Youth Program

What is The Journey to Adulthood?

Spiritual formation that

  • provides a liturgical framework for the teenage experience of modern culture
  • celebrates young people’s individuality and their creative potential
  • offers training in some basic life skills needed for adult living and interaction

Based on two key concepts:

  • Manhood and Womanhood are free gifts from God
  • Adulthood must be earned

Includes in-depth exploration of:

  • Self
  • Spirituality
  • Sexuality
  • Society

Follows the imperatives of the Baptismal Covenant

Enables young people to discover and experience the love of God

Provides sacred space for teens to question, wonder, and work on their relationships with God and with each other

A place that promises: “If you are seeking the Christ, together we will find him.”


The first two years of the program are called Rite-13, a name that comes from a liturgical rite of passage we celebrate with the young people around their 13th birthdays. This rite is loosely based on the bar/bat mitzvah tradition and is a way for the entire congregation to celebrate the unique gifts and abilities of their young men and women. The Rite-13 program assists young people as they begin to take the first steps of independence from their families into their own lives. During these two years, the community acknowledges the gift of gender, celebrates the amazing creative power and potential of these young people, and creates a safe haven in which to explore new ideas, new interests, and new abilities.


The second segment is J2A – an acronym for the Journey to Adulthood. It may seem a little confusing for this second phase to have the same name as the entire six-year program, but this section was the first piece developed and many young people find that the bulk of their formational work gets done in these two years. In many ways, the J2A years are the heart of the entire program.
During the J2A phase, teens learn and practice six basic skills for adulthood:
1. active listening
2. negotiation
3. assertion
4. research & information management
5. partnership
6. leadership

In addition to the skills listed above, teens learn different methods of Scripture reading, prayer, and community-building. After two years, they are acknowledged as being equipped for new levels of responsibility and are given an opportunity to be confirmed (in denominations that have confirmation). They are also invited to make a holy pilgrimage.