How our program is organized
There are three ways to connect in our Coming of Age program:
- Group Connects (on site at the church) are when the whole group gets together to discuss things in person. These Connects include 1 overnight, 1 retreat, and 3 Saturday evenings.
- Mentor-Youth Connects are opportunities for the youth to get together with a trained and trusted adult facilitator to build relationship and seek council regarding their Faith Statements. These can happen face-to-face, online, on an outing (see Safe Meeting Guidelines) or over the phone. Mentors should at least touch base with their youth once per month but should make time for longer contact during the Mentor-Youth Connect months of October, December, February, and March.
- Credo Group Connects (onsite at church) are a time to share what came to mind during your personal Credo times. It is a time to ask questions, build relationship, and share ideas.
- A schedule is posted on this website so that all (Parents, Youth, Mentors) may have a clear snapshot of their upcoming journey.
- Mentors are assigned up to two youth that are matched by gender, personality, and temperament. Mentors and Youth must follow the Safe Meeting Guidelines (outlined on this website) during the Connects.
- Mentors participate in a special training, sign a code of ethics, submit to a background check, and remain connected to their DRE throughout the process.
- Tips for Mentors exist on this website and questions can be asked of the DRE directly via the Contact Form.
- Coming of Age Participants (Youth) will begin their Coming of Age Journey by filling out and submitting the Participant form on this website. Mentors will do the same for the Mentor Information Form. It is from this information that we will match Mentors to Youth.
- Parents must read through the Parent Information section of this website and submit their name as their acknowledgement and agreement.
- Parents will have an Orientation opportunity and may ask questions of the DLFD directly as they arise.
- Writing a faith statement, or credo, for the May 1 service is an important part of the Coming of Age program but it is not the sole objective. Our program is designed to make the experience of the rites of passage process enjoyable, uplifting, and loving. It is our hope that the Coming of Age program strengthens multigenerational ties within the congregation, offers youth a safe adult from the congregation in which to confide, gives tools to youth to navigate this life transition, and helps to build a strong Unitarian Universalist identity.
- A journal is kept by the youth throughout the entire process in the hopes that they can capture significant moments of their Coming of Age experience and incorporate it into their Faith Statement. Journaling prompts are found on this website.
- Youth can use the prompts on this website (under Preparing Your Faith Statement) to help them write their credos. Parents are welcome and encouraged to assist their youth where possible. Parents may even consider thinking over the prompts on their own, to better understand their youth’s spiritual journey.
- A Social Project will be decided upon by the Mentors and Youth during one of the very first Group Connects. Any trip taken is optional for each individual youth.
- Once the CoA Mentors and Youth have agreed upon a Trip &/or Social Justice projects, a parent meeting will be called to discuss. The details of this decision, including an itinerary and potential cost, will then be posted on the website.
- This Coming of Age is meant to be experienced. There will be times of joy, times of confusion, and times of frustration. All of these things help shape us into who we are as individuals and who we are as a community. May we all come together in the spirit of togetherness as we journey forward.