The Young People’s Spiritual Exploration Program at CVUF!
The YPSE program at CVUF creates a fun, nurturing and connecting space where children and young people confidently explore making meaning in their life experiences and the world around them. It’s a nourishing place where young people and their families can find community; are supported to ask the big questions in a way that encourages exploring, inspiration, unconditional love and belonging and share ways to practice spiritual values in their everyday lives.
Weekly youth group and children’s programs are available at CVUF every Sunday as well as special programs and events like Our Whole Lives sexual health program and Spiritual Parenting workshops.
Families in all shapes and sizes are welcome here and you do not need to be a CVUF member to participate. Child-minding is provided for families with children in programs, parents attending programs or weekly services and often during special events.
Healthy spirituality in children is scientifically proven to be a source of great resilience and power carried into adulthood and can reliably predict fulfillment, success and thriving. Children who have a positive active relationship to spirituality are:
- more likely to have positive markers for thriving & high levels of academic success
- 40% less likely to use and abuse substances
- 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers
- 80% less like to have dangerous or unprotected sex.
Weekly youth group and children’s programs are available at CVUF every Sunday. Special programs and events like Our Whole Lives sexual health program and Spiritual Parenting workshops are also offered.
Our regular Sunday Programs
Held every Sunday 4 ‐ 5pm. We provide age & developmentally appropriate learning experiences delivered through structured programs, social justice projects or collaborative play. Passionate and energetic volunteer teachers, all parents and some also professional educators lead the sessions. Children break into age groups into programs in various classrooms at the facility. In fair weather, classes may be held in a nearby park. Our curricular programs are based on the 7 UU principles. We ask and learn about meaning and purpose, being good to people, how to treat others, what it means to be empathetic and compassionate and why we take care of the earth and our environment.We explore different languages and perspectives from different world religions and belief systems in a way that encourages young people to decide for themselves. And we learn how to live and express these spiritual values in everyday life, with other people and nature and our own inner life.
Children’s Version of 7 Unitarian Principles:
- That each and every person is important;
- That all people should be treated fairly and kindly;
- That we should accept one another and keep on learning together;
- That each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life;
- That everyone should have a vote about things that concern them;
- In working for a peaceful, fair and free world;
- In caring for our planet earth, the home we share with all living things.
The Spirit of Adventure program – Dan Leahy uses electromagnetic experiments to facilitate a class about young inventors and creativity, perseverance and the joys of invention.
Creating Hogwarts Magic – a 5 week program using the fun and mystery of the Harry Potter story to open participants imaginations in learning about loyalty, trust, friendship, leadership, problem-solving and working for the common good.
Our last-term’s program
Today’s Earth Warriors : a spiritual empowerment program!!
April 23 – May 21 ; Sundays 4 – 5:15pm
Following Earth Day, this 5-week interactive outdoor-based program cultivates children’s understanding of the interconnectedness of life on Earth and our responsibility to protect it.
Based on David Suzuki’s work “You are the Earth” which is a children’s version of his “A Sacred Balance”. Through direct experience participants will explore the elements from a new perspective – the deep interconnectedness as honoured by indigenous worldviews and that the we humans share with the very backyard we all live and play in. With sessions delivered in the outdoors, stories, activities and games are designed to nurture children’s natural curiosity and their felt awe and wonder of the world we live in. Here children will experience values in action as they strengthen their empathy, and compassion for all living things and learn to live as Today’s Earth Warriors.
Dominque McGrady a professional teacher will be joined by local special guests, experts in their fields and experienced in the ecosystems of the Comox Valley to deliver the program.
For Ages 4- 11yrs. Registration is open to any family from the Comox Valley. Everyone is welcome.
Session titles: Walking on air, Getting down to earth, Depending on our relatives, Fire Power and Beyond Awesome: It’s your world now.
Outdoor based experiential program: We will be participating in sessions at the nearby park, beach and estuary creek. Children are expected to come prepared for all weather.
Lead teacher: Dominique McGrady, a professional teacher, with assistance from YPSE staff and volunteers ………AND …
Special Guests (TBC) include a local aboriginal elder, nature-based childhood educator, and a local streamkeeper.
Parents are welcome to volunteer assistance, observe sessions anytime, or use the chance to attend CVUF Sevices.
Child minding for younger children is available in addition to the CVUF youth group for adolescents.
- Registration via website.
- 5 sessions of 1.15 hrs (6hrs total)
- Program evaluation form at completion.
Dates: 5 Sundays 4:00 – 5:15pm. April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21
Location: 250 Beach Street@ the CVUF facility, Comox BC.
A donation would really be appreciated but not expected. Funds help with presenter honorariums, course materials & snacks for children. Suggestion: $15 for CVUF members, $20 for non-CVUF members.
I have met and worked with Aboriginal people around the world. And everywhere people say “The Earth is our mother”. As a scientist, i have come to understanding that they are right…. I’ve realized that it is a mistake to think of the environment as something “out there” separate from us. We are the Earth. ”David Suzuki
What am I doing here? What is the point of all of this? What is love? What happens when you die? How do I decide? What can I do to help?
Adolescence is a time of questions. Big questions. CVUF youth group is a safe space where young people can feel comfortable and supported to ask the biggest questions of all.
Puberty includes a surge in neurological development that includes unlocking the capacity for spiritual development for making meaning, for experiencing deeper connections, for transcendence. Concerted effort to deepen natural spirituality at this time enables it to become a significant resource for health and health through adult life.
Just like other aspects of human development, spiritual development occurs along a timeline linked to biology. And just like their social and personal development, the influence of the family environment on a teen’s spirituality peaks in the early teens then shifts as the teen’s biology and individuation as an adult becomes primary. This individuation becomes about building a life that makes sense.
Held every Sunday 4-5pm.
Emerging adults have unique needs and strong desires to explore their spiritual understanding with trusting, caring adults. Youth group is a self‐determined group focused on spiritual development and community leadership for Grades 8‐12.
Participants meet in their own space to spend time together skillfully mentored by our Youth Advisor, Liz Goodger.
Hope, Reason, Tolerance, Freedom and Nurturing the Spirit are topics the group is currently working on.
Youth group lead a christmas activity for the younger children.
For parents & caregivers
Parents naturally want to know what they can do and how to take opportunities to support their child’s journey in all its facets, including spiritually. At YPSE we aim to support parents, grandparents and caregivers as the key educators in a child’s spiritual life.
The foundation of personal spirituality is laid in the first decade of life. Science says the moments of spiritual parenting are the most powerful connection you have to your child’s well‐being now and throughout life. It is through the moments in daily living that contribute to the healthy, thriving development every parent seeks.
How do you respect your child’s own spiritual path? How do you guide a child and how do you not completely overwhelm them with your own beliefs about the world? What should I do and how should I do it? You don’t have to be a spiritual person to support your children’s spiritual exploration, simply welcome the questions and conversations.
A past (and maybe future) Workshop:
The Spiritual Child.
Join fellow parents,the CVUF Director of Spiritual Exploration Amanda Ridgway and Registered Clinical Counselor Celia Laval as we explore the contemporary understanding of the role of spirituality in child and adolescent development.
Many parents have a strong spiritual life and a loving intention to raise spiritual children however may feel at a loss about how to help their children develop spiritually. Whether parents identify as religious, spiritual but not religious, undecided or really anywhere on the spiritual continuum, all parents can learn things they can do to support what science now shows us is essential for health and thriving, healthy spiritual connection.
A. Introduce and deepen caregivers and educators understanding of the spiritual dimension of children’s development.
B. Clarify the role caring adults in healthy spiritual development and impact of neglecting it.
C. Provide practical advice and tools for nurturing healthy spiritual development.
⦁ The science of spirituality
⦁ Spiritual development from infancy to adolescence
⦁ The role of adults in supporting children
⦁ Practical tools and tips for healthy spiritual development
Outcomes for participants:
⦁ Appreciate the important role of parents in their children’s spiritual development
⦁ Gain deeper understanding of themselves and their own and others children.
⦁ Explore ways to provide spiritual experiences for children
⦁ Develop social network of parents sharing values and interest
⦁ Increased confidence to explore spiritual concepts with children
We encourage families to attend a few children’s programs or youth group meetings to get a feel for it. After a few visits registering your children provides the information about contacts, health needs, emergency contacts etc., so we can do our best to plan for your child’s continued participation. Registration is free and take a few minutes to complete on line. You do not have to be a CVUF member for your family to participate. Your information will be kkept confidential.