friday, December 8, 2023, 12:00 pm - Sunday, December 10, 2023, 3:00 pm PST
    OWL Facilitator Training, Grade Levels K-1/4-6, Seattle, WA
    On-site | Seattle, WA | Assistive listening devices available | Wheelchair accessible
    Tagged as: Sexuality Education
  • Monday, December 11, 2023, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST (also: Jan 8, 2024; Feb 12, 2024; Mar 11, 2024; Apr 8, 2024; May 13, 2024; Jun 10, 2024; Sep 11; Oct 9; Nov 13 )
    Lay Leaders Monthly Conversations 2023-2024
    Meeting | From MidAmerica Events
  • Sunday, December 31, 2023, All day (also: Jan 29; Apr 30; Jul 30; Oct 29 )
    Fifth Sunday Fellowship: A Shared Pulpit Experience is a collaborative, online service/worship event created by several congregations together that will explore the themes of each Principle. Please join us and stream the service for your congregation!
    Worship Service
    Tagged as: Principles and Purposes, Worship
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST (also: Feb 13, 2024; Mar 12, 2024; Apr 9, 2024; May 14, 2024; Oct 10; Nov 14 )
    Presidents' Gatherings are an online space for current congregational Presidents, President-Elects, Vice Presidents, and Past Presidents to create a community of learning and collaboration with each other and with Southern Region staff.The Presidents' Gathering sessions are held on the 2nd Tuesda...
    From Southern Region
  • Friday, January 12, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
    Administration as Leadership Renaissance module pilot
  • Thursday, January 18, 2024, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
    Let's connect! Join your peers to share ideas, questions, concerns and support. This will be our second gathering for the 2023-2024 church year. We hope you can join us!...
    From New England Region
  • Friday, January 26, 2024, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST
    Join us to examine and practice ways to navigate healthy conflict as a leader.
    Public Event | From Educational Opportunities for Musicians
  • Friday, January 26, 2024, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST
    • Understand that culture change involves internal as well as external work over time; • Understand that incremental changes create the ripple effect to extensive changes;
  • Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (also: Feb 7, 2024; Feb 21, 2024 )
    If you are a newer religious professional serving in UU faith development, this series will provide connection, community, and context! This 3-part series course, offered in an online format, will be on Wednesdays, January 31, February 7, February 21 9-11 am PT / 10-12 MT / 11-1 CT / 12-2 pm ET
  • Thursday, February 1, 2024, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
    This month's topic is CER Leader Skill Up: Practices of Intergenerational Connection. Please join us. Led by Central East Region staff.
    Webinar | Sponsored by Central East Region of the UUA | From Central East Region
    Tagged as: Multigenerational Faith Development, Leadership Development
  • Friday, February 2, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
    Central to our understanding of congregational systems is a grounding in the awareness that “everything we do is faith development; everything we teach is Unitarian Universalism and that the congregation is the curriculum.”
    Webinar | Featuring Connie Goodbread, Cameron Young | Sponsored by Southern Region of the UUA | From Southern Region
    Tagged as: Credentialing for Religious Educators, Faith Development
  • Monday, February 5, 2024, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
    OWL Facilitator Training, 7-9/10-12, Online – February 2024 EST
    Tagged as: Sexuality Education
  • Monday, February 5, 2024, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST
    OWL Facilitator Training, 7-9/10-12, Online – February 2024 PST
    Tagged as: Sexuality Education
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST (also: May 7, 2024; Aug 1; Nov 7 )
    Religious Education Professional (REP) Meet-Up
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
    Expand your understanding of curriculum, religious education, and faith development!
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
    Southern Region Primer Leadership Experience

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Electronic and Social Media Communication Expectations Between Youth and Adult Leaders

Background and Philosophy

This document is intended to guide adult leaders of CER youth programs and is referenced in the code of ethics they sign. It is our regional implementation of the requirements of the 2019 UUA Youth Safety Guidelines. It is posted publicly so parents can view it. And as a resource for congregations. The guidelines here may not always be the best guidelines for individual youth programs, but hopefully the philosophy behind it can be a start to conversations.

We recognize that the area of social media and electronic communications are a difficult one for adults working with youth. These forms of communication are necessary to communication, leadership, and planning. And, they are forms of communication which both predatory adults and adults with poor boundaries use in ways which harm youth. Further, the technology solutions which would create transparency and allow youth to communicate using the forms of technology they are comfortable with do not (yet) exist.

We want our adult leaders to be able to be effective in their leadership and communication. We want youth to feel supported by their adult leaders and feel able to reach out when they need to. We do not think it is appropriate or possible to put the responsibility for appropriate means of communication on the youth shoulders and therefore assume that there will be one on one communication initiated by youth. We therefore want to create a culture through these expectations that thrives on transparency for the protection of both youth and adults.


Adults should only accept “friend” requests from youth on social media networks where:

  1. adults stay in an appropriate adult role in posting, content, discussion, and moderation of comments on their posts
  2. posts and discussion are visible to others
  3. posts are not automatically deleted

The primary means of electronic communication for teams of youth and adult leaders will be:

  1. email lists
  2. group emails
  3. Facebook groups and group messages
  4. group text messages such as through GroupMe
  5. mass reminder texts such as Remind101
  6. conference calls or video conferencing

Groups will covenant to use the forms of communication which work best for them.

Communication with youth should be archived rather than deleted

One on one communication should be avoided where possible, such as by copying another adult on an email/text/message.

If a youth contacts an adult one on one, the adult has the responsibility to redirect the conversation to an appropriate channel.

If an adult leader is contacted one on one with significant pastoral issues by a youth they are encouraged to appropriately respond in the moment to support the youth including assisting the youth in finding local sources of support such as their parents, religious educator, minister, teacher, or counselor.

Any significant (beyond logistics or reminders) one on one communication between a youth and adult leader must be reported to regional UUA staff as soon as is feasible.

If it is necessary to have a virtual one-on-one interaction between a youth/adult, the adult will: Let UUA staff and/or the parent/guardian know they will be communicating, around what time, and what about; and will ensure there is a record of the conversation, including recording phone calls with appropriate permissions required by law. Documentation should be archived for no less than 12 years.

As always, any communication an adult becomes aware of which involve harm to self or others including, but not limited to, self-harm, suicidal ideation, child abuse, sexual crimes against a minor, and bullying, must be shared as quickly as possible with a youth’s home congregation and parents and reported to regional staff.

Regional staff and parents have the right to ask to view any communication between adult leaders and youth.

Parents have the right to be copied on any communication they request. If they request to be added to group conversations, their role is only to witness and share any relevant logistic information pertaining to their youth. They are encouraged to share any concerns about the group business with adult leaders or regional staff rather than participating in conversation.