Appropriate and fun spiritual education and fellowship for all ages!
First Unity Church offers a full Youth Education Program for nursery through high-school-aged children during our 10:30 a.m. service. We have four classes, for students from ages two years to 17 years old. On Sunday mornings, we first do a combined assembly of all the classes before breaking into groups; the classes are divided by age and grade.
We looked for the Powers within us and discussed each at length, including: Zeal, Order, Love, Strength, Faith, Power, Judgment, Imagination, Release, Will, Life and Understanding.
We’ve gone through a workbook called The God in Me. Children from 6 to 11 can earn a badge or a pin if they are in scouts. Those who aren’t in scouts can earn a Unity emblem. We’ve also done a curriculum called “The Road to Oz” based on the Wizard of Oz.
Within the past few years, the Youth Education Program has done several service projects. We collected money from our weekly love offering and from the generous congregants. Most recently, the children are supporting the No Time to Spare Animal Rescue and Sanctuary with their “For Love of Pets” project. Each Christmas we collect toiletries for area children and families, and each school year have provided school supplies to kids in the Court system and immigrant children.
Visitors are always welcome!
First Unity Youth Education Ministry Staff
Glenda Gebhardt, Claire Gibbs and Cindy Gibbs
Youth Ministry teacher Glenda Gebhardt has been in Girl Scout Leadership for over 35 years. Glenda is a nurse and a tireless volunteer.
Youth Ministry teacher Cindy Gibbs has been part of the First Unity Youth Ministry since her family came to the church in 1999. Cindy has a PhD. in Education and certification in English as a Second Language. She volunteered with Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and the Concordia Turners. She currently works at Long International Middle School with refugee children.
Youth Ministry teacher Claire Gibbs earned her undergraduate degree in geology and a certificate in geospatial mapping at Missouri State University in Springfield. She’s now working on her master’s degree in geospatial mapping from Northwest Missouri University in Maryville. Claire’s musical background includes playing the flute and piccolo and, while in high school, performing in the Mehlville marching band.
Purpose Statement for First Unity’s Youth Education
We are accepting, inquisitive, and creative. We are here to learn and grow spiritually, support one another, and serve the community.
Unity’s Five Basic Principles for Children
- God is all good and active in everything, everywhere.
- I am naturally good because God’s divinity is in me and in everyone.
- I create my experiences by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe.
- Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
- I do and give my best by living the truth I know. I make a difference.
By Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity
Our mission is not to entertain the children, but to call them out. To be always entertained is to be dwarfed and dependent. To be “called out” is to follow the harmonious law of the soul’s unfoldment. Who meddles with the rosebud? What fingers are deft enough to pry open that marvel of folded beauty? We are wise enough to leave it alone to follow the glad law of its own unfolding, but our children! Have we dealt as wisely with these buds of marvelous possibilities? Have we always remembered that they, too, must quicken and unfold through the innate law of their own genius?
First Unity’s Virtual Youth Ed Lessons on YouTube
We’re excited to announce that First Unity Church’s Youth Education teachers have created an ongoing series of virtual “Youth Ed” lessons to provide an online experience for First Unity youngsters (and anyone else interested) during the pandemic.
Two lessons will be available each month. The videos feature one of the Youth Education teachers conducting an online Unity-based class. Features of the lessons include an opening song, the offering basket and song, prayers and affirmations, a story or special video message and a closing with the Prayer of Protection. An activity for the children to do is also featured in the lesson. The first lesson is “Kindness to Others” and is 17 minutes long; the second lesson is “Kindness to Self” and is 12 minutes long.
If you have children or grandchildren who would be interested in watching the virtual “Youth Ed” lessons with you, please call the First Unity office at 314-845-8540 and request a link to the first lesson and subsequent lessons.
You will need to set up a YouTube account to view the videos but it’s a fast and easy process. Here are the steps for creating your YouTube account:
- Go to YouTube.
- In the top right, click Sign in.
- Click Create Account.
- Choose For myself or To manage my business.
For more information about setting up a YouTube account, see Create an account on YouTube.
We hope you and your family enjoy the “Youth Ed” lessons!