Young Souls

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Governance

Mission Statement
Communications Covenant

Roles & Responsibilities
Safe and Transformative Spaces Covenant
Listserv Guidelines and Agreement
All Souls Covenant of Right Relations

 


 Mission Statement

The Young Souls contribute to the vision of the beloved community by providing a supportive, spiritual, social, and service-oriented community for the 18-35+ age group at All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, DC.


Communications Covenant

As members of Young Souls at All Souls Church, Unitarian, we agree:

To communicate with openness and compassion,
and with respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person;
To resolve conflict directly, with humility and
a belief in the good intentions of all parties involved; and
To show appreciation for one another and contribute to the growth of our community.

 


Roles & Responsibilities

President

  • General Desc.
    • The President shall coordinate the the activities of the board, maintain broad-level awareness of group activities, and serve as the lead on addressing issues within the group.
  • Tasks
    • Schedule board meetings by around the first of the month
    • Share draft agenda around 5 days before meeting
    • Coordinate staff attendance at Young Souls Events
    • Track/follow-up on action items for the board
    • Ensure that signature events such as the Fall Retreat are properly coordinated
  • Larger goals
    • Troubleshoot/deal with conflict

Vice-President

  • General Desc.
    • The Vice-President shall manage the group’s relationships with the larger church community and other specific external communities of interest.
  • Tasks
    • Liaise with the Church Council on behalf of the group
    • Maintain contact list for other Church Committees for Young Souls
    • Maintain relationships with external organizations (other local churches, universities, etc)
    • Maintain general connections to UUA activities as relevant
    • Coordinate Young Souls representation at the FInd Your Ministry Fair
  • Larger goals
    • Creating new opportunities for connections and collaborations

Social Chair

  • General Desc.
    • The Social Chair shall coordinate potlucks, brunches, and other social opportunities for the group.
  • Tasks
    • By the middle of the month, have potluck for following month coordinated
    • Have regular monthly brunch coordinated in time for monthly newsletter
    • Point of contact for coordination of other/new events.
  • Larger goals
    • Create new opportunities for social events

Social Justice Chair

  • General Desc.
    • The Social Justice Chair shall coordinate and promote social justice activities within the Young Souls community.
  • Tasks
    • Coordinate with EASIS Table and promote awareness of other All Souls social justice activities.
    • Serve as point of contact for social justice opportunities within the Young Souls community.
    • Coordinate one Young Souls Social Justice event per month
  • Larger goals
    • Reach out to other social justice groups and events in the larger community.

Membership and Welcoming Chair

  • General Desc.
    • The Membership and Welcoming Chair shall track membership information and provide outreach and recruitment for new members.
  • Tasks
    • Coordinate tracking of event attendance
    • Liaise with the All Souls Welcoming Committee
    • Manage outreach to potential new members
    • Coordinate “welcoming buddies” at larger events
  • Larger goals
    • Keep an eye on retention/activity of membership

Spiritual Chair

  • General Desc.
    • The Spiritual Chair shall coordinate spiritual opportunities for the young souls community and  coordinate pastoral care for the group.
  • Tasks
    • Coordinate spiritual component leaders for monthly potlucks
    • Liaise with the All Souls Pastoral Care Committee
    • Manage Young Souls Caring Committee
    • Coordinate Young Souls Service planning
    • Arrange periodic interfaith visits
    • Be point of contact for spiritual opportunities at All Souls Church
  • Larger goals
    • Keep an eye on Young Souls spiritual growth

Communications Chair

  • General Desc.
    • The Communications Chair shall track membership information and provide outreach and recruitment for new members.
  • Tasks
    • Issue monthly email announcements and make announcements at events
    • Coordinate with All Souls to place announcements in the weekly
    • Ensure that All Souls events are placed on Facebook
    • Maintain Young Souls website
  • Larger goals
    • Improve communications within the group

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Young Souls Safe and Transformative Spaces Covenant

 

Young Souls is an affinity group for people from ages 18-35+ and is committed to being a safe and transformative space for all members and guests.  A safe space is a space where people are free to be themselves without fear of harassment, disrespect, humiliation, unwanted touching, or shaming behaviors from others. To be a transformative space people may have their assumptions challenged, their opinions disagreed with, or be respectfully held accountable to community covenants and Unitarian Universalist moral and ethical values.

 

We expect all of our members and guests to act with respect in regard to the safety and well-being of others, honoring differences in religious perspective, race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, culture, ability, class, and political identity. We expect that personal boundaries will be unquestionably respected. We also expect conflict to be dealt with in a direct, kind manner, for all Young Souls to act to uphold our values, and to “call people in, not call them out.” We recognize that conflict is an inherent part of living in community and expect ongoing learning and spiritual growth as we live up to our UU values.

 

If a member or guest notices something that conflicts with the preceding statements there are several ways to address it including, but not limited to: asserting yourself in the moment, removing yourself from the situation and seeking support, and/or reporting your experience to either the Young Souls Board or the All Souls Committee on Right Relations, who will address your concerns. Please recognize that the Young Souls Board is not trained to resolve all types of situations nor intended as an avenue for mediation; we will refer members and guests to available resources when appropriate.

 

All Young Souls members and guests, including the Young Souls Board, are held accountable to the All Souls Church Covenant of Right Relations and to the decisions of the Committee on Right Relations and the governing bodies of All Souls Church, Unitarian, as well as the Young Souls Communications Covenant, our Listserv Guidelines and Agreement, and this statement. For more information on the Covenant of Right Relations, please visit: http://www.all-souls.org/covenant-of-right-relations. For more information about the Committee on Right Relations, including contact information, please visit: http://www.all-souls.org/right-relations.

 

Changes to this covenant may occur over time, at which point the Young Souls Board will notify our members and give due time for comments.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Young Souls Listserv Guidelines and Agreement

 

Our listserv continues to grow, and so we’ve created these guidelines and agreements to manage email volume, foster general goodwill, and reflect our UU Principles.

Practices and Policies

  1. By participating in the listserv, members agree to abide by All Souls Covenant of Right Relations, Young Souls Communications Covenant, Young Souls Safe and Transformative Spaces Covenant, and the following Listserv Guidelines and Agreement.
  2. Because All Souls Church is a 501(c)3 non-profit, do not post statements for/against specific candidates or political parties.
  3. Established church policy prohibits soliciting donations and fundraising for causes outside of the church. Fundraising and soliciting donations for the church is appropriate when approved by the church leadership.
  4. Listserv members must have their real name (first name and last name) or real nickname (nickname and last name) attached to the email address they use for the listserv. Members found not to be using their real name or real nickname will be removed from the listserv.
  5. Failure to abide by the above rules and covenants may result in a request from the Young Souls Board or All Souls Leadership to change behavior, move a conversation offline into an in-person forum, and/or an adjustment of listserv privileges to read-only status or removal. Behaviors that may result in adjustment of listserv privileges or removal from the listserv include:
    1. Emails that fail to resolve conflicts directly, that is: emails that call out other listserv members or attempt to correct their behavior in front of the group as a whole, rather than in a private email to that member.
    2. Using the listserv to rally listserv members against other members.
    3. Name-calling, threats, derogatory language.
    4. Forwarding private emails to the whole listserv without permission.
    5. Other violations of Young Souls and All Souls covenants above, including failure to assume the good intentions of other listserv members.
    6. Private emails should also follow all covenants mentioned above.

 

Members who send emails that violate any of the above mentioned statements will be switched to read-only status after their second violation. While the Board will attempt to notify the member after their first violation, this may not always be possible, due to the fast pace of the listserv. When such a decision is made, the member will be notified of the change and an email may also be sent to the listserv as a whole. This decision may be reviewed after an extended calming down period (for example, one year on read-only).

 

Purpose of the Listserv

The purpose of the listserv is not to hold in depth and complex debates, nor is it equipped to do so. If you feel a topic requires nuanced, substantive, and thoughtful dialogue we suggest you propose it as a topic for the Young Souls Board to discuss at an ideation meeting that will be scheduled as needed. The primary purpose of the listserv is to give members the opportunity to post the following:

  1. Official Community Events
  2. Social Activities
  3. Housing & Job Opportunities
  4. Calls to Action
  5. Crowdsourcing Information

 

Additional Considerations

If you are unsure if your email should be posted to the listserv, take the following thoughts into consideration. These topics are by no means exhaustive, however when posting to the listserv, it is a good idea to take the following into consideration:

 

    1. Take the party politics elsewhere. Around election season especially, party politics are on all of our minds. As stated earlier, All Souls Church is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and so its facilities cannot post statements for/against specific candidates or political parties. If you are not sure if something would be considered “party politics” or “values-based,” email the board first and we can help make a determination.
    2. Assume good intentions, be kind, and be sensitive to others’ feelings. A response to an email that you found offensive might begin: “I’m not sure you realize this, but someone could have read email to mean X. I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but that’s how I read it and it made me feel Y.”

 

  • If you think an email is inappropriate, please feel free to bring it to the attention of the Young Souls Board. Please do not publicly shame other listserv members.

 

  1. Take debate and complex conversations offline. Debates are generally better had offline than online. While we love spirited debates, debate-by-email often leads to misunderstandings. Debates also result in a glut of emails being sent out to every single person on the listserv. If something posted is worth additional discussion, consider creating an event so parties can come together to discuss. The board can help you with the logistics (i.e. finding a space/time, and connecting you with other groups that may be having similar discussions).
  2. When in doubt, do not “reply all.” When responding to crowdsourcing questions or opportunities, consider whether it is something that needs to be sent to the entire listserv or just the original poster. This is also due to the bandwidth/over-emailing concerns discussed previously. A significant majority of our listserv participants prefer fewer emails rather than more emails.
  3. Topics critical to building beloved community will inevitably arise and will need to be addressed constructively. These include microaggressions, institutional racism, sexism, cultural differences, and cultural appropriation, among others. It is especially important to review and carefully follow our covenants when engaging in discussion on these topics. Please review your emails carefully before sending and take care to avoid phrasing that may come across as personal attacks. Rarely will the listserv be the best forum for in-depth and constructive discussion of these topics.

 

FYI: You can limit the number of listserv emails you receive by changing to the daily or 25-emails-per-batch option. Here is a how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH4rgbLuLLk. This will limit the number of separate emails you receive, but still get you all the pertinent information.

Changes to these guidelines and agreements may occur over time, at which point the Young Souls Board will notify our members and give due time for comments.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

All Souls Covenant of Right Relations

Read the All Souls Covenant of Right Relations here: http://www.all-souls.org/covenant-of-right-relations

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