Happy Valentine's Day. This isn't a valentine's-y newsletter. I'm sure you're exposed to enough of that.
How do we keep each other safe?

Safety has been on my mind lately, maybe it's the juxtaposition of the 1 year anniversary of the Parkland shooting and the declaration of a national emergency to build a border wall. Who keeps us safe? Who gets to be safe? Who gets to define safety? These questions are too broad to answer in a simple newsletter about youth ministry but I hope you’re thinking about them too. I hope collectively we’re engaging in conversations about looking out for each other and keeping each other safe.

In our society that makes a profit off people "getting caught" breaking the rules (through fines, bail, and for profit detention) and that has an ideology that punishing people fixes things, it is very powerful and countercultural to engage in co-creating agreements of how we want to be together and how we want to address harm.

Since General Assembly registration opens soon (March 1st) I’ve been especially focused on the way we use different types of agreements to keep people safe. Rules, expectations, aspirational covenants, behavioral covenants, restorative processes, these are all different kinds of agreements to help us care and watch out for each other.

It’s so vitally important that we have these conversations with young people – not only to keep them safe but to empower them to create new ways of keeping each other safe. Here are some resources on safety.
We are called to do what we can to aid and ally with people whose dignity and humanity is under grave threat. The UUA's national LoveResists campaign has great resources on Expanding Sanctuary.
Helping young people make good decisions as they navigate consent and physical boundaries is part of keeping each other safe. Read this article: How Cuddle Parties Changed the Way I View Consent
Ok here's a little Valentine's day thing for you.
Youth Ministry Staff Quarterly Calls: The first call is for youth ministry staff/professionals and will happen at 3:00 pm Eastern on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. RSVP here.
Summer Seminary: Priority deadline for applications is March 4th. Invite a youth to apply, send them to  
GA Trip Organizer Videos:
GA registration opens March 1st! Catch up on the trip organizers video series.
UUUNO Spring Seminar:
Registration closes February 25th for the UU UNOs 2019 Seminar, April 11-13 in New York City. Theme: Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World.

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