Coming of Age Capstone Program - Class of 2023

September 1, 2022 @ 3:30PM — June 30, 2023 @ 7:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) Add to Calendar

All Souls Interfaith Gathering: 291 Bostwick Farm Road P.O. Box 1124 Shelburne, VT 05482 Get Directions

Coming of Age Capstone Program - Class of 2023 image

Attend an Informational Meeting and Enroll

An Interfaith Program for Youth Age 12 to 14

Join us for an informational meeting on Sunday, June 26 at 1:00 p.m. You'll learn more about the curriculum, the service project, and how to enroll.

All Souls Interfaith Gathering’s Coming of Age Capstone Program is a one-year program for youth ages 11 to 14. Students will contemplate and discuss seven questions. The Coming of Age Program enables students to delve more deeply into these questions and concepts.

1.What does it mean to be interfaith?

2.What does it mean to live a meaningful life?

3.What are my values?

4.What is justice?

5.Who or what is the Divine?

6.What makes a good leader?

7.How am I in community?

A Safe Place to Explore: We want to create a safe and open forum for students to explore their ideas and identities. The class will be primarily discussion-based, and we plan to use speakers, films, articles, and personal journals to inform our opinions.

Mentors: Each Coming of Age participant develops a long-term relationship with a mentor to be identified in the first few months. Mentors are guides who can help provide resources and wisdom and who are members of the community.

Meetings: We meet for class once a month for a period of one and half hours. Students are provided with readings and assignments between each class. Regular attendance at meetings is expected, excused absences may be made up with additional homework.

The class schedule for the program includes the following:

September 2022: Unit 1 – The Interfaith World

All Souls is committed to providing a gathering place for people from many paths. This unit explores the interfaith world, including how people from different spiritual perspectives can work together and looking at examples of highly effective interfaith leaders.

This unit includes:

Getting to know each other, our spiritual backgrounds, and what we’re looking for

Establishing agreements about how we work together

Overview of interfaith and interspiritual leaders and concepts

Introduction to five major faith systems: Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam

Homework for this unit includes a short autobiography.

October 2022: Unit 2 – Making Meaning in Our Lives

Spiritual teachers offer different perspectives on finding meaning in life. This unit explores some of the major ways that meaning is found.

This unit includes:

Sharing our interests and goals

Exploring how spiritual traditions make meaning

Introduction to spiritual practices including those from Celtic, Indigenous, and Druid traditions.

November 2022: Unit 3 – What Are Your Values?

All Souls Interfaith Gathering adopted a values statement to describe the values that we wish to live out in our community life. This unit helps you explore your own values as we look at common interfaith values and the importance of finding agreement while respecting differences.

This unit includes:

Introduction to Interfaith Values

How to find unity in a diverse world

Exploring the concepts of good and evil

Ethical frameworks of Bahai’i and Zoroastrian traditions.

Building our values statements

December 2022: Meeting to review community service project proposals.

Students will identify their community service project to be done in the spring.

January 2023: Unit 4 – Working Toward Justice

The All Souls vision statement says that “we envision a just, peaceful and loving world.” What does it mean to be just? We explore different ways of looking at justice, current justice challenges, and your own view of justice.

This unit includes:

Teachings of various spiritual traditions about justice

Overview of today’s justice issues (racial justice, environmental justice, gender justice, etc.)

Justice teachings from Judaism, Sufism, Christianity, and Islam.

Exploring your commitments to justice

February 2023: Unit 5 – What is Divine?

The All Souls mission statement says that we hope to “inspire connection with Divine Source.” We view the Divine to include a wide variety of understandings such as the power of nature, the beauty of science, profound spiritual teachers, or a deity. What is your viewpoint?

This unit explores:

What or who do you conceive as larger than yourself?

For you, what are the characteristics of the Divine?

How does the Divine affect your everyday life?

Divine presence in Nature: Views of different faiths.

March 2023: Unit 6 – Becoming a Leader

To accomplish our mission and vision at All Souls, we need leaders who are willing to work with the community. What does it mean to be a leader? What kind of leader might you be? How do you want to become a leader?

This unit explores:

Examples of effective faith and community leaders

The meaning and practice of leadership

Leadership in community life

April 2023: Unit 7 – Embracing Community

Our vision statement says that we envision a world “united by common humanity, in which people live purposeful lives in harmony with one another, other creatures, and the Earth itself.” With so many competing desires and opinions, how can we live harmoniously in community? This unit explores different spiritual approaches and helps you develop your own plan.

This unit includes:

How different spiritual traditions form community

An overview of the All Souls Interfaith community

Setting a plan for engaging in community

Embracing the land and nature at All Souls

May 2023: Unit 8 – Closure

At this meeting, you’ll get a chance to report on your Community Service Project. We’ll celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and prepare to lead the Music and Spirit Service next month.

This unit includes:

Presentation of Community Service Project reports linking it with program concepts

Celebrating our accomplishments together

Planning to lead a Music and Spirit Service

June 2023: Unit 9 – Music and Spirit Service

Graduates of the Coming of Age Capstone Program will take part in leading the Music and Spirit Service. Displays of the class Community Service Projects will be displayed in the lobby for the congregation to view. You’ll also receive your completion diploma.

This unit includes:

Each student plays a role in a Music and Spirit Service

Each student displays a poster or summary of their Community Service Project

Each student receives a completion diploma from the All Souls Coming of Age Capstone Program

Students remain after service to share their experiences with the Community Service Project

Community Service Projects

During the program, each student will prepare a Community Service Project proposal for review and approval in September. Students are expected to complete their projects by May 2023. Community service projects may encompass a wide variety of approaches, including volunteer work for a community organization, physical work or improvements donated to a nonprofit or community, or a creative work designed to benefit others. Further details will be provided at the second class session.

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