Building Connections Sparks Creative Inspiration

Published on: December 1, 2013

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What happens when 15 Unity spiritual youth educators from the same geographical area join together for a week of training with Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Youth and Family Coordinators? Connections are built, friendships are formed, motivation blossoms and a wonderful support system begins to emerge.

In July 2013, Unity Worldwide Ministries’ youth ministry coordinators, Rev Kathy Kellogg and Rev Jane Simmons, along with regional education consultant Rev Diane Venzera, traveled to the Southeast region to present a 40-hour credit course for spiritual youth educators. Formerly known as “Child/Teen Ministry Week,” the name has now been changed to “Unity National Youth Ministry Training” and is a required course for credentialing in Unity youth ministry.

The connections that are forged with people of like mind and shared passion develop into an inspiring network of creativity, understanding, caring and commitment. “Friends and partners were created by the valuable time spent together,” said Ytonna Finnegan, southeast region education consultant. Realizing we are no longer the “lone wolf” struggling with challenges and that we have a support system close by is one of the beautiful blessings of sharing together at a sub-regional youth ministry training.

When participants become increasingly aware of the kinds of youth programs happening at communities in their area, whole vistas of possibilities arise. Suddenly, sharing resources, combined trainings, and inter-community special youth events such as summer camps all become possible. Creative inspiration shared with others has a synergistic effect and everyone wins—those serving in youth ministry, the youth themselves, and the entire spiritual community.

This comprehensive integrated study is jam-packed with a variety of leading-edge relevant teachings, practices and research that has participants walking away with exciting new ideas to share and implement.

Based on the 4-quadrant model of integral ministry, we explore together
content-rich areas such as:

  • Youth development – who are the youth we serve?
  • Living curriculum – lessons that come alive through story, questions and activities
  • Life issues – how do we use Unity principles to thrive?
  • Sacred Safety practices
  • Mythology and metaphysics
  • Prayer and meditation practices
  • Brain and heart science
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Youth empowerment
  • Multigenerational ministry
  • Classroom environment

To help create cohesion, connection, networking and motivation among all of those who serve youth ministry in your center or region, consider hosting a training. For more information see the Unity National Youth Ministry flyer.


Jane Simmons
Senior Co-minister at Unity Spiritual Center
Rev Dr Jane Simmons is a senior co-minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Spokane, Wash., along with her husband Gary. Jane served for seven years as the International Teen Ministry Coordinator for Unity Worldwide Ministries.

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