Journey to Adulthood - J2A
High School / J2A: A Time and Place for Our Teens to Gather and Grow Spiritually
This description of the Journey to Adulthood program was written by one of the group's adult leaders, Kati Mowat:
"Each and every one of us carries a memory tucked away somewhere close to the heart, of the first time someone, somewhere, took us seriously and gave us enough time to amaze and astonish them with our questions and insights. Well, every 2nd and 4th Sunday Ali, Danielle, and I have had the pleasure of spending time with some of the most interesting, driven, and thoughtful members of our congregation – our Teens!!
"Journey to Adulthood is a Diocese-approved program and curriculum that focuses on guiding teens in creating and understanding the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood. This is their time to be their authentic selves – to share and debate and support each other in a space created just for them.
"Speaking of which – Our J2A room has to be the best-kept secret in Church!! Thanks to Susan for creating such an awesome place for us to hang out, work and play!
"The J2A experience focuses on discussion, debate, learning and laughter - it takes our participants seriously and gives them real work to do. As a group, we debated causes of poverty and the best ways to help; we all recalled stories that connected us to our Faith; we shared who we are vs. who people see us to be, and how we can learn more about ourselves and others; AND we got a little awkward talking about stereotypes, gender Rroles and –isms of all kinds - why they exist and how to move beyond them.
"As a group we decided we needed a purpose outside of discussion as well - we all agreed that Community Service would be an integral part of our J2A experience, so in addition to helping with Friday Movie Night and Pancake Breakfast here at church, we also chose to support HomeAid OC’s dedication to assisting homeless families – through them our teens have collected toiletries and baby diapers, assembled CareKits for babies and homeless families, and prepared and served Sunday Brunch to the homeless at Isaiah House!
"So, instead of just talking about Christian service, we SERVE. Instead of just sharing about Christian Community we actively and intentionally work to BUILD community.
"I walk away from each year with the J2A group already looking forward to what we can accomplish the following year! We will work toward more youth engagement in St. Mike’s mission and outreach programs. We will be applying for a youth-program grant to support the creation of an urban garden & education program. And, of course, we will welcome our newest members into the fold each year, and look forward to incorporating their new ideas and interests!"
"One thing is for certain…. after working with my J2Aers this year – I can tell – you all have a bright future ahead!"