To This I Give My Heart: Coming of Age Orientation
One mentor’s perspective
by Mary Bennett
Seven mentors and seven youth (mentees) gathered in Hewett Centre on Sunday, September 20th, most in person and another 4 via zoom, to begin a year-long journey of getting to know each other. Olivia Hall, youth coordinator, and Kiersten Moore, DRE, facilitated an evening of games and conversations, some one-on-one and some in the whole group. The photo shows us playing “All my friends and neighbours…”
We had a couple of introductory exercises, the first included: what pet would you have if you could have any pet at all (including imaginary ones). Responses included elephants, monkeys, octopuses as well as dogs and cats and one person said, “No thanks. I don’t want a pet.”
Then we paired off with our partner and were asked to come up with the one thing we would choose if we got to name something to help save humanity. I expect other pairs had the same kind of free-ranging conversation that my partner and I had. The final results were intriguing: phytoplankton; the internet, Steven Spielberg’s computer, fresh air… What would you choose? Get ready for the zombie apocalypse now in case you’re asked..
Each pair will meet on their own once a month. As well as having a bit of fun together, our mission is to work through the Coming of Age journals* we were given.
When asked to share what we hoped to get from the program, there were responses of friendship and learning. After the broad concepts, one mentor said, I just want to get to know my mentee better. The mentee beamed.
While leaving the hall, a friend said to me: “Who’s the mentor and who’s the mentee? These young folx are so interesting and interested, the hardest part for us adults may be to keep up.”
For myself, I see my role as being a bridge between our religion and this one young person. I’m looking forward to exploring our history especially as my mentee is interested in history.
Often the young people write their own Credo (statement of belief) and may present to the congregation. If my mentee chooses to do this, I can be a coach and/or cheerleader. Speaking to the congregation, I believe, is an honour and a challenge, an opportunity I have personally appreciated very much and grown from.
Next month, there might be a post by another participant, or a pair, from this program so you can have a glimpse about how it evolves.
- If you’re interested in the journal we’re using, you can find it here: https://www.uuabookstore.org/To-This-I-Give-My-Heart-P18121.aspx