Youth – Adult Responsive Affirmation

Coming of Age Ceremony

First Unitarian Congregation of Berkeley

November 5th, 1995

 

YOUTH
We, the youth of this church, stand before you in the midst of great change.  Our forming lives are full of ideals and anxieties, hopes and fears – many of which may seem hard for you to understand.
 
CONGREGATION
We, who love you and have dedicated ourselves to your care, admit we want to understand you more than we do.
 
YOUTH
We know that the differences you see in us make you unsure.  We are unsure about you too.
 
CONGREGATION
We still care.
 
YOUTH
Sometimes it may seem like we create these differences just to upset you or make you notice.  The truth is we do.
 
CONGREGATION
We still care.
 
YOUTH
It may be asking a lot of you to understand, but many of our differences, like our hair, our clothes and our music help give us enough stuff to call our own so that we can figure out who we are.
 
CONGREGATION
It may be hard to see but our frustration comes from caring.  We want you to be safe.  We want you to know you are welcome and that you belong.  We want your lives to have purpose and meaning.
 
YOUTH
We want a new relationship, one that is based on possibilities and potential.
 
CONGREGATION
We will try and see you as much for who you are becoming as for who you have been.
 
YOUTH
We are becoming more than your children and we want to be taken seriously.  We want an honest relationship with you.  We want some trust.  We want some autonomy.
 
CONGREGATION
We will try to be honest with you – honest with our hopes, honest with our worries, honest with our praise.  And honestly, we want to trust you.  We want to respect – and count on – your autonomy.
 
YOUTH
We are also beginning to see you as people, not just as the parents you have been.
 
CONGREGATION
We want you to know that despite bad days on both sides, most of us regard our relationship with you to be the most important we’ve ever known.  We will try to recognize your emerging independence and learn to hold on lovingly and let go gracefully.
 
YOUTH
We want to know that you are the people who have had the greatest impact on us.  Most of us are just beginning to understand how much of your character and values we carry.  We will try to recognize your care and find our independence gracefully.
 
CONGREGATION
Reaching a place of understanding and acceptance is important to us.  We may not always be there, but we are always striving to be there.
 
YOUTH
We will try to meet you there.
 
ALL
May we strive to see clearly, to choose wisely, and love courageously through our many differences, towards our many dreams.