Youth Programs at UOC
Unity of Charlottesville is committed to providing an accepting, safe, and family-friendly environment where children and youth can express and explore their spiritual nature. This includes an organized spiritual program for all ages, that will engage, entertain and most importantly inspire our youth and families by inviting the Divine potential in each individual to grow and expand.
Youth Ed Vision Statement
The Youth Education Program at Unity of Charlottesville lovingly offers a supportive environment for children to experience, explore, and express themselves as spiritual beings.
The Living Curriculum
Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, believed our mission was not to “entertain the children, but instead, to draw them out.” The Living Curriculum is an approach or philosophy which affirms that the curriculum–that which is to be learned or known–lives within the adult, child or teen, themselves. It moves us past the belief that teachers have all the answers and need to impart them to the students. Instead, there is a realization that all of us are uniquely unfolding on our spiritual path, having access to the Spirit within.
The Living Curriculum is a process of spiritual support used to assist children, teens, families, and the church community in co-creating successful living. It honors the inherent wholeness and wisdom within each one of us, and utilizes storytelling and experiential creative expression to “draw out” the Truth we already know. The process helps us to explore spiritual principles and to become aware of how the principles operate in our lives.
Five Basic Unity Principles
- God is all good and active in everything, everywhere.
- I am naturally good because God's Divinity is in me and in everyone.
- I create my experiences by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe.
- Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
- I do and give my best by living the Truth that I know. I make a difference!
Nursery (Infants to 3 years old): Children this age need love and a reassuring presence. Our nursery is staffed by caring and competent care givers who tend to our youngest members while their parents and guardians attend out Sunday Worship Service.
Preschool (Ages 3-5): These children like to try things for themselves. They may be silly, loud, active and social. Here the children are learning that God is everywhere, always and loves us unconditionally.
We are using the Unity curriculum What a Wonderful World, focusing on “who I am” as a child of God, exploring our nature as unique, loving, compassionate, and creative beings; as well as focusing on “who we are” as a family and community together, exploring experiences of cooperation, peace-making, care-taking and the diversity of our world family.
Elementary (Ages 6 to 10): At this age, children are starting to build relationships with other children and adults. They like to move around and are learning to read and write. They understand stories literally but not in abstract thinking.
We are using the Unity curriculum, Celebrating My God-self, which presents basic Unity principles through stories, affirmations, Bible verses, music, creative expression, guided meditation and prayer. Written and published by our Association of Unity Churches, this curriculum is based on Unity’s Living Curriculum philosophy of “that which is to be learned or known is not within any guide, but rather lives in the children themselves.”
Uniteens – Middle School (Ages 11 to 13): This group is organized for a particularly crucial age group and follows Unity principles to give middle school-aged children the opportunity to internalize Unity principles. These young teens are trying to make sense out of the world, their bodies, their life and where they fit in.
We are currently using the curriculum I of the Storm for Teens which teaches how to use spiritual principles to create peace while embracing conflict. This is a truly transformative experience, where they will learn techniques to create peace and make the difference in our day to day lives.
Y.O.U. – High School (Ages 14 to 18): These are the older teens. They are learning to co-create their own journey in life using the Bible and Unity Principles to develop a deeper understanding of their daily life. They support and share with each other and those in the regional and international groups.
This program for high school students is the culmination of Unity youth spiritual education. It is a special, peer-driven, Unity-structured support group for teens during the critical high school years.
We have an active family program, with events, classes, dinners and activities planned monthly throughout the year. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive announcements, please email our Director of Youth and Family Ministry, Kate Adamson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are very fortunate to have Kate as an inspired director of Youth and Family Ministry. Kate grew up going to church at the New Thought Unity Center in Cincinnati, OH. Her time there, especially in high school as a YOUer, shaped her profoundly and helped root her life with a spiritual focus. She studied Sociology and Religion at Wittenberg University in Ohio, with a minor in Global Studies, and has continued graduate studies in Sociology at the University of Virginia.