What is a typical Sunday morning experience for our children?
The Youth Education Program at Unity of Buffalo begins upstairs in our sanctuary. The children and their accompanying adults have the opportunity to sing together and pray with our full community. After this, I lead the children that want to be part of the children’s program that day downstairs, while the congregation blesses us by singing, “We are Walking in the Light.”
Once downstairs, we have a moment to say hello and then we usually begin with the sound of chimes. I tell the children to listen to see how long they can hear the sound which seems to help them focus and still their bodies.
Next, we say the Prayer for Protection. From time to time when new children are present, I share that this is one of my favorite prayers, particularly when I am troubled by something goingon in my life. I offer the suggestion to envision each line of the prayer… the light of God surrounding us, the love of God enfolding us, the power of God protecting us, the presence of God watching over us.
Next we have a relatively brief lesson on a basic Unity principle, a spiritual idea. Again, especially with new visitors, I explain that I am there to share with them ideas that Unity teaches. I tell them that they do not need to agree, that they can find the answers in their own hearts. I often read a book or lead the children in a process or discussion that illustrates the idea. I encourage their ideas and perspectives. Often, but not always, the lesson I share has the same theme as the adult lesson upstairs.
Following this time, we usually do some sort of activity connected to the lesson such as art, an experiment, a food project or game. Sometimes my planning may seem out of synch with the children and I modify to meet the needs of the children present. I always hope the children can have fun as they explore the world of Spirit.
By this time, the kids are often eager for a snack. I try to find things that are both tasty and reasonably healthy. Then, a bit of free play perhaps, and soon we hear the words to the Peace song, the closing song for the service upstairs wafting down to our area. The children often grab a Friendship Hour bite of something to eat, greet their adults and continue to enjoy each other’s company.
That’s a Sunday in my life at Unity of Buffalo…
Dawn Lewandowski, Youth Education Director