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In our congregation, we honor the growth of children as they pass from one phase of life to another. Each child that grows up in our community will know that they are cherished by the whole congregation.
When a child joins a family through adoption or birth, we honor this time with a Child Dedication. This ceremony occurs as part of a Sunday morning service, involving the whole congregation in welcoming the child, listening to what the parents pledge to the child, and promising our commitment as a congregation to the spiritual growth of the child and the support of the parents.
Teens in grades 8-9 participate in a Coming of Age program, designed to guide them toward spiritual maturity. Our teens begin to explore and articulate their personal beliefs, supported by adult mentors. The program includes discussion, guest speakers, social outings, field trips, and a service project. The program culminates in a service planned and facilitated by the youth at which they present their credos–written statements of belief and perspectives developed over the course of program.
Our Bridging program is designed for high school seniors who are making the transition from youth to young adulthood. As with the Coming of Age program, the Bridgers meet regularly for discussion to refine their religious and spiritual beliefs, and revisit the credo development process. They also invite guest speakers, take field trips, participate in service projects, and help plan a culminating service. In the Bridging ceremony, our youth cross over a bridge (literally and metaphorically) and are embraced by the young adults of the congregation.