Coming of Age Program

2017 - A Program for UU Youth Grades 7-9

Important Links:
Key Dates
Brochure
Application and Covenant
Medical Forms

WHAT IS COMING OF AGE?
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.

WHO IS THIS PROGRAM FOR?
The COA Program is for Unitarian Universalist youth whose parent/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 Nov. 30, 2016.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
• 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.

APPLICATION PROCESS
1. Complete the application enclosed or one from www.LIACuu.org 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 deadline to:
LIAC, c/o Gretta Johnson-Sally, 5 Reydon Way, Commack, NY 11725

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Orientation for Participants, Parents/Guardians and Mentors
Saturday, December 10, 2016, 2:00-5:00 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 1/21, 2/11, 3/18, 4/8, 5/6 (Make Up Date: 4/22) 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.

The Boston Trip (recommended)
May 18-21, 2017
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
June 3, 2017
A special worship service (conducted at the Stony Brook Fellowship) is held to celebrate the completion of the program by the COA participants and to recognize their mentors. Family members may wish to invite friends and extended family to the service.

SELECTING A MENTOR
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. Please note that Unitarian Universalist professional staff members (e.g. minister or DRE) are NOT eligible to be mentors.

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 January 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 and Information session on December 10, 2016 at the Huntington Fellowship. Mentors do not attend the five program sessions or take part in the Boston trip.

Contact for questions, clarification
or more information:

Linda Volkersz, LIAC Program Consultant
631-751-6089 • lvolkersz1@gmail.com

REGISTRATION PREREQUISITES
• 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.

WHAT DOES IT COST?
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 January 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:

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

COA COVENANT
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.

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

December 10, 2016
Orientation for Youth, Mentors, Parents/Guardians

January 21, 2017
Session 1 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

February 11, 2017
Session 2 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

March 18, 2017
Session 3 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Balance due for optional Boston trip

April 8, 2017
Session 4: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

April 22, 2017 (Snow Day)
Please hold this date on your calendar in case we need to reschedule a session due to inclement weather

May 6, 2017
Session 5 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

May 18 4:00 pm - 21, 2017
Boston Trip (suggested/optional)

June 3, 2017
Recognition Service 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
(Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Huntington)


(Optional sleepover date to be determined for one of the COA sessions)