Reflections from Helen Vaughn, Director of Youth & Family Ministry

     At the beginning of a new year we often find ourselves reflecting on our mission to see if we have accomplished what we set out to do or if we need to make adjustments along our course. I have read that a pilot on an airplane is off course more than 90% of the flight time.  Pilots are constantly adjusting get back on course avoiding other air traffic, watching weather patterns, and catching tail winds while trying to stay on schedule. Adjusting is a natural part of the journey, and we do finally make it to our destination. It is my hope that we model this practice for our youth in a way that they learn not to judge themselves too harshly when they stray off course. It is our role as guides to assure them that adjustments are a part of their spiritual self-discovery.

     You can count on the direction and dedication of Unity of Gainesville volunteers whose commitment is to give our youth a positive spiritual experience: Linda Crowe, Phyllis Wintter, Lynne Bradley and Chantaal Lebay.  We thank you. You can count on the direction and dedication of regional consultants to the  UNITEENS  and Y. O. U.  who give of their expertise to develop retreats and programs that meet the developmental and spiritual needs of youth: Dixie Smith and Ytonna Finnegan, we thank you. Make it a priority to allow your teens to experience these regional events where they can tap into a global community of unconditional love and acceptance like none other in a teen’s daily experience. Our teens shine at rallies and conferences. If we could only bottle their talents and energy and market it, we truly would realize our value and discover there is no lack here and that we are truly blessed with their creative expression and leadership skills.  We are blessed to have some of the most brilliant children and grandchildren among our youth.  They wear their hearts on their sleeves and really tell it like it is. They keep the youth angels on their toes, for sure, with boundless energy and sweetness.  They are filled with love and joy that pours out in their singing, their conversations, their drawings and their generosity.  You can certainly look into the eyes of a child and see the face of God and know God’s love, and thank God for the sweet adult reflections we have in our program.

     Sometimes I find parents and other adults apologizing to me because all my time is spent with the children and I miss out on the adult activities of the church, but I know I am not alone when I express that my greatest joy comes from spending time with your children and grands. You cannot imagine the honor it is that you share them with me for even one hour. We refer to ourselves as teachers, though it is really the children who teach us. Our willingness is rewarded by witnessing the miraculous unfolding of the Christ in each child which allows us to more easily see the Christ light in ourselves and to receive the blessing of unconditional love.  So don’t apologize. Instead come join the love fest and choose to be the tail wind that guides our youth on their spiritual path while you discover a light of your own.

The purpose of  Unity’s  youth ministry is to recognize the Divine Christ Nature of each child; to facilitate the Unity principles in a manner that honors the unique gifts and spiritual connection of all children; and to call forth the love and light that is the essence of each child.

Children’s Blessing:

When we look into your eyes we see the face of God and know God’s love. May you see and feel that love reflected in us. May you know the presence of God is always with you.