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YOUTH EDUCATION

Spiritual Education Program / Statement of Purpose

Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our children, one that encourages the natural growth and unfoldment of the Christ potential that is inherent in each one of us. As we recognize the uniqueness of each individual, we empower them to live their lives according to divine law and to trust their inner wisdom and guidance.

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YOUTH MINISTRY PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Curriculum Focus by Age Group
The curriculum created here is based on the same concept that is used by the Association of Unity Churches - A Living Curriculum.  It is a story-based curriculum that uses stories from the Bible to help the children understand principles of Truth. 

3 Years to Kindergarten:  The main focus here is on reinforcing the idea that God is within us, around us, everywhere present and loves us unconditionally.  This is done through music and movement and uses a special Children's Bible that tells the stories in rhyme.

1st to 5th Grade:  The focus with this age group is establishing a very basic understanding of the Bible, where the stories can be found and how the stories reflect our Basic Unity Principles.  The beginnings of metaphysical interpretation are introduced here.

Uniteens (6, 7, 8th Grade):  The focus here is to gain a deeper, more metaphysical understanding of the Bible stories.  As the students learn to look beyond the appearance of the stories they are able to grasp a true inner meaning.  This practice then encourages them to look beyond the appearances of what is happening in their own lives and continue to live from a more Truth-based perspective.

Y.O.U. (High School):  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.  They support one another and enjoy many opportunities to explore their spirituality through sub-regional, regional and international rallies and conferences.

SUNDAY MORNING / LESSON STRUCTURE

Pre-session Activity:  Children make a name tag, choose a service opportunity and create a Prayer Stick that will be shared during the Gathering Circle.

Gathering Circle:  All classes gather together for the Daily Word Reading, Love Offering, Announcements, and Prayer Sharing.

Lesson Time:  At this time the Uniteens move into their own room and the rest of the children are divided into different age groupings.  Here they experience the different parts of the lesson.
The Story: Depending on the curriculum, they either read a Bible Story or a spiritually-based children's story or watch a movie clip based on a Lesson Intention.

Explore/Discuss:  After common ground is established with the story, the children are invited into an exploration and discussion of the major points of the story and how this shows up in our own lives.  The questions are designed to encourage personal exploration based on their age levels and understanding. 

Creative Expression:  This is a time to have the students apply the concept and to reinforce and reflect on how they will use their new ideas and skills during the week.  It is an open-ended activity that helps to give them time to personally explore the ideas.
Sharing:  There is time at the end for anyone who wants to share their ideas related to the lesson.

Closing Meditation:  All classes come back together and close in prayer.

Youth Ed Director:
Christine Randle

A LIVING CURRICULUM

As we plan our adventures for the Sunday Morning Experience, which we create for the children in our congregation, we need to ask ourselves how we can best serve them.  The Living Curriculum is not one specific piece of material, but “is a philosophy, a process and a program of spiritual support to assist children, teens, families and the church community in successful living.  A Living Curriculum is designed to ‘draw forth’ the truth mainly through experiences, storytelling and creative expression.  Each lesson relates to an issue in a person’s life and seeks to facilitate an experience of God connected to their life.”

THE LIVING CURRICULUM PHILOSOPHY 5-POINT CHECK LIST

This 5-point check list is a way to see if you are using the Living Curriculum Philosophy when you are presenting your lessons, no matter who created those lessons. 

1. Identify: What is the issue or theme that 
    you want to explore?

2. The Vehicle: What story, Bible story, movie
    passage or experiential activity are you using to 
    introduce the issue or theme and help the children
    create a connection to it?

3. Explore/Interact: How are you encouraging the
    children to explore this issue or theme in order to
    make it relevant to their lives?  Is it through
   “wonder questions,” role-playing, puppets,
    visualization, meditative experience, etc...? 

4. Reflection: What methods are you using to    
    allow the children to express the parts of the story
    that have meaning to them?  This needs to be an
    open-ended activity that will awaken the story in
    them.  Examples are: art activities, music,
    journaling, etc…

5. Sharing: Allow time for the children to
    share what the lesson meant to them.  Also  
    encourage them to continue exploring the
    issue or theme on their own by asking them
    to take a particular action that is related to  
    the story.  Help them to make the lesson
    relevant to their lives.

CLASS GENERAL INFORMATION

Spiritual Education classes are held for children 3 years and older during the 11:00 am Service only. Nursery care is provided for children under 3 years of age.

Sunday Morning Time Schedule
10:45 to 11:00........................Pre-session Activity
11:00 to 11:15.............Circle Time / Love Offering
11:15 to 11:50...................................The Lesson
11:50 to Noon..........................Closing Meditation

The Drop Off
Students, ages 3 years to 8th grade, should be escorted to the Youth Ed Room, on the lower level,  by a parent or other adult between 10:45 and 11:00 am.  Sign-in is required.
Y.O.Uers (high school age) also gather in the Youth Ed Room before going upstairs.

The Pick Up
All children under 10 years old are to be picked up in the Youth Ed Room immediately following the service by their parents or other adult. They must be signed out.

We will not release the children
to their siblings.

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