News January 19, 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

Most Unitarian Universalist churches offer Coming of Age programs for 8th and 9th graders. Our church has been offering this special program regularly for many years. We will start with our current cohort of 8th /9th graders this coming Sunday. Each youth will have a mentor, an adult member of the church, who personally helps them through the steps.

What does it mean to come of age in the context of our faith and in this day and age? While a move to independence is a gradual journey, there is a time when children attend church with their parents because their parents choose that for them and a time when children hold values because their parents have those values. Over time, there are opportunities for choices … what does a young person believe themselves, what are their values? Our Coming of Age program helps each youth figure out their own beliefs, through learning, reflection and conversation. In our program, each youth creates a CREDO or statement of belief, which they share.

There are big questions to reflect upon such as: What is a good life? Is/are there a Deity or Deities? What happens after we die? Why do evil and suffering exist? How should we treat one another and the planet?

There are the Unitarian Universalist principles and sources to dig into. Youth will learn a bit about the history of our church and of Unitarian Universalism. They will learn about the new Unitarian Universalist Web of Youth Ministry and participate in a Kindness Project. They will hear their mentor’s CREDOs. They will serve the larger community by doing a community service project. We hope that these experiences will help them know themselves better, will offer them the opportunity to reflect on issues and values in a way that is not offered anywhere else in their lives.

Watch for information on the culmination of their program in early May, 2024. It will be interesting to hear from our young people and to watch them grow into themselves. It is with gratitude to the congregation that we are able to offer this opportunity to our young people. Thank you.

Carol Burrus

Director of Religious Community