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We Would Be One

A History of Unitarian Universalist Youth Movements

Wayne Arnason and Rebecca Scott

We Would Be One recounts the challenges and far-reaching effects of the Unitarian Universalist youth movements from the late 19th century to the present. The vivid testimonials and stories woven throughout the text demonstrate how UU youth groups, conferences and organizations have shaped youth leadership and our liberal religious tradition for over a century. Revised and updated from Follow the Gleam which was published in 1980.

Wayne Arnason held a leadership role during the controversial period of Liberal Religious Youth history, from 1968 to 1970. He was the UUA's director of youth programs from 1980 to 1984 during the process that created Young Religious Unitarians Universalists. He is also the author of Follow The Gleam: A History of the Liberal Religious Youth Movements (Skinner House Books, 1980), the original version of We Would Be One. Arnason is currently co-minister of West Shore UU Church in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, Kathleen Rolenz.

Rebecca Scott was youth programs specialist in the UUA Youth Office from 1989 to 1990. She worked at the UUA from 2001 to 2005.

Praise for We Would Be One:

"We Would Be One should be required reading for religious educators, seminarians and laypersons interested in church history or voluntary associations. Those of us who lived our piece of this dynamic history are grateful to Arnason and Scott for telling the story with nuance and scholarship."
—Caprice Young, President and CEO; California Charter Schools Association

We Would Be One is a fascinating story, not only of our youth movement but also of the leadership that youth have provided our faith over time. This story demonstrates the importance of investing in partnerships between youth and adults. It also illustrates that youth provide a vibrant, cutting edge and prophetic voice that keeps Unitarian Universalism vital and alive. Arnason and Scott weave a tale that includes famous UU personalities from the past, present and future, and present all of us with a challenge to help write the next chapter."
—Michael Tino, Director, Young Adult and Campus Ministry, UUA

"This vivid history of the UU youth movement and programs is a must read for all who have ever raised the question of “What happens to our youth?” The individual stories recalling the power of the YPRU, YPCU, AUY, UYF, LRY and YRUU experience woven into the text give a vibrant flavor to the living power of our youth organizations and the critical role they have played in the life of our liberal religious movement."
C. Leon Hopper, President of AUY, 1950-1952, Executive Director of LRY, 1957-1963

For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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