Unity of Gaithersburg Families, welcome to the new blog for Youth and Family Ministry!
Rev. Jennifer’s leave of absence has inspired me to take a step further into growing our community and our online presence. I wanted to share with you some tips for talking to your children and teens about Rev. Jen’s leave from the perspective of our Five Principles.
This can remind us as adults of the principles, and is also a wonderful tutorial for our youth: these principles are truths that can be used in our daily lives. It’s during times of uncertainty that our Unity principles can offer comfort and security, and help us re-center into gratitude for the present moment and all that is.
What our principles do is affirm our own inner Divinity. God the good is in us and all around us, and that makes us mighty! We can be superheroes!
Principle 1: God is all good and active in everything, everywhere.
The Lesson: Remind the children in your life that God exists as force of pure good, and is always present, even in times of trouble and doubt. That force of pure good is within and surrounding Rev Jennifer and all of us right now! Our knowledge of this is our “superpower”: affirming the good energy that surrounds the world makes us powerful.
Activity: Have your child talk about his/her favorite superhero, and draw themselves as a superhero.
Principle 2: I am naturally good because God’s Divinity is in me and in everyone.
The Lesson: That force of pure good exists within every one of us! All we have to do is tune into it. Let your children know that God exists inside them and everyone around us. No matter what we face, we have this power within us, and can tap into it whenever we want! Just like Spiderman can rely on his spidey sense, or Storm can trust her weather controlling powers, so can we affirm our inner divinity, our superpower. This also means that everyone around us, parents, siblings, friends, and Rev. Jen, is a superhero and is full of good strong energy on their journeys through life.
Activity: Add a drawing of Rev. Jen and other loved ones, dressed as superheroes, to join your child’s picture.
Principle 3: I create my experiences by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe.
The Lesson: Sometimes we can feel powerless, like Bruce Wayne after the death of his parents. The third principle reminds us that we can choose what we think and feel: Bruce Wayne could have stayed mired in those feelings of powerlessness and sorrow. Instead, he focused his thinking on becoming someone who could protect others. In the same way, we can choose to focus on worry or uncertainty or we can choose to focus on gratitude and acceptance; whichever path we take will determine the experiences we have. We see Rev Jennifer as grateful and accepting of all the love and support she has in her life. Her thoughts of love and gratitude will help her feel strong and powerful!
Activity: Suggest your child draw a path for his/her superheroes; one path can reflect worry and uncertainty, the other gratitude and acceptance. Talk about how each path can make them feel; identify other situations where they took one of the two paths and how it felt.
*This doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t feel “bad feelings”; feelings aren’t good or bad—they just are, and that’s okay. It is okay to feel sad or lonely sometimes; but when those feelings start to affect the world around us, we want to use a burst of our superpower to get back on the right track!
Principle 4: Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
The Lesson: Affirmations are these bursts of our superpower! Imagine each affirmation bursting onto the scene like Pikachu from a poké ball. Reverend Jen has asked us to use the following affirmation: "Within Jennifer there is a power far greater than any situation before her." This may be a bit of a mouthful for young ones, so let’s change it to “We are powerful! Rev Jennifer is powerful!"
Activity: Encourage your child to write this affirmation, “WE ARE POWERFUL,” on their superhero picture!
Principle 5: I do and give my best by living the Truth that I know. I make a difference!
The Lesson: Just knowing about our superpowers is not enough! The Fifth principle challenges us to live up to our own Divine nature and enter the world with these principles in our back pocket. Just like Superman couldn’t have stayed Clark Kent forever, or Wonder Woman couldn’t have hidden out as Diana Prince, neither can we hide our light under a bushel. As we say in our Youth and Family Ministry blessing “[We] are the light of the world.” We also remind each other to “live as the light!” We live as the light as we remember the truth of what we are!
Activity: Hang the superhero picture in a place where your child can see it and be reminded of this exercise. If they like, they can say the affirmation out loud while envisioning themselves and their fellow superheroes as powerful beings!
I hope you find this exercise helpful in sharing Unity truths and tackling tough topics in a fun way with the children in your life! I further hope that we can all envision our Youth and Family Ministry, Rev Jennifer and Unity of Gaithersburg, as one giant “Justice League” of superheroes, developing our inner nature and sharing our principles and powers with the world!
YFM Powers Activate!