The cool promise of winter has flown in on the winds of fall. Our children anticipate the approach of Christmas and all the joy that it brings. This past summer, our Uniteen children quested together with other regional youth to build community. They served the Atlanta area food bank, learning about their own divinity and their power to generate love. This triggered their desire to do something similar in the Gainesville community, and resulted in them collecting food for GA Mountain Food Bank.
At the Fall Retreat at St. Simons, the youth also made blankets and sent notes of encouragement to our Bahamian friends, who recently weathered a destructive storm. Since the Fall Retreat, ideas just continued to snowball. Our youth went on to collect helpful items for local homeless men served by The Good News Clinic, and they wrote them encouraging notes for Thanksgiving.
Love in action just flowed on from season to season as YFM celebrated grandparents, enjoyed the first annual family picnic, anticipated the arrival of autumn with Trunk or Treat, prepared for the sacred journey of Advent with a Spiral Garden Walk and the Love and Light Around the World Youth Christmas Program. Our talented Oscar winners from the Christmas Program are as follows:
Dallas – “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
Hank – “Some Children See Him”
Savannah – “The Miracle of Christmas” Reading
Julian -- Sam the Snowman singing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”
Brandon - Kwanza Candle Lighter
Brianna -- Hanukkah Candle Lighter
Naomi and Jenna -- Book Holders “What Star is This?”
Nicholas and Manuel -- Chorus
Jeff -- Daily Word Reader
Keein -- Advent Candle Lighter
We have said “Yes” to hope, peace, love and joy this Advent Season. The New Year approaches with the annual rituals of the Burning Bowl, Letters to God and White Stone Ceremony. Youth will meet January 5th to begin the new year with their own White Stone Ceremony and studying the mysteries of the healing process.
As we hold on dearly to these many traditions, we also recognize that the winds of change are at hand. We are faced with rebirth at each daybreak. We can learn so much from our children’s innocent approach to life’s changes. Our children, like the many colors of the rainbow, play their part to make up the entire beautiful whole of our spiritual family. Without our children, the colors of the rainbow would completely vanish. But when the spirit of our children is activated and supported, those colors make a vivid and complete arch, providing us with the promise of a healthy spiritual future for all.
Unity of Gainesville is a growing community of unconditional love, so lets begin in our own back yard to yield the harvest and invest in the ongoing development of our children’s spiritual growth. You may want to consider how you might be able to support the youth and their programs. You might take pictures, provide supplies, collect magazines and children’s books, set up a special event, provide scholarships for trips and off sight activities, make extra donations, chaperone, teach, help with costumes and sets, provide supervision, deliver family messages, act as a chaplain or mentor, be a prayer guardian angel, direct a special program. The possibilities are endless.
There are 52 Sundays in the new year. What if each congregant volunteered, in some way, TWO Sundays? Our children would get to know you, trust you, and depend on you. It takes a Village to support our family from the very youngest to the oldest. What commitment are you willing to make to put our church, and its youth on the map? This is your gift of this beautiful holiday season and your resolution for the new year. Resolve to share the Christmas Spirit every day in 2020.
If Every Day Were Christmas
by James Dillet Freeman
If every day were Christmas,
how different life would be,
if not one day but all the year
were ruled by charity.
Had we the faith in miracles
a child has Christmas morn,
each day would be love’s manger
and christ would be reborn
in us again to change and heal
our outworn wars and ways--
had we a child’s or shepherd’s gift
for wonderment and praise
Yet every day is Christmas
when we have learned to live
by love’s law, learned not how to get
but only how to give;
and like a child can wonder
and like a child can pray
but have the grown-up wisdom
to give ourselves away.