STEP 3: Email #3
Asking for Letters
The third step in planning a Rite of Passage is to ask people to write letters to the boy. The letters should not just be requested from the men who are attending the trip; they should be requested from all of the adult role models in the boy’s life; both male and female.
The text below is a sample email for you to copy and send to your group. Please feel free to edit as you see fit.
To: All adults that you would like to write a letter to the boy, including men attending ROP weekend and people not attending the ROP weekend
When: 2 months before ROP weekend
Subject: [Boy’s name]’s rite of passage weekend - Letters
As you may know, our son [boy's name] will be turning 13 years old on [birth date] this year. I am planning a special weekend for him, along with a few other men of the family, to mark his entrance into manhood in a special way. We are calling this special weekend for [boys name] his rite of passage.
You all play an important role in [boy's name]’s life, and I would like to ask if you would be willing to write him a special letter of blessing and encouragement for his 13th birthday. I will let you decide exactly what to include in your personal letter to him, but in general the purpose of the letter is to share some advice about ‘what it means to be a man’, or what you look for in a good man. You can also share a story with him, a favorite scripture passage, or just tell him how much he means to you.
Here are some other ideas that you may want to include in your letter:
Create a genuine and total sense of his worth as a person.
Sharing any personal wisdom and life’s secrets learned.
Mention the value of maintaining a strong relationship with God.
Honest, respectful insights about women.
Include a prayer or personal blessing.
Encourage him to be true to himself in life rather than trying to be someone he isn’t.
You might remember a time in your own early life when you may not have been open to talking about some things with your own father. Perhaps you might offer a perpetual “open door” to you should he ever feel a need for that.
He is entering that time in his life when he will find ugliness where he used to see perfection, when he will find injustices where he used to see fairness, and when new situations of life bring new feelings of anger, hurt, despair and disillusionment. These have the potential of turning into debilitating cynicism. Perhaps you might mention some positive and effective ways you have dealt with such things in your life.
I will be presenting these special letters to [boys name] on our [ROP date] overnight outing, so I kindly ask that you send your completed letter to me by [date] at the latest. You can mail your letter to me at [home address], or you can type out your letter and email it to me, and I can print it out for you.
It is my intention that [boys name], and only [boys name], will ever see your letter to him, so you can trust that anything that you write to him is completely confidential.
If you have any questions about writing your letter, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you so much for playing an important role in [boy’s name]’s life and for contributing towards this special weekend for him.