SansBlogue  
Sunday, September 26, 2004
 
Rites of Passage ::

There's an interesting post and discussion of the plethora of small (secular) sites of passage in Western cultures, and the lack of any marked sense of moving from childhood to adulthood. (Thanks Stephen for pointing it out - as well as your contribution. [PS: And double thanks for pointing out your post where he talks about, and links to the Flipside program video on the subject. All this was way back before I got Blog!])

It all leaves this dinosaur wondering.

Partly whether my old social psychology lecturer was correct and that academia in some ways "works" by prolonging adolescence with its unformed flexibility and desire to try everything....

But also, whether we have given up too quickly on the traditional rites. We were at Thomas' and Melissa's for lunch. Thomas followed almost a classic path to adulthood. First as a young adolescent baptism: a public, communal assertion of accepting his own responsibility for, and God's authority over, his life. This was followed by a year or two of full participation in the community (he and other "teens" shared in the work in various ways, as worship leaders, teachers..., and then as others in the community began to recognise their qualities two of the youngsters (Thomas and a girl a couple of years younger) were elected as deacons.

Of course, that group of "youth" were fortunate, small church, a series of good youth leaders, a pastor who is into encouraging everyone to participate... But to me at least it does suggest that the main problem to be overcome is the adults!

(BTW as I remember it, it was members of an older "generation" than mine who proposed the youngsters as deacons - probably those who themselves learned about taking responsibility during "the war" and just after...)


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