Yesterday was Daughter14's Affirmation ceremony. An Affirmation ceremony is the "coming of age" ceremony at our church.
All 9th grade students spend a year in the Affirmation class. During the year they explore the principles and beliefs of our religion...but also continue to explore a variety of other religious and spiritual pathways. These explorations are combined with discussions of all the "big" topics - what makes a person unique and special; what does each of them value in others; is there a God or Goddess or multiple gods and goddesses and, if so, what form do they take and what is their role in our daily lives; what happens when we die; etc.
It is not easy for a 14 year old to figure out what they believe about these things. It isn't even easy for a 52 year old to figure it out!
But the culminating portion of the class is that each student, working with the two class leaders and their own personal mentor, writes a credo statement about their beliefs at this point in their life. And then those statements are shared with the congregation during the Affirmation ceremony.
My daughter hates speaking in front of a crowd. And she considers any group with more than two people to be a crowd! But the church was packed and she did an awesome job.
In fact, all the kids did a terrific job.
And then there was a nice reception afterwards. I mean, all good events have food...right!?!
Daughter14....you did great! We are very proud of you!!!