Coming of Age Program. Coming of Age Ceremonies, marking the transition from childhood to young adult, are as old as history. They have included ritual abductions, vision quests, and bar and bat mitzvahs, all to help youth learn about themselves and prepare for adulthood. Many Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations mark this transition with year-long coming of age programs, which generally include four parts: pairing youth with adult mentors; discussions and retreats that emphasize self-awareness and confidence-building; service to the church and community; and a culminating affirmation ceremony.
Developing a lifelong connection with UU values requires that youth are offered opportunities to be a part of their congregation, take leadership, and engage with adults outside of the Religious Education Program. This year, we are moving to Coming of Age program model where youth become youth members of our Congregation after their 8th grade year, and they are offered opportunities to participate in congregational life, such as those offered to other members.On Sunday morning, High School youth will meet with youth advisors to participate in facilitated discussions, attend sermons, or plan social action projects.