Coming of Age Program

2017 - A Program for UU Youth Grades 7-9

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The Coming of Age (COA) Program is about learning, sharing, growing and bonding with other Unitarian Universalist youth from various Long Island congregations. The purpose of the program is to acquaint the participants with an understanding of Unitarian Universalism, explore their developing personal religious philosophies, examine and discuss adolescent issues and to foster the development of open communication among the youth and between the youth and their families.

The COA Program is for Unitarian Universalist youth whose parents/guardians are members or friends in good standing at any LIAC affiliated UU congregation. While all Long Island Unitarian Universalist youth in, grades 7-9 are eligible, older youth will be given first preference. Participants will be notified of their acceptance into the program by Dec. 31.

• Attendance and participation in COA.
• Orientation & five COA program sessions.
• Completion of homework assignments, which include light reading and conversations (guiding questions will be provided) with parents/guardians, mentors or other adults in the UU community that allow participants to explore various UU points of view.
• Completion of two projects of the participant's choosing. One project is focused on the larger faith community, and one is congregation-centered. Projects can be tailored to the student's needs, interests and abilities. The mentor will provide guidance on the selection and completion of the projects.
• Completion of community service hours.

During Orientation, participants and mentors will receive the COA Handbook, detailing the program requirements.

1. Complete the application enclosed or one from website.
2. Read, discuss and sign the covenant. Contact the religious educator in your UU home congregation for a list of mentors and ask a UU adult to be the youth's mentor.
3. Include a money order or check to LIAC for $25 with COA on the memo line.
4. If the youth will be going on the optional Boston trip, include this information on the application form.
5. Send the above by the December 9, 2017 deadline to:
LIAC, c/o Gretta Johnson-Sally, 5 Reydon Way, Commack, NY 11725


Orientation for Participants, Parents/Guardians and Mentors
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 2:00-4:00 PM
During this mandatory informational meeting, leaders will review the program goals, content, completion requirements with the participants, their parent/guardians and mentors.

Program Sessions
Saturdays 1/13, 2/10, 3/10, 4/14, 4/21*, 5/14: 2:00 - 9:00 PM*
A detailed program outline for each session will be provided during the Orientation session. Each session will include engaging activities and discussion, community building, and spiritual exploration. Following a potluck dinner, participants will engage in a variety of activities designed to promote spiritual growth and connection.

*There will be one optional Saturday to Sunday overnight (Date and location to be determined)

The Boston Trip (recommended)
May 17-20, 2018
This traditional trip includes a visit to the Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters and other famous UU historical sites. It begins on Thursday afternoon (after school) and ends on Sunday evening. Youth are transported by 15 passenger vans and sleep in a UU church. Note that participation in the Boston Trip is not required to complete the COA program. The additional cost is estimated at $250 (the actual cost will depend on the number of participants). A virtual tour of the UUA is also available on the UUA website.

Recognition Service
Saturday June 2, 2018
A special worship service (location to be determined) is held to celebrate the completion of the program by the participants in the COA program and to recognize their mentors. Family members are encouraged to invite friends and extended family to the service. A reception sponsored by LIAC will follow the Recognition Service.

The mentor is an adult from the youth’s congregation chosen with the help of the youth’s parents and Religious Educator. The goal is for the youth to build a relationship with another Unitarian Universalist adult outside of his or her immediate family circle.

The mentor should be a Unitarian Universalist, and a role model for the youth. Potential mentors will be required to sign an ethics form stating that they have not been convicted of any crime against a minor. The mentor must be able to meet with the youth, face-to-face, at least once each month to monitor the completion of program requirements.

The mentor is required to attend the Orientation in December and the Recognition Service in June. Please make sure the mentor is available for both events, as well as face-to-face meetings at least once each month. Mentors are required to follow safe congregation guidelines (which will be reviewed during Orientation) for all face-to-face meetings as well as electronic communications.

Youth are encouraged to ask their DRE for guidance in selecting their mentor. Mentors are invited to a Mentor Training. Mentors do not attend any of the five program sessions or take part in the Boston trip.

Contact for questions, clarification
or more information:

David Silver, LIAC Program Consultant
631-553-1107 •

• Youth must be currently attending religious education classes or worship programs in a Unitarian Universalist LIAC congregation and have shown the maturity necessary for the Coming of Age program.

• The parent/guardians are members or friends in good standing within a Unitarian Universalist LIAC congregation.

• The youth, parent/guardian and the Religious Educator of a UU congregation agree upon a mentor.

• A deposit of $25 is due with the application.


The $250 COA tuition covers the cost of all of the program sessions and the COA Recognition Service. Parent/Guardians will also be asked to sign up to provide food/snacks for potluck dinners. The $225 balance of payment is due at the December Orientation meeting.

The Boston Trip is optional, with an additional estimated cost of $250. Youth must sign up for the Boston trip at the time of registration. For youth attending the Boston trip, a $100 deposit is due at Orientation, with the $150 balance due by March. Send all payments & forms to:

c/o Gretta Johnson-Sally, Administrator
5 Reydon Way,
Commack, NY 11725

Participants will be required to sign a covenant describing guidelines for behavior while attending the Coming of Age program sessions. If violation of the covenant results in removal from the COA program, tuition will not be refunded.


December 9, 2017
Orientation for Youth, Mentors, Parents/Guardians (Deadline)

January 13, 2018
Session 1: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

February 10, 2018
Session 2: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

March 10, 2018
Session 3: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Balance due for optional Boston trip

April 14, 2018*
Snow Date Make Up Session if necessary: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

April 21, 2018
Session 4: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

May 12, 2018
Session 5: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

May 17, 2018 4:00 PM – May 20, 2018
Boston Area Trip (suggested/optional)

June 2, 2018
Recognition Service: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Program locations will be announced at the Orientation