Our Youth Ministry Mission: To create a safe, loving, empowering environment in which children may learn, apply and celebrate Unity principles.
Youth Ministry care is offered during our 10:00 am service and includes:
Professional childcare for infants and children through the age of four.
Spiritual Education classes for students in Kindergarten – High School. Classes are divided into four groups according to age or school grade. Each child’s emotional maturity is taken into account when advancing him or her to the next level. Please feel free to contact the Youth Ministry Director or adult class sponsor if you would like to discuss any concerns or issues about your child’s placement.
Focus by Age Group:
Unitots (Infants-4 years)
The youngest representatives of our Youth Ministry are provided with a safe, nurturing environment while you attend Sunday services. Their room has a generous supply of infant and toddler equipment and activities for learning, play and comfort. Unitots is staffed with loving and experienced childcare providers who are here on a regular basis. Parents are asked to provide diapers, wipes, juice cups and/or bottles for their own child. Unitots provides a small snack (crackers, animal cookies, juice) but we ask that you bring your own if your child has special dietary needs.
The main focus is on reinforcing the idea that God is within us, around us, everywhere present and loves us unconditionally. This is done through music, movement and a special children’s Bible that tells the stories in rhyme. The children also learn Unity’s Prayer of Protection, the Peace song, the five principles of Unity.
The main focus is establishing a very basic understanding of the Bible and how its stories reflect our basic Unity principles. The practice of meditation, and the beginnings of metaphysical interpretation are introduced as well.
Uniteens (6th-8th grade)
The focus is on giving students the opportunity to be spiritually enlightened, encouraged, strengthened and empowered via group discussions, activities and projects. Classes focus on the many challenging issues that exist during one of the most difficult stages in life. Topics such as peer pressure, school difficulties, etc., are brought up during weekly check-ins. Group follow-up discussions provide an avenue to develop spiritual problem solving and social skills. Unity’s spiritual principles are applied to feedback and the class ends with a meditation. Opportunities to attend regional retreats with adult sponsors are also highlights.
Y.O.U. (high school)
Y.O.U. (Youth of Unity) provides an opportunity and safe place for teenagers to meet other teenagers seeking their own spiritual path. The group provides an unbiased environment in which they may share their feelings toward any situation, and in which all aspects of spirituality are covered. In the course of learning and growing, they are allowed the freedom to question and challenge. A weekly lesson, taught by Y.O.U.’ers for Y.O.U.’ers, is offered, as well as the opportunity to plan and participate in fundraisers and various types of service work. Highlights of the year include opportunities to attend sub-regional, regional and international rallies and conferences.
All K-12 students should report to the 2nd Floor in room SU215 at Northeastern Illinois University. K-5th grade students must be signed in by a parent or guardian.
Parents are expected to pick up their children outside Room SU215 and sign them out immediately after the service is over.
The Sunday Morning Experience
During this sharing time, the children introduce themselves, share their love offerings and prayer energy and sometimes participate in a brief meditation.
Unity in Chicago Youth Ministry utilizes the “Living Curriculum” philosophy in its Sunday School classes, drawing forth the Truth principles that already reside within each child through the use of: Bible and contemporary spiritually-based stories or videos, discussion questions, creative experiences, affirmations, meditation and prayer, and song.
This is the time for the students to actively explore the new ideas and to make them their own. During this time, the students are guided to see how these ideas have meaning in their own lives and to practice using them.
This is a time to have the students uniquely apply the concepts in a lesson-based art project, journaling assignment or other type of expression.
Students will be in the Freedom Room for parental check-out.
We are here each week to hold your child in love and respect. Our work is about allowing each child to unfold in his or her own Divine way. Our overriding concern is the well being of all the children.
Teachers take into consideration the child’s comfort level in participating with the group. Each child is encouraged, but not forced, to participate. If they choose not to interact with others, they may sit quietly and observe the class. The teacher periodically invites the child to join the class.
If your child has special needs or is experiencing difficulty in some area, please feel free to share that information with the teacher or Youth Ministry Director so that we may take appropriate steps to enhance your child’s experience.
Youth Sacred Service Opportunities
PURPOSE: To ensure that every child in the Youth Program feels honored, respected. Appreciated and loved.
MISSION: As a spiritual community, we provide a safe, judgment free environment in which our children and teens experience the recognition of their oneness with God and each other.
Angel Aide: Arrive by 9:20 am to check in with the Youth Director and help set up, if needed. Interact with the kids during our “Sacred Circle” time as we check in, read the Daily Word, and then help with a craft project, game or other fun activity.
Star Guide: Become a Regular! You are having so much fun that you want to be here often and really get to know the kids.
Pop-in: You can be available to pop in to cover for the absence of a regular staff person. Often on short notice.
Kids Expressing Summertime Sundays: Come and share the gift of you for one Sunday in the summer. A story to tell? A childhood craft or game? How to make “slime”? Make ice cream sundaes? The poossibiities are endless and the choice is yours!
SKILLS NEEDED: A familiarity with Unity Principles is helpful. Some experience with children is helpful, but not crucial. Willingness to share yourself in a joyful setting with our youth!