Unity programs help children 'unfold'
Our children are the future. The other half of the equation is the grown-up part, as adults, as parents and guardians, WE are the future as we guide, educate, vote, and make choices that will create what's ahead for our children with every word we utter, with every decision we make, with every law we consider and vote for or against.
Myrtle Fillmore (1845-1931), co-founder of the Unity Movement wrote, “Our mission is not to entertain children, but to call them out. To be always entertained is to be dwarfed and dependent. To be 'called out' is to follow the harmonious law of the soul's unfoldment."
She continued on the precious "unfolding" of children and likened it to the unfolding petals of a rosebud. These "buds" have marvelous possibilities, and yet are always their own being, their own divine flower. A foundational belief of Unity's "Living Curriculum" is honoring the unfolding of the soul. There is wisdom alive inside of us, the truth being that each of us has everything we need within.
Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake provides a 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday service, offering a vital Youth and Family Ministry, and Youth Education Program with 27 teacher-facilitators. Each Sunday the youth join the congregation for an inclusive, closing song ending the 11 a.m. service. The first Sunday of every month is a multi-generational service with one of the Y.O.U., Youth of Unity (high-schoolers), writing, delivering and guiding our meditation time. The nursery – below age 3 – is available from 9-10 a.m., and again from 11 a.m.-noon.
The Youth Education Program (ages 3 to 18 years) is offered from 11 a.m. to noon. The staff have been trained in "Conscious Discipline" which builds emotional intelligence and regulation, and helps greatly with how to deal with feelings. Instead of the hierarchy of teacher trumping student, Unity's curriculum is defined as "collaborative" by Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Dr. Marie Bielefeld.
The curriculum utilized is called, "Children on the Quest: A Living Curriculum." It includes prayer and music for all ages, yoga and meditation for children, lots of choices, the 5 Unity Principles, the 12 Powers, and activities of all types. A living curriculum is designed to help with whatever is happening in the child's life, it could be a sick grandparent, or stress over school testing. Each lesson relates to a life issue, and seeks to facilitate the presence of God connected to each issue.
The staff is dedicated and caring. One facilitator has been there 13 years. Facilitator Melissa Page shares that even pre-schoolers have consistent age-appropriate meditation time. Three- to 5-year-olds can feel the inner peace that exists inside them. The learning environment created is loving, peaceful, and beautiful, a place youth can flourish, and bloom, just like the rosebud.
Unity of Westlake is located at 23855 Detroit Road. Visit the labyrinth and butterfly habitat, a youth favorite. The habitat was created by Erick Bielefeld as an Eagle Scout Project. All are welcome at Unity Spiritual Center.
I am Secretary on the Board of Trustees of Unity Spiritual Center. I enjoy writing about USC's event. Everyone is welcome at Sunday services, or our numerous classes, and worshops!