Boston Pilgrimage Feature
UU Church Today, Spirituality & Theology, Practice & Voice

Boston Pilgrimage: Coming of Age is more than a number

Each Spring, the Coming of Age class, All Souls Youth program for 9th graders, Our Coming of Age class embarked on the annual Boston Pilgrimage. They learned about modern Unitarian Universalism, our religious heritage, and how our history is intertwined with American history, including our country’s founding. Here are a few photos that highlight this year’s pilgrimage to Boston.

They’ve spent all year exploring their values and their beliefs and during our recent Boston Pilgrimage, they brought all their experiences and understanding together to articulate their individual credos.

You can hear these statements of belief from our incredible 9th grade kids at our annual Coming of Age Sunday, at 10 & 11:30 a.m. on April 8, 2018. The development of these kids minds and theology is so inspirational and meaningful, Rev. Marlin Lavanhar says Coming of Age Sunday is the best service of the year.

Here are few photos that highlight this year’s pilgrimage to Boston.

Feeling so small, so powerful and so connected.

Being inside the Mapparium, a 3-story globe using stained glass to depict the world in 1935, is a humbling and jaw dropping experience. We were completely surrounded by the world—seeing all the nations and their changing borders—made us feel even more a part of this interconnected web of existence.

Boston Pilgrimage Globe

The entire COA Boston Pilgrimage experience in one photo.

This photo encapsulates the entire Coming of Age class. One kid is reviewing their credo and reading it aloud. Others are listening intently and giving feedback. Two kids are laughing and strengthening the bonds of community. And of course, there is food. We are ALWAYS eating in the Coming of Age class!

Boston Pilgrimage Credo

The Welcoming Bubble Brigade at Arlington Street Church.

Every year, we attend service at Arlington Street Church, where William Ellery Channing preached. Every Sunday, church volunteers welcome members by blowing bubbles at the door and on the street. Our kids were invited to help and they jumped at the opportunity to greet and welcome church members in such a whimsical way. I think it would be great if All Souls had a Welcoming Bubble Brigade!

Boston Pilgrimage Arlington

Creating credos at Walden Pond.

Visiting Walden Pond is always one of the highlights of the Boston Pilgrimage on a trip filled with highlights. Being in the natural sanctuary where Henry David Thoreau lived in solitude for two years and wrote some of most famous works is still an inspiration to Unitarian Universalists today. Our kids get the opportunity to hike around Walden Pond and find a sacred space to work on their credo. Over the years, many credos have come together at Walden.

Boston Pilgrimage Waldon

Living our values.

Our final stop in Boston was the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquarters. At this intentional and incredible work space, we witnessed the work our religion is doing around the county. One way we are living out our values is vocally and physically supporting causes and movements that align with our core values and beliefs. At the 2015 UUA General Assembly, the UU YOUTH created a petition to support the Black Lives Matter movement across the UUA, in their congregations and in their communities.

 Boston Pilgrimage BLM

It is our youth who continue to live their passion and lead the way.

Tanner Phillips is the Youth Director at All Souls Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To learn more about our Children’s and Youth Religious Education, visit us at

Read more on from All Souls Youth Director, Tanner Phillips.


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