Our Youth Program Volunteers
We are blessed to have an amazing group of volunteers leading and assisting in our classrooms. Many of our teachers are school teachers as well. Each member of our staff is required to attend the church for a minimum of one year before applying to volunteer in the program. They are background checked, referenced checked and screened by the minister and youth director before being allowed to work with our youth.
Nursery - age 0-3
The nursery has paid staff personnel providing loving personal attention to our little ones. The nursery is available from 9:45am until the end of service for infants and children up till three years of age. The nursery also joins the congregation at the end of service for the prayer for protection and peace song.
Unity’s Youth Program - age 3 -18
Our youth program is an inclusive, safe and sacred space for youth to express themselves, learn the Unity principles and a metaphysical approach to Christianity. We provide classroom lessons for pre-K through high school age students.
Our program takes place during the Sunday Service at 10am till the end of service. Those participating in our program are signed in by a parent or guardian. First time participants are asked to fill out a registration form and optional photo release. Our youth start out in the congregation for the opening songs and then are blessed out and escorted to their respective rooms by the teachers and assistants, (angels).
The youth take part in an opening circle in which everyone is introduced and the rules are reviewed. They connect with their breath, pray, and sometimes sing songs. They have a chance to share good things happening in their lives and to send a prayer to those in need, (Wows and Pows). Monthly Birthdays are celebrated.
An offering or tithe takes place, (money is not required), they are taught they can offer other things like love, positive thoughts or energy, or good feelings for the church. The youth are taught the prayer for protection and then they move into their classroom for the days lesson and activity.
Most Sundays we utilize Unity curriculum lessons which include a story, questions about the story and some form of activity to reinforce learning of the material. Activities can include arts and crafts, science experiments, games, theatrical skits, and other fun things.
Towards the end of service our youth are escorted back into the front of the sanctuary for the Prayer for Protection and Peace Song. After which, parents or guardians may sign their youth out of the program.
We also send a weekly email newsletter to help keep parents aware of news and upcoming events in the program.
Special Youth Events
On the first Sunday of each month we host an event called Sunday Funday. On Sunday Funday we embrace one of our core values at Unity, play. Play time can include quiddich, hockey, yoga, Unity ball, scavenger hunts, art projects, bowling, games and anything fun we can come up with. There is also time to relate how our activities can have a spiritual component.
Youth Led Service
Just before Christmas our youth lead one of the services. It usually consists of a skit play or reading and the youth literally lead the service and take on the roles of the platform assistant, meditation leader, minister, and special music. We usually spend about six weeks preparing for the service.
Spiritual Youth Retreats
Middle school and high school youth are invited to participate in a spiritual youth retreat each spring and fall hosted by the Great Lake Unity Region. In the past few years these events have been taking place in Wisconsin. Two thirds of the expense of travel and the retreat is covered by the church, partly through fund raising. The family is required to cover the remaining one third of the expense, but scholarships are also available for those in financial hardship. An international summer time retreat at Unity Village is also available for qualifying high school students. As a requirement to attend the retreats, youth must log volunteer service hours in the community. Occasionally opportunities are provided at the church, soup kitchens, or other locations. These are fun events and a great opportunity for our youth to learn to give back to the community.
Each spring we engage our youth in Peace Pizzazz. Peace Pizzazz a local nonprofit organization provides us with books and curriculum designed to bring more peace to our youth’s schools, play grounds, and families. The main focus is the teaching of the Golden Rule and the books provide opportunities for teaching the lessons. We reinforce the concepts through art projects, songs, or movement. Peace Pizzazz holds a free children’s festival in May at Bronson Park to celebrate peace and give youth the opportunity to display their art and possibly perform on stage. Learn more about Peace Pizzazz.
To help pay for their retreats our middle and high school youth put on fundraisers each year. These have included, a carwash, flower sale, soup and salad lunch, spring fling dance and other events. While not mandatory, participation is expected if attending the retreats.
Due to various food allergies and dietary restrictions we do not provide snacks in the youth program or nursery. Please do not send your child with snacks to avoid issues with possible food allergies.