The Coming of Age (CoA) program provides a substantive spiritual program for youth in transition from childhood to adolescence. The program is run every second year; the 2012 program began in January. (Here is information from the programs of 2007-2008 and 2005-2006.)
CoA provides the following benefits to youth:
Participants … Youth ages 14 and older are eligible to participate in the CoA program. Currently, no upper age limit exists, enabling all interested Junior and Senior High youth to go through the program. Youth who are 13 but will turn 14 during the church year may participate after consulting with the Minister or Program Coordinators about their readiness for the program.
Mentoring … Each CoA youth is paired with an adult mentor. The purpose of mentoring is to give each youth the opportunity to develop a relationship with an adult other than a parent or guardian. The mentor provides the youth with another role model for adulthood and, hopefully, becomes a trusted adult to talk with and learn from. Youth and mentors meet regularly during the course of the program.
Community Service … The purpose of the community service requirement is to expose youth to the benefits and challenges of volunteering and to provide an opportunity to develop their compassion and generosity. Each youth is required to dream up, define, and execute a Faith Into Action project. The subject can be anything the youth cares deeply about. The mentor aids in the process of defining the task and bringing it to reality.