“There is no one way to be interfaith, you choose how to live your own interfaith life. I came to realize that being interfaith is being able to appreciate, understand, and live as a part of your family in a way that makes up your infinitely personal religious identity.”

–Maya Schindler, Coming of Age Class Member, 2019

Interfaith Families Project’s Sunday School is online. Come visit! 

 

You are invited to try out our Sunday School. Tuition will be waived through December (donation encouraged). If you decide to continue, tuition will begin in January.

To enroll, please contact our Sunday School Director, Reverend Beth at RevBeth@iffp.net. 

IFFP’s Coming of Age Program is a two-year program that begins in 7th grade and continues through 8th grade. Students will contemplate and discuss the five questions, which they have already touched on several times during their Sunday School years at IFFP. The Coming of Age Program enables students to delve more deeply into these questions and concepts. 

 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: Starting in 7th Grade, Coming of Age participants develop a long-term relationship with a mentor. 

7th Grade Coming of Age Prep: Religion: What’s It To Me?

The theme of “loving neighbor, loving self” is interwoven throughout the year.

Main Questions:

  • What are faith, religion, and culture? What do they mean in my life?
  • What does it mean to be interfaith? (one of the five questions of COA)
  • How do I “Love my neighbor, and love myself?”
  • Who am I in relation to myself and to others?
  • How are conflicts resolved or not resolved?
  • How can we each “pay it forward” by doing good works in the world while also taking care of and being good to ourselves?
  • What does it mean for me to live a meaningful life? (a COA question)
  • Who/What is God?  (another COA question)

Activities: 

  • Recognition of their entry into the COA program
  • Rafting/Camping/Hiking with 8th Graders and Teens (late summer) 
  • Class Team-Building Day
  • Significant Community Service Project 
  • Purim Booth (organized and led by the class)
  • Visit to a Retreat Center where they participate in various spiritual practices (walking a labyrinth, for example) (at the end of the year)

Our Goal: We want the class members to have a connection to others by understanding different people’s faith journeys and to be ready to seriously contemplate their own faith journeys and form their identities.

8th Grade Coming of Age: Questions and Decisions

IFFP COA students spend the year delving more deeply into “five questions” that inform how they understand and live their lives.

The Five Questions: 

  1. What does it mean to be interfaith? 
  2. What does it mean to live a meaningful life? 
  3. Why do bad things happen? 
  4. Is there an afterlife? 
  5. Who or what is God?  

Activities:

  • Opening Ceremony (with parents, mentors, teachers and class)
  • Rafting/Camping/Hiking with 7th Graders and Teens (late summer) 
  • Class Team-Building Day
  • Holocaust Museum Visit: The class visits the Holocaust on a guided tour with an IFFP member whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors. They debrief with her and their classmates afterwards. 
  • Safely-Supervised Solo Time in Nature
  • Significant Community Service Project 
  • Purim Booth (organized and led by the class)
  • Ceremony and Reception: The whole community celebrates the participants as they begin to come of age. Each teen makes a presentation about one of the five questions. This presentation can be a speech, but could also be a video or a creative response through dance, music, or art. Each class member contributes to a keepsake booklet to celebrate their coming of age. The ceremony is followed by a reception. 

After Coming of Age: Many of our Coming of Age Class members become interns in our Sunday School. They receive a stipend for their work and learn valuable skills. They also serve as role models for the other students in the Sunday School.

Watch a Coming of Age Ceremony presentation.