Mission: Calling forth and championing the next generation in claiming and transforming their world.
Welcome to our NextGen Unity page! Formerly also known as Next Generation of Unity (NGU), and Adults of Unity (AOU), this Young Adult ministry focuses on supporting programs designed for ages 18-35(ish).
**Announcing our new NextGen SpiritGroups Host Training program!** This pioneer pilot program started this year, and will be offered in the winter (Jan - Mar) and summer (July-Sept) terms of the UWSI school calendar. Participants must be enrolled in UWSI to register for this course (enrollment is a one-time process for all UWSI students and takes up to 2 business days to complete), and must be officially registered ahead of time to participate in the course.
This love offering-based class prepares individuals to host a NextGen young adult group, grounded in the structure of the SpiritGroups model, and customized specifically for accommodating the challenges and lifestyle needs of young adults (ages 18-35+). Please contact our Young Adult Program Coordinator, Rachel Gaither, with any questions on how to sign up for this exciting and groundbreaking opportunity.
Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) is partnering with Unity Light Center to pass the torch of the LoveLight program to UWM! LoveLight was originated as part of the outreach programming of Unity Light Center (Robin Goff, LUT), and partners with its sister community of Riviersonderend (RSE), South Africa. Riviersonderend (RSE) is a very rural village about 2 hours east of Cape Town, SA, and is heavily affected by poverty, lack of resources, and the AIDS epidemic and the AIDS orphan crisis in South Africa. Working with Unity Light Center, a committee of RSE residents determined their most pressing priority should be the education of the children.
That is where LoveLight was born--first as a children's sanctuary, where grandmothers of the community would meet the children of the community, make sure they had a hot meal, assistance with school work, and someone to talk to about their struggles. In 2013, LoveLight adopted the Peace by Piece program model of an exchange program, and implemented a Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.)-style retreat they called "Ubuntu Camp". This camp is non-religious and non-proselytizing, and works with universal spiritual tools that support self-worth, self-confidence, leadership skills, trust, teamwork, integrity, connection, community, and more. Since LoveLight's birth in 2002, it has assisted RSE in self-funding and sending 30+ of its own youth to University for the first time, almost all as first-generation University graduates. This program has uplifted and prioritized the children of the community for over 20 years, and they are inspired to succeed and serve their community in ways that the community has never before seen.
Our vision for LoveLight is that it can be used as a template for Unity's outreach with universal spiritual principles and practical spiritual tools on a global scale: the respect and partnership of non-proselytising, community-oriented, self-sustainable, and affirmative spiritual service all over the world. The possibilities of a thriving LoveLight program include: working with our National Unity Religious Schools outside the U.S., supporting Unity ministries around the globe, and responding to catastrophic events.
LoveLight runs on funding from donors and sponsors, and we are currently in the phase of restarting the program after the pandemic, and we are actively accepting donations to keep this program alive and to help it get back to thriving. We have an American youth team and a South African youth team selected, and they are in the process of co-planning the next Ubuntu Camp, tentatively scheduled for January 2024. We have yet to see the funds necessary to do this, but we are optimistic, and are delighted to partner with you to make this manifest! If you would like to support the rebuilding of this amazing exchange program for youth, please consider a donation, or contact our Young Adult Program Coordinator, Rachel Gaither.
NextGen Cultural Ambassadors
This new program is focused on international exchange travel, service, and personal development, and is one branch of the overarching Unity Cultural Ambassadors program. Stay tuned to hear about this exciting and cutting-edge leadership and exchange program being rolled out soon! To find out more on how to support or donate to this budding program, contact our Young Adult Program Coordinator, Rachel Gaither.
If you have an active NextGen (NGU) group, or know of one, please reach out to us! We want to know how you are doing, and offer our support, including information about upcoming events, possible trainings and/or opportunities for funding and community connection.
Top 10 Ways to Make Your Church Intergenerational
This resource helps ministries and leaders develop programs to invite more young adult participation in a ministry. How many can you incorporate to reach young people?