Monday, February 25, 2019

Integrity and Gratitude

Our youth jump-started our February theme of Integrity early by creating “value” collages. Using images from magazines we created three large posters together with shared values of Love, Peace, Joy, Kindness, Adventure and Beauty. Each student was also invited to think about a value that was important to them personally and create an individual collage. The finished products were beautiful and our shared value posters have been used in the youth classrooms through February! 

After serving our Youth and Family Ministry for 24 years, our beloved Carol Seymour, RScP made the decision to resign her teaching position. While we already miss her – we also celebrate our “Teacher Carol” with deep gratitude for the many years of service, dedication and the LOVE she has provided and shared with the youth of our Center. 

Carol's departure also opens up another opportunity for more volunteer support within our youth ministry. There are a variety of ways your participation can be of service to our youth and/or teens. If interested, please contact me at We'll also have our youth ministry volunteer applications on our table in the social hall on Sunday mornings! 

Blessings and Love,
Susan Robinson, RScP

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Teen Camp and Nursery Makeover

Our Santa Rosa teens and advisors are departing for Camp Loma Mar aka CSL Winter Teen Camp 2019. We have a total of 13 teens attending CSL camps, along with 3 advisors representing Santa Rosa. Danna Iversen, as a member of CSL International Teen Leadership, is attending Camp Thunderbird in North Carolina, while our other CSL Teen Leader Dylan Jansen, will be our camp Co-Director, here in Northern Ca. There are 4 camps in total (Denver and Los Angeles being the other two) with approx. 325 in total attendance.

Over the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure to interview two more volunteers. Sue Sternhagen and Maxine Wilkinson will both be serving in our Nursery. Each are in the process of training with our existing volunteers and come to us with experience in many ways that will serve them and us well. We still have plenty of room available to welcome more volunteers, so do keep your ears open for anyone who might be interested in working with children or teens!

Speaking of our Nursery. We will soon be doing a room makeover in our Nursery. New paint to with softer neutral colors and likely some new shelving, toys and wall art.

Our youth classroom attendance continues to vary as does our total Center attendance. Including our teen group, our average overall totals are on the rise, 35 – 40 per week!

Keeping this one short, so I can finish packing and be on my way to CAMP!


Susan Robinson, RScP
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Reflections and Intentions

Reflections and Intentions ~

As another year comes to a close, it is a great time to reflect upon the past 12 months. Maybe even review the intentions we set at the beginning of the year and take inventory of what worked, what didn't or what might we do differently.

Our year end practice in Youth Ministry is to have a group discussion during circle time. We sit with a few questions as a way of looking back over the past year as well as questions that prompt us to consider what we wish to experience in the New Year.

Many years ago, we made the switch from making New Year resolutions, to setting New Year intentions. Where resolutions often presume there is something to fix, an intention gives way to positively designing the future. It's been fun to bring this practice to our young friends. It's an honor to witness all the accomplishments they've achieved and fun to see where and what they want to learn, grow and go in the New Year. Of course we'll have a bit of fun too!

Here are a few questions to consider in reflection:

What intentions did you achieve in the past year and did they bring you joy?
What intentions eluded you or needed to change?
What is one thing you've learned that you didn't know last year?
In what way were you able to make a difference in the world or the life of another?

For setting intentions you might consider these questions:

What are my goals? What would I like to achieve?
What are my dreams? What step can I take to bring them forward?
What would I like to learn?
What can I let go of?
In what way can I make a difference?

However it is you choose to bring in 2019 ~ We wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Susan Robinson, RScP
Director, Youth and Family Ministry

Youth and Family Minsitry at the Center Update!

There is nothing like starting a new month with a HUGE fundraiser and doing a stage announcement, volunteer call, at all three services! What an amazing morning. Our community once again came out to support our teens. We only had a handful of small holiday wreaths remaining. Our net profit was $1850.00 (though I think we added a few extra donations beyond that.) The best news was that when I met with Anne to review our teen finances, I was able to 100% scholarship our qualified teens for CSL Winter Camp. Yahoo!

On the volunteer front, former volunteer Heidi Jones has rejoined our Nursery team! She agreed to fill in two times each month to help cover our shortage, then will likely move to a fixed Sunday. To date, I’ve received three volunteer applications. As of this report, I am scheduling volunteer meetings to review our youth program and to find the best fit for each of them. One has great potential to become a classroom teacher, and I am over the moon about that.

Back to our teens. We are in the final week of Winter camp registrations, and whew, it has been a busy week. Several of our parents took me up on the offer to register their teens in-house. This also gave me the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with the parents and do a more in-depth check in with them. At present we look to have 11 teens attending the Northern California Winter camp. Danna Iversen, as a member of CSL teen leadership, will be attending the North Carolina camp, pending the final registration totals. I have secured two additional advisors to support us, Emily Jansen-Adan and Kristine Anderson. Both recently completed and updated their online advisor training.

On December 7-8, I attended an off-site youth director/advisor meeting. This was an informal gathering to lay the groundwork for a potentially larger gathering in 2019. Our agenda topics included balancing service and self-care to avoid burn out, personal growth and spiritual support, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, best practices, curriculum resources, how “family” fits into youth and family, teen overnights, and looking ahead to 2019. We came away with commitments from CSL San Jose to host a Spring teen overnight and from us in Santa Rosa to hold a fall teen overnight.

With loving gratitude,

Susan Robinson, RScP

Prayer Mala Workshop with Our Teens

Thank you Sue Robson for sharing your creative Genius with our Teens and making learning about mala beads such a joy!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Where do you see God?

That was the question that led us in a recent youth ministry class. Prior to asking the question, we watched a short video titled "Eating Twinkies with God" (The video can be found on YouTube).

After the video, everyone had the opportunity to answer the question, where do you see God? The answers were given and written on our classroom chalkboard. By the end of the morning the board was so full of words they couldn't fit in one photo! Below are a few of the ways our children see God.

In - Reflections, Sunsets, Ocean, Music, Sports, Dancing, Animals, Nature, Church, Fun, Flowers, Love, Voices, Truth, Everywhere, Each other, Art, Giving, People, Clouds, Smiles, At the park, When we are giving, Hope, Goosebumps, Kindness, Helping others, Sportsmanship, Books, Stars, Family!

The Centers for Spiritual Living Teen Leadership team also used this question during a recent planning weekend for their upcoming Winter Camp. They added a new twist by having attendee’s pair up into partners with the instructions for each partner to share for one minute, all the ways in which you see God. Once both partners shared, the instructions were changed to "where do you see God in you?” As a participant in this process, I can share that both my partner and myself had tears in our eyes at the conclusion.

There is something very special about sharing out loud and being witnessed to all the ways we each see and express Divinity. Our lives are so full of work, school and tasks that often we forget to take the time to just sit quietly and recognize all the magnificent gifts that are right in front of us. As well as those that are within us!

Your invitation, should you choose to accept it, is to use this simple practice with your friends or family as a way to recognize the essence of Divinity that is always expressing in, through and around you.

Where do you see God?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wednesday Night Wisdom - September 2018

Conscious Parenting for Everyone is coming to the free Wednesday Night Wisdom classes for September. 7-8 pm.

Whether or not we are parents, we were each parented along the path of life. We may have been influenced by a particular mentor or family member who imparted wisdom we hold dear. Some of us may find that the lessons we learned along our path of life are ready to be set aside for they no longer serve our highest good. We may even find it is time to claim a new story for our life, one that is uplifting, supportive and nurturing.

Over the course of four weeks we will begin an exploration of our individual consciousness and life experience. We'll visit some of the ways in which we bring, or have brought, the lessons learned in our childhood forward into our personal relationships and into the lives of the children and young people in our lives.

Two books support our studies, "This Thing Called You" by Ernest Holmes and "The Conscious Parent" by Shefali Tsabary, PhD. Each of these books contain gems of wisdom that guide us to reclaim our authentic voice and remind us of who we truly are and what we are capable of becoming.

It is my honor to bring this topic of study and exploration to our Center and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Susan Robinson, RScP

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