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Rites of Passage in the Faith of Young Adults

Epiphany is one of the great feasts in the Greek Orthodox Church. In Tarpon Springs, Florida, the significant Greek population begins to instill the faith in children at birth, and maturity for boys is reached by participation in an annual Epiphany dive into a bayou to retrieve a white cross. The boy who succeeds is said to have received a lifelong blessing. To keep the event from becoming simply a sporting competition, youth are required to engage in intensive spiritual preparation, a process supported by the strong community culture that includes multiple generations of men who have participated in the dive in their time. An article written by Demorris A. Lee for Faith & Leadership, an online offering of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, explores the annual ritual in the context of faith formation and asks several questions that can help every congregation discuss its community’s strategy for inculcating meaningful faith in emerging young adults.

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