Coming of Age 2020/2021 Schedule, Part 2
*1/10/21 Inner Tracking (Outdoors, In person) 2:30-4:00pm MENTORS, Urban Forestry Center
1/17/21 (MLK weekend)
1/24/21 Faith Statements in music (Zoom) 6:30-7:30pm
*1/31/21 Faith Statements in art (Outdoors, in person) 2:30-4:00pm MENTORS
2/7/21 When people try to convert you (Zoom) 6:30-7:30pm
*2/14/21 UU History (Zoom) 3:30-4:30pm MENTORS
2/21/21 OFF (School break)
*2/28/21 UU Elevator speech/Tweet (Outdoors, in person) 3:00-4:00pm MENTORS
3/7/21 CoA Alumni Panel (Court St building, in person) 3:00-4:00pm
*3/14/21 Interview your mentors (Outdoors, in person) 3:00-4:00pm MENTORS
3/21/21 Interview faith leaders (Social Hall, in person) 3:00-4:00
3/28/21 Writing Faith Statements Part 1 3:00-4:00 (In person, Court St)
*4/11/21 Writing Faith Statements Part 2 3:00-4:00 MENTORS
4/18/21 Special program with parents: Faith statement tweet 3:00-4:00 (In person, church)
4/25/21 Weekend between York/Ports holiday breaks
*5/2/21 Faith Statement Feedback workshop 3:00-4:00 (In person)MENTORS
5/9/21 OFF–Mother’s Day
5/16/21 Special program with parents: Family dynamics workshop 3:00-4:00 (In person, church)
5/23/21 OFF (Work on faith statements)
*5/28-5/30/21 Weekend Retreat at Pawtuckaway State Park MENTORS
*6/6/21 CoA Worship Rehearsal MENTORS
*6/13/21 CoA Worship Service, followed by reception MENTORS
*Asterisks represent dates where mentors join class
Hello Dear families!
This fall, South Church will once again be offering a Coming of Age program for our 8th grade youth. This is a special program that can be a really meaningful part of this time of transition from childhood to adolescence. Those in the program benefit greatly from a commitment to full participation, and so we’re giving you some advance notice as to what will be involved, especially since things will look different than they have in other years.
Coming of Age (COA) is a rite of passage program. Its purpose is to support our youth in:
- Making a thoughtful transition from childhood to youth, along with their families;
- Identifying and articulating their core values;
- Discovering their strengths and gifts, as well as their power to forge a meaningful, joy-filled life;
- Building lasting connections with one another and with the community as a whole.
There are a few pieces that add up to something really special:
- Class time, in which participants explore important topics;
- A group service project;
- Partnership with a mentor from the congregation. (The mentor will be present at some of the class sessions and will help with the service project.)
- Participation in a worship service at the end of the program.
To adjust to life during the pandemic, we are planning some program changes, with the following format:
- Group will meet virtually sometimes for class and discussions.
- Group will meet outdoors periodically throughout the program to have safe time together that is not on screens, and to foster the group cohesion that enables deep connection and sharing.
- There may be an occasional in-person, indoor meeting. In this situation participants would be required to wear masks, keep a minimum 6’ distance, and follow other safety precautions prescribed by the South Church task force that makes safety policy.
We anticipate that the largest number of classes will be virtual, followed by outdoor gatherings.
We understand that there is a very wide range of experiences, needs, wishes, and comfort levels right now in regard to what feel like acceptable activities. We respect that and will accommodate as much as we can, and we want to hear from you. This moment is an especially tricky time, with a lot of people feeling very anxious about school year plans.
We are planning an orientation and opening ceremony for Friday, August 28th at 6 pm. Classes will start later in September, after all the different forms of school have started. But don’t wait to reach out to Jen D with questions, concerns, or ideas. Let us know your hopes and intentions!
Keep in mind, each youth will be matched up with a mentor, typically of the same gender from the congregation. This is an opportunity for special connection with an adult in our community. Please give some thought as to who in the South Church congregation you might like to take on this role, and let us know your mentor suggestions as soon as you think of them. We can’t make any guarantees, but it helps to know your wishes! And if you don’t have anyone in mind, that’s ok too. We will happily find a good mentor match for each youth.
We love watching our youth grow through this program and look forward to marking this important rite of passage with your family.
With Much Love,
Jen & Kirsten