Youth Ministries Page
Welcome to Unity in the Gold Country’s youth and family ministry pages. Our ministry is a safe and sacred place that honors who the children and teens are and who they have come to be. Our programs are filled with dedicated and loving volunteers who bring their own creative, loving and empowered Christ light to share with all.
We appreciate the opportunity to work in such a loving spiritual community and we look forward to seeing you in our ministry and honoring the unique expression of God that you are.
• All staff and volunteers have undergone back ground checks.
• All parents/guardians are required to sign their children, (ages 9 mos. to 10 years), in each Sunday and to have a registration form on file.
• At the conclusion of the adult Sunday service the children join the adults for a closing experience.
• Once the service has ended the children are united with their parents in the sanctuary.
Youth ministry programs are available for children and teens, 9 mos. to 18 years, during the 10:30am Service. We ask you to drop your children off between 10:15 and 10:30 am. This allows us time to greet you and your children and to help them make an easy transition into our programs.
Ages 1 Month to 5 years
• Meet in Kids Room #1
• Our focus is on creating a safe, sacred and loving space in order to build a foundation of trust for our youngest members.
• Lessons are presented in simple and repetitive ways reinforcing the idea that God is love.
• Creative expression is done through play.
First to Fifth Grade
• Meets in Kid’s Room #2
• The lessons focus on reinforcing the idea that God is within us, around us, everywhere present and that we are loved unconditionally.
• We also begin to establish a basic understanding of the Bible and how the stories in the Bible reflect Unity Principles. Other sacred writings and contemporary children’s stories are also used. The children are encouraged to connect with their inner wisdom and to live the Truth they know.
• Creative expression is done through art, games, science, food activities and storytelling.
4th to 7th Grade
• Meets in kid’s room #3
• This group explores spiritual principles in a safe and age appropriate environment. They have the opportunity to connect with others and to take the ideas and spiritual principles shared and see how they can incorporate them into their lives. Bible and metaphysics are explored and self expression is encouraged.
• Creative expression is done through art, games, science, food activities and storytelling.
• Social outings are arranged periodically in order to provide a setting for our preteens to socialize and to develop healthy relationships.
Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.)
8th to 12th Grade
• Meets in Kid’s Room 4
• The focus of this group is on assisting the teens in developing leadership skills and to encourage them to have an active role in the classroom experience.
• It is a classroom that is student led, adult guided in order to encourage leadership development.
• This age group uses their understanding of the Bible and Truth principles to discuss and look deeper into the issues and concerns that they encounter each day.
• This is a very active ministry. They support one another and enjoy many opportunities to explore their spirituality through social outings and other events.
• Opportunities to attend sub-regional events, regional events & rallies, and International gatherings are offered throughout the year and are open to the high school students.
Our teens have the opportunity:
• To be involved in spiritual and service activities for social interaction.
• To receive encouragement from other teens.
• To have a safe place to be heard and respected, to stretch and grow.
• To discover, explore, and develop an inner Christ potential in an atmosphere of openness, freedom, and unconditional love.
• To have fun, plan activities, and serve others with a group of accepting friends.
• To participate in regional and international gatherings where they can get to know other teens from Unity churches in other areas around the world.
• The teen classroom creates an atmosphere for teens to experience themselves and learn more about how to apply Unity principle to their lives. This is achieved through various group activities that include group meditation and prayer, stories, creative activities, joy songs and heart talks.
• Creating an atmosphere of loving support and safety is key to any teen event. Each unique individual is accepted with open arms. Whether the emotion is laughter or tears, teens are honored for the Christ within them and accepted as an expression of God.
• Active learning and peer to peer teaching are the two pillars of teen lessons. Though lessons can be on various topics such as, Unity's 5 Basic Principles, The 12 Powers, Religions of the World, or spiritual books, lessons always reflect concepts, ideas and challenges that are relevant to teens.
Sponsors serve as spiritual leaders, facilitators, coaches, mentors, chaperones and the liaison to the church and region. Through modeling and encouragement of sponsors, teens are often motivated to research, develop and deliver Sunday lessons to the entire chapter and even the adult congregation.
Teen 3-Fold Focus
Weekly a spiritual lesson is offered to assist the teens in the understanding of spiritual laws and their practical application into daily life. Time is also spent in prayer and meditation and developing a consciousness of Oneness. Teens sometimes attend weekend retreats which allow for more intensive exploration of their divine nature through group workshops and interaction.
Teens conduct projects to assist their church and community. A service project is a donation of time, love and energy to accomplish good through the service of others. Each Teen group organizes and implements a wide variety of service projects depending on the needs of the group, church and community.
Teens believe in celebrating life and appreciate the joy of togetherness. They take leadership roles in creating fun activities.
Teen Leadership Development
(Information provided by Jo Horn, CSE, GLURC Y.O.U. Consultant)
• Sponsors help to guide and direct the teens to encourage their spiritual growth.
• Sponsors are a "coach" and work with teens in planning and presenting the Sunday experience.
• They also encourage the development of teen officers and meet with them at least once a month to plan the Sunday lessons, set up a 3-month calendar of events for the Y.O.U. Chapter.
• They act as mentors and encourage Y.O.Uers to take responsibility for their own circumstances and to apply Unity principles to their situations.
• Along with helping the Y.O.Uers to grow spiritually, a very important role of the sponsor is to help develop leadership with the teens, which will benefit them in all areas of their lives.
I Do It
Before delegating authority or responsibility, the sponsor should go first. That is, in order to model effective leadership, do it yourself first.
You and I Do It
Invite the teen to work along with you.
You Do It, I Will Support
After working together with a teen, you can usually determine when it is time to "step aside" and allow him or her to lead. When this time comes, ask the teen to take charge and let him or her know you will be close and supportive.
You Do It, I Will Move On
This phase may be the hardest phase to move into because of the ego. If we seriously want to transfer leadership, then this phase is a "must." Part of the beauty of this phase is that you will discover teens can do a great job.
You Teach Someone Else
This perhaps, is the most exciting phase of all, for it truly involves the extended involvement of more people teaching others. This phase is something you can help your new leaders learn by teaching them the above phases and allowing them to practice them with others.
Teen Regional Events
• High Schoolers participate in sub-regional events, regional retreats and rallies, and international gatherings offered throughout the year.
• High School events are Spiritual events specifically designed for Unity high school age students. The events vary in length: 3-day weekends to week-long gatherings. Events include large group activities and small group activities called “Funshops.” Funshops are comprised of a variety of activities which reflect the spiritual intention of the retreat. They can be made up of music, crafts, movement, games, meditation, etc. There is also time spent in “Spirit Groups” which give the students opportunities to get to know people in a small group environment. All this occurs in a beautiful nature setting.
Requirements to attend any event
• Must be a teen at least 14 years of age or in 9th – 12th grade.
• For teens to be eligible to attend YOU Regional and Sub-Regional Events, they need to have 50% attendance at their Chapter Meetings.
• For Regional events service hours are also required. For June Rally there may be a required reading.
Adult Leadership Required
• A minimum of 2 adults from Unity in the Gold Country must travel and stay with the group at the camp facility for the entire event. (Minimum: 2 adults for the first 12 teens, and 1 additional adult for each additional 12 teens thereafter.)
• A background check must be on file at UGC for each adult attending sub-regional, regional and national events.
• Coed groups require coed leadership.
• Drivers for each group must be at least 25 years old with a valid driver’s license and good driving record.
• Seat belts must be provided for and used by all occupants of cars and vans.