coming of age

a program of NYSEC -- New York Society for Ethical Culture


10 guides for Program Path

Here is an outline of the program's path:

1. Family Collaboration:  Family members are encouraged to stay closely tied to the ethical processes of their young ones at NYSEC and to engage in their own ethical explorations here at NYSEC as well.

           We wish to invite families who choose this Coming of Age Program to ally themselves as MEMBER FAMILIES to New York Society for Ethical Culture during this process.  This recognizes that in participating in this program, you are indeed contributing to a community.  MEMBERSHIP  involves the FOUR T's that keep things moving forth in this collaborative community of  ethics:  

Time, Talent, Training, Treasure.  

              The first two T's, Time and Talent,  are inherent in the parenting endeavor of raising ethical children, which NYSEC recognizes as being a true contribution to the world's humanity at large as well as the to the Society For Ethical Culture.  You may also wish to volunteer some of your time to join the Ethical Education Committee of NYSEC or chaperone the field trips.  You may wish to share your passions and professions in an expansive and rewarding way here.

            The third T, "Training" is an invitation to learn together about Ethical Community.       
            The fourth T: "Treasure"addresses fiscal contribution.  We ask sincerely that financial limitation NOT keep any family away, and we fully honor financial hardship as a reality for some of our valued families and we thereby offer our support. This said, in the realm of "treasure," NYSEC Family Membership does include making an affordable, inspired fiscal contribution to NYSEC.   Please determine a fiscal contribution to NYSEC's Family Membership Plan based on a sliding scale that honors your families needs and hopes within the wide range suggested:  between $100-$1000 per year.  The wide ranging option is explicitly offered to make sure no family is left out.  Traditionally at NYSEC, individual memberships are suggested as 2% of income.  Your contribution is private and self-determined, and may be sent to NYSEC in care of "Family Membership Plan" all at once or in installments.

2. Humanity: Grounding our group with ethical agreements and values-based practices to bring out the best in one another, and thereby ourselves, we will touch upon Ethical Culture's history and guiding principles, applicable to people of all life-affirming world views. Practices of compassion, gratitude and respect will guide our work throughout the journey.

3. Personal World Views: Where are we coming from: ancestory, family values and holiday practices, heros and aspirations, inventory on personal vision. We will use THE DISCOVERY JOURNAL by esteemed Ethical Culture Leader/Educator Lois Kellerman as an ongoing exploration of our changing selves.

4. Mentorship:  Each individual participant, in dialogue with their families, will engage an Ethical Culture mentor to supportively witness them through the journey. Mentors will be suggested by Ethical Leader Anne Klaeysen.

5. Heros and Inspirations:  We will learn together and teach one another about people who have done great works for the betterment of humanity. 

6. Crosscultural/Interfaith Study  of cosmologies: We will study ways that the world is understood by different people throughout history, religion and culture. We will be aided by several resources in our study, including magnificent books, and several field trips to diverse spaces of worship and practices of contemplation.  The book Four Corners of the Sky by NYC Folklorist Steve Zeitlin will be among many great resources we draw upon.

7. Wellness and Communication Skills: We will do workshops that integrate healthy relationship building, expressive practices (theater/movement), compassionate development and empathetic relationship, self-defense (saying no to things that can be harmful), environmental and personal well being, while challenging oppressions, injustice, judgements, and stereotypes.

8. DEED and service: Global awareness and action. The group will explore DEED collectively and individually, as it can be practiced on a daily level and as it can be created on an organizational level. We will be exploring impact and awakening our capacity to create an impact.

9. Leadership: Each participant is invited to take leadership in a final project and with help, they may lead an intergenerational workshop, sharing their inquiries and learnings.  We will be  teammates in support of each others projects.  

10. Ceremony/Celebration:  Each individual will be invited to share their overall journey with the larger community, their family and friends in a culminating event of honor at NYSEC.

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