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One of the 6 systems of Indian philos. Teaches how, by ascetic discipline, concentration of thought, suppression of breath, and sitting immovably, to unite the soul with the Supreme Spirit and thereby to obtain complete control over the body (culminating sometimes in ecstasy and catalepsy), miraculous powers, and finally release from rebirth, i. e., salvation. See Brahmanism, 4; Theosophy.

York Amendment.

Amendment to Art. III, Sec. 3, of const. of Gen. Syn., drawn up by H. N. Pohlman* for conv. at York, Pennsylvania, 1864, after delegates of Pennsylvania* Ministerium had withdrawn. Favorably acted upon by Gen. Syn. and adopted by majority of 18 dist. syns. (but the 4 syns. which rejected it remained in Gen. Syn.). Amendment reads: “All regularly constituted Lutheran synods not now in connection with the General Synod, receiving and holding with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of our fathers, the Word of God as contained in the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and the Augsburg Confession, as a correct exhibition of the fundamental doctrines of the Divine Word, and of the faith of our Church founded upon that Word, may, at any time, become associated with the General Synod by complying with the requisitions of this constitution and sending delegates according to the ratio specified in Art. II.” Proceedings of the 21st Conv. of the Gen. Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the US, Assembled in York, Pennsylvania, May 1864 (Gettysburg, 1864), pp. 38–39. See also General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America, The, 7.

York Resolution.

Statement adopted by York conv. of The General* Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the USA 1864. It reflected a resolution adopted by the Pittsburgh* Syn. at Zelienople Pennsylvania, 1856. Resolution reads: “The following preamble and resolutions in reference to alleged errors in the Augsburg Confession were presented and adopted: … Resolved, That while this Synod, resting on the Word of God as the sole authority in matters of faith, on its infallible warrant rejects the Romish doctrine of the real presence or transubstantiation and with it the doctrine of consubstantiation; rejects the mass, and ali the ceremonies distinctive of the mass; denies any power in the sacrament as an opus operatum, or that the blessings of baptism, and the Lord's Supper, can be received without faith; rejects auricular confession and priestly absolution; holds that there is no priesthood on earth but that of all believers, and that God only can forgive sins; and maintains the divine obligations of the Sabbath, and while we would with our whole heart reject any part of any confession which taught doctrines in conflict with this our testimony, nevertheless, before God and his church, we declare that, in our judgment, the Augsburg Confession, properly interpreted, is in perfect consistence with this our testimony and with the Holy Scripture as regards the errors specified.” Proceedings of the 21st Conv. of the Gen. Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the US, Assembled in York, Pennsylvania, May 1864 (Gettysburg, 1864), pp. 39–40.

Young, Brigham

(1801–77). Mormon leader; b. Whitingham, Vermont; converted and baptized in Mormon faith 1832; itinerant miss.; mem. of the Twelve Apostles; directed Mormon settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois; miss. in Eng. 1839–41; successor of J. Smith* Sr. 1847; leader of migration to Salt Lake City, Utah, arriving 1847; governor of Territory of Utah 1850–57; removed by Pres. Buchanan; practiced polygamy. See also Latter Day Saints.

Young, Rosa Jinsey

(May 14, 1890–June 30, 1971). B. Rosebud, Alabama; educ. Payne U., Selma, Alabama; teacher; instrumental in beginning permanent Luth. work among African-Americans in Alabama 1916; prof. Alabama Luth. Acad. (see Ministry, Education of) 1946; received Litt. D. from Conc. Sem., Springfield, Illinois, 1961. Works include Light in the Dark Belt.

Young Men's Christian Association.

Founded in London, June 6, 1844, by G. Williams.* Original purpose was to win young men to faith and love of Jesus Christ. Soon the assoc. widened its scope of work by defining its object as being “improvement of the spiritual and mental condition of young men.” Associations were est. in Montreal and Boston 1851 and in New York 1852. The New York assoc. in 1886 stated its objective to be “the improvement of the spiritual, mental, social, and physical condition of young men.” This broad definition of the aim of the YMCA became characteristic of the N. Am. assoc. as a whole. While never claiming to be a ch., the YMCA stressed its purpose of serving the ch., seeking to cooperate with all denominations. In 1922 the various branches were permitted to elect or appoint up to 10 percent of their managing bd. from members of the assoc. not identified with chs. defined as evangelical. As far as the members are concerned, the YMCA long ago abandoned the evangelical test, except as to officers, its purpose being stated in terms so broad as to eliminate religious convictions as a condition of membership. The organization does not exact any religious pledge or confession from those who simply desire to have access to its colleges, business and vocational schools, gymnasia, reading rooms, etc. TG

Young People's Organizations, Christian.

I. Development of Youth Work in America.

1. Young people's work in Prot. chs. did not begin in individual denoms.. but with the interdenom.. program known as the Young* Men's Christian Assoc. 1845, the first boys' dept. being est. in this organization 1866.

2. Another contribution to the youth movement in Prot. chs. was made by the Internat. Soc. of Christian* Endeavor, started by F. E. Clark* 1881, and the young people's societies which were brought into existence as a result of this program.

3. There were other movements which gave impetus to youth work in Prot. chs., such as the S. S. movement fostered esp. in Eng. by R. Raikes*; the Knights of King Arthur, started 1892 by William Byron Forbush; the Woodcraft Indians, founded 1902 by Ernest Thompson Seton, a program which may be called a forerunner of the Boy Scout* movement in Eng., coming to the US 1910; the Internat. S. S. Assoc., beginning to be recognized 1906.

4. Prot. denoms. at first used and adopted youth programs developed outside the ch. Gradually they began to pub. their own materials.

5. Boston U. set up a Dept. of Religious Educ. 1918. In 1920 this univ. set up a Dept. of Young People's Work. Since that time other colls. and univs. have est. courses dealing with youth work.

6. The trend in Prot. denoms. in later years has been toward cooperation in interdenom. activities. This trend is evident also in the Prot. youth programs, esp. in the United Christian Youth Movement (see IV 1). Other cooperative efforts include the United Student Christian Council (est. 1944; joined NCC; see also Student Volunteer Movement, 4), a fed. on the nat. level of 12 ch. student movements, the Student YMCA and YWCA, the Student Volunteer Movement, and the interseminary movement; the World Student Christian Federation, seeking to unite internationally the efforts of Prot. students; the Youth for Christ movement; the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (see Students, Spiritual Care of, A 5); the Campus* Crusade for Christ; and the Navigators. Teen Challenge, which grew out of the work of Rev. David Wilkerson (author of The Cross and the Switchblade) in NYC, concerns itself with prevention and treatment of drug addiction.

II. Lutheran Youth Organizations.

1. The Luther League of The American Lutheran Church (including the youth of the former ALC, ELC, LFC, and UELC) was organized at a constituting conv. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 16–21, 1960.

The ALC has carried out a vigorous youth program, as can be seen in the strong representation of ALC youth at intersynodical youth gatherings. Nat. offices are at 422 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415.

2. The Luther League of the Lutheran Church in America (including the Luther Leagues of the former AELC, Augustana Ev. Luth. Ch., Suomi Syn., and ULC(A)) came into being at a constituting conv. in San Francisco, California, August 20–26, 1962. At this conv. the Luther League adopted a const., elected officers, adopted a budget, and developed the Luther League program for the future. In 1968, however, the Luther League disbanded.

In addition, the LCA has a Commission on Youth Ministry, which is responsible for giving direction to the total youth ministry of the church. Nat. offices are at 2900 Queen Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129.

3. The Walther League (youth organization of the former Synodical* Conference, with most societies in LCMS). Organized May 23, 1893, at Trinity Church, Buffalo, New York. The name Walther Liga (from C. F. W. Walther*) was adopted 1894. The const. of the Walther League stated: “The purpose of this association shall be to help young people grow as Christians through WORSHIP—building a stronger faith in the Triune God; EDUCATION—discovering the will of God for their daily life; SERVICE—responding to the needs of all men; RECREATION—keeping the joy of Christ in all activities; FELLOWSHIP—finding the power of belonging to others in Christ.”

The League involved youth in worship, leadership training schools, camping, writing and publishing, various training projects of service (welfare), missions, vocational guidance, recruitment for ch. professions, opportunities for practical experience in roles of leadership, and opportunities for a wider circle of fellowship than the home parish. It had its own headquarters bldg., paid for by the young people, erected 1942 in Chicago.

The League sponsored the Arcadia Association, an adult educ. and conference program agency, whose directors were elected annually by the internat. ex. bd. of the Walther League. The Arcadia Assoc. owned, operated, and managed Camp Arcadia (Arcadia, Michigan) as a model summer camp and a site for experimentation and development of conference programs.

The League also sponsored the Wheat* Ridge Foundation, whose directors were elected annually by the internat. ex. bd. of the Walther League. The Wheat Ridge Foundation has established and/or supports sanitoria and hospitals in Wheat Ridge (Colorado), Japan, India, Hong Kong, New Guinea, and Nigeria, in addition to regular support of other Luth. welfare agencies in the US and Canada. It also contributes to the support of religious, educ., and scientific projects. Financial support is given through an annual Wheat Ridge seals campaign at Christmas.

The League formally ceased to exist in April 1989.

Walther League publications included the Walther League Messenger (W. A. Maier,* ed.); the Workers Quarterly (Alfred P. Klausler, ed.), a quarterly topic discussion and program guide for societies; Arena (Alfred P. Klausler, ed.), a monthly magazine for young adults; Spirit (Walter Riess, ed.), a monthly magazine for teen-agers. For later developments see Youth Work, LCMS; see also Students, Spiritual Care of, C 9.

The LCMS in 1920 elected a Bd. for Young People's Work; name changed 1969 to Bd. of Youth Ministry; composed (1973) of 1 pastor, 1 teacher, 1 representative of a synodical school, 2 laymen, and 5 young people. The syn. has charged this bd. to assist congs., pastors, and dists. to serve their youth, including those in organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Camp Fire Girls, etc. “The purpose of youth ministry is—a. To proclaim among youth the presence, love, and power of God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, whose life, death. and resurrection have redeemed ali people; b. To equip youth for faithful service to God and His world by a ministry of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments; c. To assist and train adults in building helpful Christian relationships with youth in contemporary culture; d. To enable youth and adults to share their unique gifts in ministry to one another within the Christian community and in ministry the world as the witnessing people of God; e. To provide settings for Christian youth to demonstrate the mission of the church in word and life and for unclaimed youth to be exposed to the call of God in the Gospel” (Handbook of the LCMS).

4. The Luther League of the Synod* of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (formerly the Slovak. Ev. Luth. Ch.). Organized September 5, 1927, in St. Paul's Luth. Ch., Whiting, Indiana Principal projects were the Luth. Haven seals campaign, Lutheran Beacon subscription campaign, scholarship fund campaign, mission projects such as supporting a vicar at a mission church, and pub. the Luther League periodical, the Courier. Since 1971 the SELC is a dist. of LCMS.

5. Inter-Church Activities of Lutheran Youth Groups. For a number of yrs. some of the Luth. youth organizations have planned and worked together in holding nationwide youth gatherings, discussing youth problems, sharing experiences and materials, and taking joint actions on some projects. Lutheran Youth Research was administered in most of the Luth. Ch. bodies 1958–61. It established that the problems which are most troublesome to Luth. youth can be grouped into 5 areas to form the following scales: family, opposite sex, personal faith, self, school. The kinds of help youth want most from the ch. can be identified as guidance in the fields of vocations and boy-girl relationship. A summary of this research is found in What Youth Are Thinking and M. P. Strommen's Profiles of Church Youth.

III. Protestant Youth Organizations.

1. Baptist Training Union (Southern Bap. Convention), Organized 1934; successor to Bap. Young People's Union, 1896–1934; under guidance of S. S. bd.; began as an organization in Southern Bap. chs. primarily for young people ages 17–24; later expanded into a graded program to train mems., nursery through adult, in responsibilities of ch. membership and to help them mature and grow as Christians. Nat. office: 127 9th Ave., No., Nashville, Tennessee 37203.

2. Baptist Youth Fellowship (Am. Bap. Convention). Bap. Young People's Union of Am. organized 1891; name changed to Bap. Youth Fellowship 1941; program administered through Dept. of Youth Work; program: Sunday ch. school, evening fellowship, Boy Scouts, Fellowship Guild, Choir, and any other phase of the ch. youth ministry. Nat. office: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania 19481.

3. Baptist Young People's Union (Bap. Convention of Ontario and Quebec). First conv. 1892; at first an integral part of the conv. of chs., indep. of any bd.; since 1934 the Young People's Dept. of the Dept. of Christian Education. Nat. office: 188–190 St. George St., Toronto 5, Ont., Canada.

4. Christian Youth Fellowship (Christian Ch. [Disciples of Christ]). Organized 1938; first nat. meeting 1943; activities offered through the United Christian Missionary Society; Youth mag.: Vision. Nat. office: 222 S. Downey Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana 46219.

5. Presbyterian Youth Fellowship (Presb. Ch. in the US). Period of beginnings 1861–94; period of Covenanters and Miriams 1895–1901; period of Westminster League 1902–09; period of Christian* Endeavor 1910–23; period of transitions 1923–29; period of development of the Kingdom Highways Program 1930–35; period of recent developments 1935–63; period of Covenant Life Curriculum, developed in cooperation with 4 other Presb. and Ref. denoms., 1964–. Nat. office: Presb. Bldg., 801 E. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23209.

6. Westminster Fellowship (The Presb. Ch. in the USA; 1958: The United Presb. Ch. in the USA). Work begun 1861; organization effected 1895; first nat. meeting 1903; 4 commissions: faith and life, stewardship, Christian fellowship, Christian outreach. Nat. office: 1105 Witherspoon Bldg., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.

7. Cumberland Youth Fellowship (Cumberland Presb. Ch.). Nat. office: McKenzie, Tennessee 38118.

8. Christian Union (including all youth organizations of the Associate Ref. Presb. Ch. [Gen. Syn.]). Organized 1884; first nat. meeting 1895. Nat. office: 113 W. 11th St., Charlotte, North Carolina 28202.

9. Youth Fellowship (The United Presb. Ch. of N. Am.; merged 1958 with 6 above). Organized 1874; first nat. meeting 1889.

10. Youth Ministry (United Ch. of Christ, the merged youth ministry of the former Pilgrim Fellowship of the Gen. Council of the Cong. Christian Chs. and the Youth Fellowship of the Ev. and Ref. Ch.). The Youth Ministry concept emphasizes the unity of the cong., denying an auxiliary or separate youth organization; 5 program areas: Christian faith, witness, outreach, citizenship, fellowship. Nat. office: 1505 Race St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102.

11. Reformed Youth Fellowship (Ref. Ch. in Am.). Youth work was at first conducted without a nat. organization; plan for the nat. Reformed Youth Fellowship adopted 1960. Nat. office: 475 Riverside Dr., New York, New York 10027.

12. United Methodist Youth Fellowship (The United Meth. Ch.). Organized 1939; first nat. meeting 1940; successor to Epworth League, which included youth of the former Meth. Episc. Ch. and Meth. Prot. Church. Nat. office: P. O. Box 871, Nashville, Tennessee 37202.

13. Free Methodist Youth (Free Meth. Ch. of N. Am.). First serious attempt to provide a distinctive program for youth 1903; Young People's Missionary Society launched 1919 as an auxiliary of the Women's Missionary Society; became official youth organization 1931; name changed to Free Methodist Youth 1955; 3-fold purpose: (1) bringing youth to Christ, (2) bringing youth up in Christ, (3) sending youth forth for Christ; strong mission and evangelism program; youth responsible for raising budget; motto: “Others”; slogan: “United to Make Christ Known.” Nat. office: Winona Lake, Indiana 46590.

14. Nazarene Young People's Society (Ch. of the Nazarene). Organized 1923; first nat. meeting 1923. Nat. office: 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, Missouri 64131.

15. The American Moravian Youth Fellowship (Moravian Ch. in Am. [Unitas Fratrum]). Nat. office: 69 W. Church St., Bethlehem, 18018.

16. Church of the Brethren Youth Fellowship (Ch. of the Brethren). Need of developing youth program recognized as early as 1904; youth fellowships organized in local chs. following a major study 1920. Nat. office: 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, Illinois 60120.

17. Anglican Youth Movement (The Angl. Ch. of Can.). Organized 1967; 1st nat. meeting 1969. Nat. office: 600 Jarvis St., Toronto, Ont. M4Y 2J6.

18. The Youth Fellowship of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (Ev. United Brethren Ch.; 1968: merged with 12 to form The United Meth. Ch.). Organized 1946; first nat. meeting 1946.

19. Friends Youth Fellowship (Friends United Meeting, formerly the Five Years Meeting of Friends). Organized 1935. Nat. office: 101 Quaker Hill Dr., Richmond, Indiana 47374.

20. Seventh Day Baptist Youth Fellowship (Seventh Day Bap. Gen. Conference). Organized 1940. Nat. office: Alfred Station, New York 14803.

IV. Nondenominational groups.

1. United Christian Youth Movement began 1934 with denoms. working together in their youth movements or ministries; indep. movement; closely related to the Youth Dept. of the NCC (ex. staff same for both); close working relationship with the Youth Dept. of the WCC Nat. office: 475 Riverside Dr., New York 27, New York

2. For other interdenom. movements see I 6.

V. Roman Catholic Youth Organizations.

1. The National Council of Catholic Youth was est. 1951 and operates under the Youth Dept. of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. It has 3 divisions: for students in RC colls. (including the Nat. Fed. of Cath. Coll. Students); for students in other colls. (the Newman Clubs); and the diocesan section. The Nat. Council of Cath. Youth provides on a nat. scale a device by which all existing youth councils and organizations of the RC Ch. are unified. Nat. office: 1312 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D. C. 20005.

2. Sodalities. The Sodality of Our Lady was founded 1563 in the Roman College of the Society of Jesus by a young Jesuit teacher, John Leunis, who wanted to band together in a lay religious order young men in colleges. The first sodality in the New World began 1574 at the Colegia Maxima in Mexico City. One was founded 1730 at the Ursuline school in New Orleans, Louisiana, and ca. 1789 one began functioning at Georgetown U. in Washington, D. C. The sodality magazine Queen's Work was launched 1913 in St. Louis, Missouri The World Fed. of Sodalities was est. 1953, and the Nat. Fed. of Sodalities 1956. Sodalities involve not only youth but the adult laity as well. Annual summer schools of Catholic* Action have been conducted since 1931. Nat. office: 4140 Lindell, St. Louis, Missouri 63108.

Bibliography of Historical Developments of Luth. Youth Programs:

1. Of all Luth. youth programs: G. Jenny, The Youth Movement in the American Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, 1928); C. H. Peters, “Developments of the Youth Programs of the Lutheran Churches in America,” doctoral thesis at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1951 (duplicated); M. P. Strommen, Profiles of Church Youth (St. Louis, 1963).

2. Of youth work in LCMS: ABC of Youth Work (Chicago, 1949); T. C. Coates, “A Century of Youth Work,” Walther League Messenger, LIII, 334–35, 363–65; C. H. Peters (see previous par.), pp. 83–144, and Appendix AA, pp. 505–23; H. E. Simon, “Background and Beginnings of Organized Youth Work in the Missouri Synod,” unpub. thesis at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1944; O. H. Theiss, “The Way of the Years,” Walther League Messenger, LI., 480–83, 508–10, 512; Walther League Manual (Chicago, 1935); W. F. Weiherman, ed., Fifty Years (Chicago, 1943). CP

Young Women's Christian Association.

A Young Women's Christian Association of Great Britain and Ireland was initiated 1855. In New York a Union Prayer Circle was formed by Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts 1858. The name was changed in the same year to Ladies' Christian Association. Its purpose was “to labor for the temporal, moral, and religious welfare of young self-supporting women.” In 1866 the name was changed to Ladies' Christian Union, and the same year the Young Women's Christian Association of Boston was organized. In the course of years similar organizations were founded, which then developed into the present Young Women's Christian Association. Its purpose is to look after the mental, physical, social, and spiritual interests of young women. In character, work, and methods the organization closely resembles the Young* Men's Christian Association.

Youth Work, LCMS.

1. Youth work in the ch. could previously be called the “training of youth in Christian growth during the postconfirmation period.” Most parishes could anticipate the presence of a relatively stable and satisfied nucleus of young people to form some type of Young Peoples' Group—in the LCMS usually a Walther League group, holding membership in the internat. Walther League, which was a youth auxiliary organization closely connected on the executive level with youth agencies directly responsible to the elected leadership of the Missouri Synod. Through resolutions presented and passed at the 1965 convention of the LCMS at Detroit, and through resolutions presented and passed at the internat. Walther League Gathering at Purdue in 1968, the Walther League underwent a drastic change; proposals for new conceptions of youth work were adopted by delegates who themselves could only guess at the shapes and forms youth and youth work might assume in the future.

2. The basic purpose underlying any ministry to youth is growth in the truths of the revealed Word of God, and a close relationship with Jesus Christ, through whom God offers justification by faith. When the young person confesses faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior, the ch. through God's means attempts to open avenues for the Holy Spirit to assist people in the maturation of their faith and life and their understanding of God's will. Young people are thus helped to grow up to become “lights of the world” in their home and family, in the ch., and in society at large.

3. Throughout the 60s, however, adults and agencies working among youth found a fundamental lack of interest in the hearts of young people for the mission of the ch. and a lack of knowledge in the minds of young people about the nature of the Christian Gospel. Significantly, Strommen in his Profiles of Church Youth (St. Louis, 1963), discovered through a depth survey of a representative sampling of ALC and LCMS youth that the youth found themselves unable to offer meaningful explanations of the Gospel, of justification by faith, of the means of grace, and seemed to know little of the differences between the confessional stance of the Luth. Ch. and Prot. ch. bodies in America The ch. symbolized in their minds an authority, an institution, serving as a repository for law and regulations that might lead to commendable moral behavior.

4. This image of the ch. and its representatives led to a great deal of stress and tension between youth and their parents, their teachers, and representatives of the church. Minorities of youth went through various experiences on the group level during the 60s in attempts to discover for themselves an identity different from the adult or so-called established world. A radical fringe attempted to foster revolution to reshape not only the institutions of this country, but to est. new ways of self-perception, of relationship, new models of reality. The radical or seriously revolutionary young person experimented with sexual practice in group and private life, with aggression and nonaggression, with sensitivity process, with drugs, with styles of dress and body care, with straight rock, acid rock, folk, soul, Gospel, blues, Oriental, and country and western forms of music, and demonstration and power process, hoping to arrive at ways of existence that would differ from an adult world thought to be hopelessly trapped by self-perpetuating forms of bureaucracy, economic competition, and a dehumanizing scientific perspective. Most youth seemed to have been profoundly affected in their abilities and willingness to acquire information and values by exposure from preschool yrs. to (1) TV and radio programming which presented knowledge in nonchronological, all-at-once, segments and settings (in contrast to a rectilinear, formal, and graded method of information-gathering), and to (2) wars in Korea and Vietnam in which the necessity and morality of involvement by the US seemed ambiguous.

5. The great majority of young people through the 60s, however, remained only on the fringe of radical groups advocating a total change of life patterns and of understanding of man, God, and the world in our culture. Yet they were affected in obviously recognizable ways by radical pressures of youth upon youth and by feelings of differentness between themselves and adults. Many of the most conservative youth inside and outside the ch. adopted blue jeans and denim work shirts as a mode of dress, knew the trends in pop music and purchased expensive electronic hardware to make the sounds available at all times, tended to become disenchanted with school authorities, with formal curricula, with ch. rituals which brought little spiritual experience but rather a kind of mental and emotional blankness and fatigue. By the late 60s statistics revealed what leaders in ch. ministry had feared: Youth, conservative or liberal, were largely indifferent to the ch. and were disappearing from the ch. community. They failed to understand the rewards of Bible or even topic/Bible study. They said they did not experience the blessings their pastors promised would come through the means of grace, Word and sacraments. They said the social life of the typical parish was inferior to a variety of social settings available to them outside the ch. They found the pastor tedious in his preaching and teaching, and failed even to understand why he was needed in the parish. A 1970 survey conducted by a group of 4th-yr. Conc. Sem. students revealed that Luth. High School students were less sure than their public school counterparts in an adjacent school of the pastor's identity and function. They did not understand what he did other than preach and occasionally talk to their parents. A significant minority thought the role of the pastor to be effeminate, a role close to that of a homemaker or housekeeper.

6. Perhaps most startling, youth in the 60s became more and more insistent that their parents and other authority figures (especially teachers) were hypocritical, especially in failing to practice what they “advocated” as a Christian or moral way of life. Parents were said to “advocate” the way, not even to preach it in the home. The Christian way of life was absent in the week-to-week conversation in the home, was contradicted by vulgarity and profanity of language, by heavy drinking habits, by parties which seemed virtually an imitation of group experiences the youth themselves tried to create. The youth sensed that the nat. media were using their style of life and language as basic factors in the production of advertisements, and found their own parents eager to discover—despite their arguments to the contrary—new ways of living and of evaluating life in the ch. and the world.

7. All these extraordinary developments among youth, largely within a 10–yr. period, led to organized and disorganized change in the structure and shape of ch. youth work on the nat. and the local level. The Walther League, following the Purdue Gathering, dismantled its entire internat. organization. The intricate networks of districts, zones, and local societies were officially eliminated. The staff of the Walther League was reduced to 2 adult executives—with offices in Chicago, though the sale of the Youth Building at 875 N. Dearborn became necessary—and 6 post-high-school teen-agers who were strategically located in portions of the country to promulgate a new Walther League program among young people and counselors who had to join the League anew through a special membership form. The Walther League became issue-oriented and strongly promotive of youth movement causes. At Purdue the League began with the hunger issue. The League has since moved to the issues of draft counseling, race tensions, concern over the so-called “military-industrial” complex, pollution, all aspects of the ecology issue, the Am. Indian and Mexican problems, and the promotion of “power” groups to bring about changes in these problem areas afflicting the country. At a Gathering in Ghost Hawk Park, S. Dak., in August 1970 a group of youth and adult advisors, limited to 350, spent 4 days in the discussion of these social issues. The large Walther League convention thereby was officially replaced by an entirely new concept in youth activity and ministry. The Walther League then pub. a newsletter called Bridge, pub. occasional information and data related to current issues under consideration, and alerted its constituency to materials and programs available through other agencies, chs., and pub. houses. In 1977 the LCMS ceased to recognize the Walther League as an auxiliary organization of the Synod.

8. Replacing the Walther League was the Bd. of Youth Ministry, a syn. agency that in turn replaced the Bd. for Young Prople's Work; the work of the Bd. of Youth Ministry was absorbed 1981 by the Bd. for Youth Services, which looks to parishes to involve all youth in Bible classes, confirmation classes, young peoples' groups (junior and senior high levels), young adult groups (virtually extinct in the LCMS), and even older elementary school groupings, in a common program with common goals of self-growth in the Gospel and mission to the local parish, the ch., and the world. At the same time both youth and adults everywhere are exhibiting a desire for interparish and district or geographical gatherings, with a strong emphasis on personal relationship to Christ as Savior, personal religious experience, and commitments to Christ. Several such nat. groups developed, esp. in California and the Midwest. Christ for Youth originated in the Midwest and expanded across the country. Interest in courses in “religion” developed in colleges and on the senior high level.

9. What the youth seem to want from adults more than anything else is a self-sufficient and credible older Christian who by his faith and life makes Christianity believable, affirmative, and a source of responsible power. The psychiatrist Erik Erikson in his book Young Man, Luther suggested that every young person needs an adult guarantor in order to achieve maturity and adulthood. The young people of the ch. seem to desire in youth work an adult who will serve as a guarantee to them that Christianity is not outmoded or unbelievable but rather a perfectly creditable and powerful way of life superior in every way to all the other “styles” confronting them in their peer groups and through the media—a style which brings peace and security in these troubled times and promises toy throughout eternity. Pres. J. A. O. Preus of LCMS suggested that youth need adults who will listen to them caret fully in order to minister to them—not by becoming overgrown youth themselves, which tended to be the trend of the 60s, but by becoming deeply responsive as adults to the tremendous needs of youth attempting to find a secure foothold in a kaleidoscopic culture. Or as Eugene Smith of the WCC stated at the end of 1970: “The nontraditional religious quest among young people is a major clue to our time. Not since the 1st or 16th centuries has there been such a combination of interest in Christian faith and disinterest in its institutional forms. The nontraditional search for God in our time may yet produce changes in institutional Christianity as far-reaching as in those fateful centuries.”

10. For further study see Detroit LCMS convention Proceedings, 1965; “New Walther League Manifesto”; “Resources for Youth Ministry,” pub. quarterly by the Bd. of Youth Ministry, 500 N. Broadway, St. Louis, Missouri (esp. Don't Be Afraid, Vol. 2, No. 2, and Out into the Sunshine, Vol. 3, No. 2); the “Nelson Youth Forum Series” (Camden, New Jersey); D. M, Evans, Shaping the Church's Ministry with Youth (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1965); C. F. H. Henry, Answers for the Now Generation (Chicago, 1969); R. Snyder, Young People and Their Culture (Nashville, 1969); M. P. Strommen, Bridging the Gap (Minneapolis, 1973) and Five Cries of Youth (New York, 1974). LW DPM

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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