Bridging and Coming of Age Group

We are thrilled that 4 youth and young adults recently completed our bridging and coming of age program.  We hope to have a new class by 2020!  If you are interested in being involved, please contact the church office or a member of the Lifespan Faith Development committee.

 

Archive:

UUFD is thrilled to have a number of youth and young adults going through a bridging and coming of age process this year, which involves learning about UU beliefs, history, and identity; exploring religion, spirituality, and values; and developing their own values and ethics.

Keep reading for important dates, guidelines and covenant, and interview questions.

Here are some important dates for the Bridging/Coming of Age group to keep in mind:

Sundays in 2016  

November 20 - 1:00-3:00 p.m. -- Interview Discussion #3 & 4 -  Life & Death and Spiritual Practice & Values
December 18 - 3:00-5:00 p.m. --  Maddie's presentation

Sundays in 2017  
January 22 - 4:00-6:00 p.m. with Pizza -- Interview Discussion #5 & 6 - Sacred Teachings and A Ministry of Justice
February 19 - 3:00-5:00 p.m. -- Gabriel's presentation
March 18 - 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Rev. Linda's home -- Maddy's and Josh's presentation
April 23 - 3:00-5:00 p.m. -- Rehearse your finished credo statements to the whole group
May 14 - 10:00 a.m.  -- Flower Communion Service with the Bridgers & CoAers Celebration
 

Bridging and Coming of Age Program 2016-2017

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb

Introduction:

Many religions and cultures have rites of passage for their youth which signify the young person’s spiritual growth, maturation, and acceptance into adult community.  In ancient cultures these rites of passage follow a period of education, trials and testing.  All young adults, of any gender, may benefit from the blessings, guidance, and celebration of their lives as described in Tryntje Van Ness Seymour’s The Gift of Changing Woman, (1993).  The author writes, “When an Apache girl comes of age…she stands on the verge of her own womanhood.  The people have a ceremony to help her in this transition…and through the ceremony the girl receives blessings, guidance, advice, and an example of how she should live her life.”

 

In contemporary times similar rites include preparation for holy communion, confirmation, bar mitzvah, or the months that Mormon young adults commit to mission.  We as Unitarian Universalists take the preparation for adulthood and deepening spiritual development of our youth as seriously as do other religions. The UU Fellowship of DeKalb strives to support our young people to quest for truth, justice, love and global community.  Because we are a small congregation, we have blended our Coming of Age and Bridging programs for the 2016-2017 participants.  Let us as a covenanted congregational community support and promote growing up well in these challenging times.  

 

Goals of the UUFD Coming of Age and Bridging Program:

1.  Promote self-understanding, spiritual depth, and maturation.        

2.  Learn to think critically and to ask serious questions about life and religion.

3.  Promote understanding of Unitarian Universalism and our Principles and Purposes.

4.  Develop a personal plan for leadership and responsibility in our church and in the community.

5.  Experience a congregational service of recognition and celebration.

 

Requirements:

  1. A youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years may commit to the Coming of Age (CoA) program; a young adult may commit to the Bridging program.    
  2. A written covenant of commitment to the Bridging/Coming of Age program will be developed with the participant, the minister, the adult UUFD sponsor, and – if CoA, his or her parent or guardian.   
  3. As part of the Covenant, content for the Coming of Age program will be selected from the Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations (2009, UUA).  6-8 sessions will be set up to include:

Religious Beliefs                                  Social Justice                        Community Building & Social Action

Writing Your Credo                             Spirituality                            UU History

Theology                                               Leadership                            (Other – when approved)

4.  UU Religious Beliefs:  With the input of the sponsor and/or minister, the youth will select 3 adult members who are active in the congregation to interview.  This will introduce them to the ways that UUs think about life, values and living with a UU faith.  A simple interview form is provided to assist with the interview.  The group will discuss their completed interviews on “Interview Night” with the minister and their sponsors. 

 

5.  Community Building & Social Action  & Leadership:  The youth/young adult will:

  1. Complete one activity that serves the congregation or members in need
  2. Complete one activity that serves the larger community in some way
  3. Serve as a youth member on a UUFD Board, Ministry Team, or Council for 6-10 months & assist
  4. Demonstrate leadership in an area of Congregational Ministry – in YaYa, Re, the Board, etc.

 

6.  Conclude the Bridging/CoA program with a worship service of recognition and celebration.

 

UUFD Bridging & Coming of Age Program 2016-2017

Covenant and Project Outline

 

“What do I want to get out of this Coming of Age and Bridging Program?”  Asked of the five youth and young adult participants at the January 10, 2016 meeting.  They responded: 

 

Explore UUFD culture and spiritual culture; Explore my purpose and what it is for my life; Laughter and joy; Interview experience; Delving deeper into my UU identity; Define more of what my beliefs are; Collaboration and the journey together; Explore what role being a UU is in my life; Connecting with deeper questions and do the process in a community; Carry the congregation with us on this journey and stimulate the congregation in our experiences with them; Personal growth; Articulate my values and bring them into focus; Celebrate inquisitiveness, fire, passion, and help the world; To be with you all; I’m interested in many causes – explore them and find my passion; Articulate what I believe.

 

Participants and Sponsors: Gabriel Ford + Allen Harden, Taylor Richier + Tom Stamatakos,  Josh Becker + Ed Miguel, Vanstrom Dracul + Donna Veeneman, Gladys Sanchez and Maylan Dunn-Kenney

 

 

  1. As part of the Covenant, content for the Coming of Age program will be selected from the Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations (2009, UUA).  6-8 sessions will be set up to include:

Religious Beliefs                                  Social Justice                        Community Building & Social Action

Writing Your Credo                             Spirituality                            UU History

Theology                                               Leadership                            (Other – when approved)

 

My sponsor and I will present on _____________________________________________________ to the group on this date:  ____________________________. 

 

 2.  Interviews UUFD members on Religious Beliefs –  Good potential interviewees include:

Kara Becker, Allen Harden, Donna Veeneman, Tom or Jenny Stamatakos, Dan or Maylan Dunn-Kenney, Lon or Kathy Clark, Bonnie or Beau Anderson, Irene Faivre, Ed or Chris Miguel, Danica Lovings, Ashley Ford, Cele Meyer, Toni Tollerud, Susan Dorbeck, Jack Lazzara, Clark Neher, Sharon Blake, Wayne Albrecht, Pam Wicking, Sue Willis, Teri or Dave Diaz, Nicole Berns, etc.

My 3 Interviewees are:

    1. ______________________________________
    2. ______________________________________
    3. ______________________________________

 

Our completed interviews will be shared with the minister and our sponsors on “Interview Night” that will be held on _____________________________(date).    

 

 

3.  Community Building,  Social Action  & Leadership:  The youth/young adult will:

a.  Complete one activity that serves the congregation or members in need. 

My activity is____________________________________________________________.

I will do this alone or with ________________________________________________.

b.  Complete one activity that serves the larger community in some way.

My activity is _____________________________________________________________.

I will do this alone or with _________________________________________________.

c.  Serve as a youth member on a UUFD Board, Ministry Team, or Council for 6-10 months & assist that ministry.  I have chosen the ministry of ________________________________ and will make contact with _________________________________________ to start my service on _______________________ (date)  for _______ months.  

 d.  Demonstrate leadership in Congregational Ministry – in YaYa, RE, the Board, etc.

I will lead or co-lead a meeting, youth event, social justice outing, RE class, fundraiser or ???  at UUFD. 

My ideas for this project are: _______________________________________________

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

My final project is: _______________________________________________________

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

4.  Write CREDO STATEMENT – a personal statement of faith, values, beliefs, commitments and spiritual identity as a Unitarian Universalist.  I will go over a rough draft of my CREDO statement with my Sponsor by this date ______________.   I will go over my finished CREDO STATEMENT with my Sponsor before I share it at a Sunday morning service.  I will share my CREDO STATEMENT at a Sunday Worship Service on ___________________(arrange date with Rev. Linda). 

 

5.  Conclude the Bridging/CoA program with a worship service of recognition and celebration that the youth and young adults help to plan.

I commit myself to the goals and dreams we shared, to learning and participation together, and to completing the experiences that I develop as my projects in this covenant. 

 

Name: __________________________________________Date: ____________________________

 

Sponsor: ________________________________________

 

 

 Interview Questionnaire – 2016-2017 

 

Interviewee:____________________________________   Date: _________________

 

Youth/Young Adult Interviewer________________________________________

 

1.      Our Humanity

  1. Do you believe that there is evil?   If so, why?  If not, why not? 
  2. If we are born with the ability to live more towards the “good” or towards “evil” then what are the reasons, why do we or others sometimes do evil?  

 

 

2.      UU Theology --  God or Not God?

  1. Do you believe in any kind of God or Spirit or Creating Force? 
  2. Have you ever had an experience where you felt such a sense of power, wonder, peace or mystery that it was transcending or transformative? 

If yes, describe it and how it affected you.  If no, what experiences have transformed you and what do you think created them.

  1. What are you coming to believe now about the universe and our place in it?  

 

3.      Life and Death

  1. What values have guided your life and your actions?  Tell me a story of how you lived this value.
  2. As a UU, what is sacred to you?  
  3. How have you thought about death and that you too will die?
  4. What do you think happens after death?

 

4.      Spiritual Practice and Spiritual Values

  1. How did you come to Unitarian Universalism?
  2. What do you do that supports your mental health and spiritual well-being?
  3. What makes life worth living? 

 

5.      Sacred Teachings

  1. What writings or teachings (authors, books, spiritual texts like the Bible or Koran or Tao Te Ching) have you found to be sacred or sustaining for you?
  2. Name one book (author) or that is sacred or transformative to you that I should read, or a website that I should visit and learn from:

 

6.      A Ministry of Justice

  1. Name two social justice issues that you feel most strongly about?
  2. What have you done to address those issues?
  3. What values or UU principles are connected to your actions?