May Volunteer Ministry of the Month: Youth & Family Ministry
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
This African proverb places the responsibility on an entire community for interacting with children in a way that insures those children experience a safe and healthy environment in which to grow and mature. While this means that the villagers do look out for the children in their community, it does not mean an entire village is literally responsible for raising someone else’s children. However, it does mean the village is responsible for creating a safe environment conducive to their growth. Here at UCOH, we actively share in the responsibility for successfully raising the children in our spiritual family with a strong spiritual foundation.
Our Youth & Family Ministry Volunteers
Every Sunday when our children walk into their classrooms they are enfolded with love and acceptance into their spiritual home by a member of their spiritual family. These loving volunteers might be a college student, a single working adult, a parent or a grandparent. In some cases, with the younger children, it might even be a high school student.
Whoever it is, they understand their sacred calling and the importance of the role they play in these children’s lives. Our volunteers develop trusting relationships with the children they serve, teaching and modeling the principles and tools that Unity offers.
YFM Creates An Environment Of Safety
The most important thing our volunteers do is to create an emotionally safe environment where children feel like they can be their true selves without fear of rejection. We remind and honor each child as an expression of the Christ within them. They can be vulnerable and open, knowing that they are loved and accepted as they are.
To insure the physical safety of the children in our care, each and every YFM volunteer undergoes a criminal background check; and, we also interview at least three personal references. This applies to all volunteers, whether teacher, angel (teacher assistants), or teen sponsors. undergo . By insuring their safety, the YFM creates a fertile ground for transformation, by empowering our children with confidence and self-acceptance, which better equips them to face the demands of their world.
Our Mission is Not to Entertain
As our beloved Myrle Fillmore, Co-Founder of Unity said, “Our mission is not to entertain the children, but to call them out.” This means we help children see their God power and how to tap into their inner greatness. What a wonderful foundation to build upon as they grow and develop into adults! And, what a wonderful investment in our future!
Most of our volunteers start at the beginning of the school year after attending the YFM annual training and dedication ceremony. However, some start at the beginning of the year when we hold a mid-year training. A typical rotation is usually twice a month; however, some volunteer once a month or as subs, while others volunteer every Sunday.
YFM volunteers make a one-year commitment to serve; and, most renew their commitment every year. In fact, several of our volunteers have served over the long term, with some being with the YFM as long as 10, 15, even 20 or more years!
Thank You, YFM Volunteers!
We are so blessed and grateful to have so many dedicated YFM volunteers who serve our young people with passion and grace. We sincerely thank each and every one of you, our YFM volunteer, team members. You bless the entire UCOH family with your love and your presence. We love you all, and deeply appreciate you with all our hearts!