A changing of the guard at the UU World Magazine has placed former C*UUYAN Facilitator Christopher Walton into the Executive Editor seat. He responded to 5 questions about himself earlier this week, check it out to hear him tell a bit about his young adult and ministerial formation experiences. Chris replaces Tom Stites, who has led the UU World for over a decade. Chris is also the high profile UU Blogger Philocrites.
I’ve known Chris from his days in the Salt Lake City UU Church. We used to chat and email when he was working at the library, and he was one of the first people I connected with virtually in UU. We never met till a few years later at GA 1997, and by then he was leaving C*UUYAN and going on to Harvard Divinity School. He was always, and is today a class act. Someone who I think represented young adult ministry very well, and is a bridge for many of us into the larger association of UU congregations.
Chris’s move into the Executive Editor chair is something for us to cheer as young adults in the UUA. As a community, as a movement, as a "specialized ministry" (as we have been called within the UUA), there has been historic skepticism at the value and meaning of involvement and leadership in young adult ministry and C*UUYAN (which are neither mutually exclusive nor entirely the same). Chris to me is from the first generation of C*UUYAN leadership who continued along the path to lifelong UU commitment and shared ministry, either as professional or lay.
Fewer and fewer people criticize young adult ministry as a dead-end path to belonging and community voice in the UUA. Those who were clear a decade ago that being involved in young adult ministry could jeopardize their career in UU congregations are fewer. Many of them have engaged in dialogue with C*UUYAN and Young Adult & Campus Ministry staff, to the great benefit of the UUA on the whole.
Chris is already doing a wonderful job of reaching out and into the young adult community for witness, experience, and news. He is tapping known young adult leaders as contributors, surveying blogs and their reaction to UU events, many of which are written by the younger age set, and his experience from young adult leadership is now with him in the drivers seat at the premier flagship communication and ministerial outreach vehicle – the UU World. Lets give Chris and our community a hallelujiah, praise the spirit, and congratulations. Read his from the editor and reflection in the most recent UU World.