Our Coming of Age Trip to Boston

Thank you to everyone who supported our Coming of Age Youth for their trip to Boston. They are blessed to be part of this congregation. Below is a trip report from our journey. This would be a great trip for a group of adults to take, although I would advocate staying in a moderate hotel instead of an RE classroom floor.

Day 1
We left UUCWC at 4:30 pm and arrived at UU Medford, MA at 10:30 pm. Everyone was in bed by midnight.

Day 2
We were at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee by 10:00 am for a great conversation about the good work the UUSC does supporting local groups in countries in need, even our own country. (Did you know that Detroit has shut off water to thousands of residents for unpaid water bills?)

Then to Boston Common to the Arlington Street Church, a Unitarian church that looks like a cathedral (established in 1729, current church built in 1861). It has 14 Tiffany stained glass windows, a huge organ, bell tower and a pulpit that is one story high (can you imagine listening to Rev. Kim. from on high?). The church seats 900. After the historic tour, we had an opportunity to play the organ, climb the rickety bell tower and ring the church bells over Boston. A big hit!

We went back on the “T” (we used our day pass five times today) to Faneuil Hall for lunch. The teens had one hour of free time to buy lunch. They managed to find a mac and cheese place with lots of toppings (e.g. salad on top of mac and cheese).

Next stop the new UUA Headquarters. We had a tour of the very modern, state-of-the-art open seating office, which was remodeled with award winning sustainability. Some of the chandeliers and furniture from the old headquarters on Beacon Street were used in the new building. The decor manages to show our history, our values, and vibrancy for the future.

We headed back to Medford, where we are sleeping in the RE building on the floor. The pipes broke over the winter so there are no showers or toilets. (We use the powder rooms in the Church across the street.) Four days without a shower is too long so off to…

The Somerville Y for showers. This is an old Y with only open (no curtain) same sex showers. Quite a shock to a lot of teenagers. We had a good discussion about the people in Detroit without running water.

Last stop is a great sit-down pizza restaurant, and then home to Medford at 10:00 pm for a movie and bed.

Day 3
We started this gorgeous day by going to a park in Marblehead, on the coast with 180 degree views of the harbor and ocean.

From there we visited Salem. The first stop was the Salem Witch Museum, where they have a good diorama tour of the witch trials and a favorable explanation of modern day Wicca practices.

The teens had an hour of free time while the leaders had a delicious lunch of fresh seafood.

Next stop, Walden Pond, where we saw a replica of Thoreau’s house and discussed simple living. We then took a lovely scenic walk around the pond (2 miles).

Dinner was at a Chinese restaurant and then we had lots of fun trying out candlepin bowling, a New England tradition.

I can tell you that the adults were exhausted at the end of this day. But the teens? Not so much. We went back to Medford where the teens watched two movies and went to bed.

Day 4
We were up early to get out of the RE space for our hosts. After cleaning up and packing the cars, we drove to Newton, MA.

We attended Sunday service at the First Unitarian Society of Newton, where the minister and the greeters welcomed us warmly. The church is a gothic building erected in 1906. We sat up in the balcony.

After services, it was time for the long ride home. We arrived back at UUCWC at 6:00 pm, tired and thankful for such a great trip.

Please join us on Sunday, May 17, for the Coming of Age service. As a rite of passage, our Coming of Age service represents our youth’s transition from childhood to adulthood. After a year of personal and spiritual exploration, discernment and growth, our eighth, ninth and tenth graders share their religious understandings and commitments with the congregation. Come to this moving service to hear and celebrate our youth.

There will be one service at 10:00 am.

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