Reflections from Helen Vaughn, Director of UoG Youth and Family Ministry

The youth have experienced so much growth during this year of 2019. They have helped provided blessing bags to those less fortunate, volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank where their shift sorted over 8,000 pounds of food that will feed 5,000 families, and they have helped beautify the church grounds with flowers that will draw butterflies.  All of these activities provide each of us to experience transformation in our daily lives. How foreign the concept might be to some that we simply deserve good, not because of what we do or pay or prove, but just because, just because we are God’s beautiful family. Lets keep reminding each other of the love we see reflected in all of us.

The excitement continues as the sprouts of new growth mature into full bloom. I can feel the upward movement of the call of Spirit within us, propelling us into action. We support the youth who are learning to bloom where they are planted. Our youth will share their wisdom and love on Sunday, June 30 promoting the work of a Unity Children’s author on The Heart of Prayer. Our collective goal is ownership of Unity of Gainesville and to provide a place where we all grow in our awareness of our oneness with Spirit and each other. How better to do that than by honoring the divine presence and wisdom within our youth? We hope to see you all there on the fifth Sunday in June, Living Unity Together.

The months of May and June are the perfect time of year to acknowledge the families, the parents and the grandparents of our youth at Unity of Gainesville . We honor mothers and fathers and the Divine Feminine and Masculine that is each of us.  We celebrated the mother within each of us by enjoying mums and muffins together. And we will honor the father in each of us the month of June by waving a celebratory flag and allowing our masculine spirit to seek out ideas in the form of fish. Congregants come and enjoy a morning snack of bagels and lox on Father’s Day. So let’s go fishing for fathers !!!

We are ever so grateful for the mothers and fathers and other family members that nurture our youth and all the adults who serve them. We are so blessed and supported by our intergenerational spiritual family.

This is also the perfect time to remember our children as they make transitions from one developmental and spiritual stage to another. As the school year closes, children anticipate the excitement and freedom that the summer months offer, but not all of our youth accept these changes in routine with ease and grace.

Children with too much time on their hands may become easily bored, stagnate and begin to test their limits. Be creative in providing loosely structured and innovative plans for children. Helping them adjust to a change in sleep patterns, exercise and nutrition is also an important consideration.

Uniteen-aged children can particularly struggle during the summer months because they are separated from their peer groups. During this very transitional period, children yearn for independence and turn to their peers rather than adults for approval ratings. This can be even more daunting for parents than for the confused preteen going through puberty, which brings rapid physical and emotional changes. 

My experience with Uniteens has uncovered that some of their biggest concerns are peer pressure, fitting in, friendships, family difficulties, future plans, school stress, bullies and demands from home. What can we do to help all of our youth grow spiritually and developmentally with ease and grace?   Also, remember to hold our children in your daily prayers or simply remember 

When we look into your eyes,we see the face of God and know Gods love.

May you always see and feel that love reflected in us.

May you know the presence of God is always with you.

Parents and families, you may want to dive into some good reading that will assist you in growing your children and relatives to live their best life. I often reflect on if I am being the kind of adult that I wish my child to be. Dr. Shefali Tsabary has some ideas worth considering.

And if you enjoy a good Ted Talk try this one by Dr. Shefali Tsabary