Middle School – Coming of Age (COA)

Our Coming of Age (COA) program has four parts that span three years: Comparative Religions; Biblical Literacy; Unitarian Universalist History, Theology, and Identity; and Social Justice.

Coming of Age (COA) Program - A group of youth and adults in a kitchen prepare to make lasagna.
Coming of Age youth and their mentors ready to make lasagna for unhoused neighbors in Waltham.

The journey begins in 6th or 7th grade where youth participate in the Building Bridges comparative religions program coupled with an opportunity to explore biblical stories through the eyes of the women who lived them. They also spend time getting real, in-depth experiences in Unitarian Universalism including spending time in worship at FUUSN one Sunday a month and in other UU congregations as well as visiting important UU heritage sites. Together with older youth from the congregation, they support several Social Justice projects.

When they enter the final year in either 8th or 9th grade, they are matched with and supported by a congregational mentor. This final year is an opportunity to articulate what they believe and are invited to give voice to their beliefs in front of the congregation. During this final year, there is a weekend retreat in the fall and spring and monthly meetings throughout the year. The program ends with a special worship service in May. During this service, each candidate affirms their personal beliefs in a credo statement shared with the congregation.