Youth & Young Adult Ministries Session ThreeMiddle Adolescence & Rites of Passage
Based on Fowler’s Stages of FaithDEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF GENEROSITY
Developmental Stages of GenerosityAssumptions regarding developmental stagesof generosity:• Human beings have a natural impulse to be generous, but this impulse must be nurtured and developed to its full expression as a part of one’s character. It is a lifelong process.
Developmental Stages of GenerosityAssumptions regarding developmental stagesof generosity:• Charitable giving and philanthropy is learned behavior, reflecting one’s values, attitudes, and beliefs.
Developmental Stages of GenerosityAssumptions regarding developmental stagesof generosity:• The teachings of one’s faith community around giving and generosity are highly influential in instilling the value and practice of generous behaviors (sharing, charitable giving, volunterism).
Stages of Faith DevelopmentJames Fowler identified ages and stages offaith development:• Stage 3—Synthetic-Conventional Faith (Adolescence, but also adults) – World view now extends beyond the family. – Experience and environments are more complex and faith requires synthesis of a variety of values and information. – Basis for identity, judgment and action.
Synthetic-Conventional FaithGenerosity Implications:• Gaining understanding the complexities of money and resource distribution that does not always seem fair or just. Making choices about giving one’s own money and time to causes of interest. Seeing how one can make a difference in the world through giving and helping.
Stages of Faith Development• Stage 4—Individuative-Reflective Faith (Young adults; middle-adulthood) – Accepting the burden of responsibilities, commitments, lifestyle, beliefs and attitudes. – Experience the tensions: Individuality vs. being defined by group identity. – Self-fulfillment and self-actualization vs. service and commitment to others. – Critical reflection on identity (self) and outlook (ideology) to discern one’s own truth and reality.
Individuative-Reflective FaithGenerosity Implications:• Struggling with choices and attitudes around values and money—one’s own needs vs. concern for others/causes.
―Where Do We Come From, What Are We, Where Are We Going?‖YOUTH SUMMIT REPORT
The 2007 Youth Summit ReportVision of Youth Ministry that is:• Congregationally based;• Multigenerational;• Spirit-centered;• Counter oppressive; multicultural, and radically inclusive
Outcomes of Youth Summit Report• Meeting the spiritual needs of youth• Welcoming all youth in a multicultural world
Outcomes of Youth Summit Report• Meeting the spiritual needs of youth• Welcoming all youth in a multicultural world• Building a multigenerational faith• Organizing youth ministry for success
Outcomes of Youth Summit Report• Meeting the spiritual needs of youth• Welcoming all youth in a multicultural world• Building a multigenerational faith• Organizing youth ministry for success• Moving beyond a one-size-fits-all youth ministry• Preparing and supporting adults for youth ministry
Middle Adolescence (ages 15-18)ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT
Physical Growth• Develops sexuality more fully• Negotiates feelings of gendered attraction and sexual orientation• Navigates greater risks relating to alcohol, drug use, sexual activity• Peak physical growth stage for male youth
Cognitive, Intellectual Development• Has the ability to think deductively, inductively, conceptually, hypothe tically• Able to synthesize and use information efficiently• May engage in celebrating new mindfulness about self (journal writing, re-reading emails, etc.)• Becomes more interested in and critical of the wider world
Social, Affective Development• Tries to claim identities, both independently and in relationships with others• Needs to belong and have a sense of self-worth• May start to conform less to peer groups• Needs engagement with diversity of peers to broaden notions of racial and ethnic identity• May claim boldly racial identity—may seek same-race peers to affirm identity
Social, Affective Development• Youth in mostly mono-racial environments may just be starting to realize salience of their racial identity (particularly White youth)• Struggles with gender and sexual identity— often a time of increased stress for GLBTQQ youth• Tries to reconcile scripts about ―normative‖ sexuality with feelings that may or may not be similar
Moral Development• Thinks conceptually and enjoys moral reasoning• Engages in ―principled morality‖—principles are more important than laws• Often has increased social awareness and activism
Spiritual, Religious, Faith Development• Conceptualizes religion as an outside authority that can be questioned• Questions faith, leading to deeper ownership or disenfranchising• Deepens religious spiritual identity• May use faith as sustaining presence
Support for Early Adolescent Stage• Affirm that sexuality is a healthy part of human development• Provide information about safe sex and contraception• Be available for conversation; be a sounding board• Offer fair and grounded support around risk taking; provide safety limits• Enjoy the youth’s ability to think critically, hypothetically, and conceptually• Encourage practices that celebrate youth’s mindfulness (such as journaling)
Support for Early Adolescent Stage• Understand that new thinking skills may result in new criticisms• Encourage involvement in multiple realms of activity or achievement (e.g. music, faith, community groups, sports)• Strongly encourage sustained engagement for youth with ethnically and racially diverse peers and seek role models for Youth of Color who lack them• Learn and support youths’ realities and struggles• Engage openly with the youth about moral reasoning
Youth Ministry in Early Adolescence• The importance of friendships.• Family still matters, but in a different way.• Huge swings in commitment levels are normal.• The need for immediate perceived relevance in all aspects of the program.• Every kid needs an older friend/mentor.
Generational Faith Formation• Builder Generation (1945 and earlier)• Baby Boom Generation (1946–1964)• Generation X (1965–1979)• Millennial Generation (1980–1999)• Generation 2000 or the iGeneration (2000–)
iWhat does the "i" stand for in iMac and iPod? InSteve Jobs’ iMac introduction in 1998, he saidthe "i" stands for• Internet• Individual• Instruct• Inform• Inspire
iGeneration• Introduction to technology, literally at birth• Constant media diet• Adeptness at multitasking• Fervor for communication technologies• Love of virtual social worlds and anything internet-related• Ability to use technology to create a vast array of "content"• Unique learning style
iGeneration• Need for constant motivation• Closeness to family• Confidence• Openness to change• Need for collective reflection• Desire for intimacy
Rites of PassageArnold Van Gennep described thejourney as a threefold movement:• Separation• Transition• Reincorporation
Rites of Passage ZonesVan Gennep noted the significance of a sacred ―zone‖ of transitionbetween the two worlds.
The Church as CrucibleChurches remain one of our culture’s few bodiescapable of creating and sustaining suchmeaningful transitions. Because ofthis, congregations have been called ―uniquecrucibles‖ for exploring many of the processes ofidentity and faith development.
The Church as Crucible• Ritual teaches us.• Faith rituals revise our personal narratives.• The Church stands uniquely positioned to celebrate life cycle events.
Emerging RitualWhat Rites of Passage Can Churches andFamilies Provide for Adolescents?• Entering adolescence• Milestones• Ritual meals
Why Bother?• Obvious opportunities present themselves at moments of age transition, such as from a junior or middle school level to senior high, or upon graduation from high school or college, or at certain thresholds of aging.• Location changes, such as a family move, are also laden life-markers to be plumbed in customized rituals of good-bye and hello.
Why Bother?• Multi-age, single gender gatherings can be very effective with even a simple format;• Losses that affect a person’s daily world are especially critical times to widen the context of life passages. A ritual place to honor the new psychic landscape is not something we will necessarily know how to ask for, but will likely welcome if it fits our needs.• Any important decision made by a person can be honored and deepened ceremonially.
Tapestry of Faith Curricula for Rites of Passage• Our Whole Lives, Grades 7-9• Our Whole Lives, Grades 10-12• Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Young Adults, Ages 18-35• Our Whole Lives, Adults• Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations• Bridging: A Handbook for Congregations
Our Whole LivesSexuality Education for Grades 7‐9 & 10-12 & Young Adult & Adult
Program GoalsAs a participant in Coming of Age, you will:• Get to know yourself better• Begin to understand other people better• Be part of a meaningful community of youth, beyond labels and cliques• Make Unitarian Universalism relevant to your life• Understand your own religious beliefs more deeply and know how to explain them
Program Goals• Examine your values and how they relate to your actions• Learn how to live your beliefs and values every day• Experience multiple ways to connect with what is spiritual--those things that put you in touch with the miracle of life• Build a strong and supportive relationship with an adult mentor• Develop and practice stronger leadership skills
Program Goals• Get to know more people in the greater congregation, both younger and older• Understand the role worship plays in our community and be a full participant in worship services• Identify our UU rituals and know their histories• Increase your knowledge of the workings of the congregation and the wider UU world• Have a real sense of accomplishment and a growing sense of maturity at the completion of the program
Program Components• Workshop activities – games – discussion – journals and credos – acting, drawing, movement – youth-led worship• Mentored relationships• Field trips• Retreats and overnights• Worship service of recognition
Subject Areas• Community building: – creating a trusting and bonded group• Unitarian Universalist Values: – identifying what Unitarian Universalists, including you, value most• Community service: – putting our values into action by serving others
Subject Areas• Social action: – learning about social change and making it happen• Spirituality: – learning practices, from prayer to martial arts, that balance us and put us in touch with the miracle of life• Theology: – clarifying our ideas about humanity and the divine
Subject Areas• UU beliefs: – looking at religious claims and "what we set our heart to" in daily life• UU history: – interacting with the past to gain inspiration for the future• Leadership: – developing skills to run meetings, handle conflicts, and speak in front of crowds
Subject Areas• Worship: – designing and leading worship services for the group and congregation• Spiritual growth: – creating meaningful opportunities for growing in maturity and faith
Program Goals• Offers youth a process that supports and honors the many changes in their lives as they move into adulthood• Helps youth identify their strengths and gifts in order to increase their resilience and ability to face change and challenge• Offers parents and caregivers a process that supports and honors changes in family relationships as Bridgers move into adulthood• Challenges congregations to reexamine their ministry to and with youth and young adults