Every other year our seventh and eighth graders engage in one of two year-long programs, either the Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive sexuality education program, or the Coming of Age program to explore life’s big questions and articulate personal values and beliefs. This year’s class is exploring Coming of Age.

Coming of age marks the transition from childhood to youth. In our vibrant program the focus is on the youth and their unique journeys. Coming of Age is a transformative experience. While exploring life’s big questions, each participant strives to assume self-responsibility, gain self-confidence, experience an expanded world, understand the importance of community, and develop a personal value system. From September to June our Coming of Age youth intentionally consider and articulate their individual truth or faith. Our goals are to:

  • Provide youth with the tools to begin intentionally shaping their own spiritual lives
  • Encourage youth to create their own “empowering stories”
  • Create a space and time for deep authentic relationships among youth, facilitators, mentors, and the congregation

During the Coming of Age year youth experience learning, testing, ritual, and celebration. The program includes:

  • An Opening & Ending Ceremony
  • Parent-Youth Workshop
  • Mentor orientation & ritual
  • Sessions tackling life’s “big questions”
  • A Chalice Circle Retreat
  • Weekly games
  • Service project
  • Exploring religious beliefs through art & music
  • Developing a relationship with a mentor
  • Creating & presenting a faith statement
  • A Wilderness Journey Retreat