Monday, November 25, 2019

Gratitude and Inspiration

There are a many things that I am and grateful for and inspired by, but nothing comes close to the gratitude and inspiration I feel when I see families and children on their way to our Youth Ministry on Sunday morning!

Gratitude as a spiritual practice is something I encourage our children to do on a regular basis. In fact it is one of my personal favorite practices because there is SO much to be grateful for. As we move closer to Thanksgiving and the December holiday season I am also mindful and aware that this time of the year is not the easiest for everyone. If this speaks to you, consider this simple practice. Take three deep slow breaths with your eyes closed, mentally focus on opening your heart space, then slowly open your eyes and identify 3 to 5 things you are grateful for.

Here are just a few of my gratitude moments from Youth and Family Ministry.

The amazing circle of children who attended the Nov. 3rd youth classes and shared their collective experiences during our recent evacuations from the Kincade Fire.

Our teen group for all the ways they share openly and support each other in and beyond our Sunday meetings.

To and for - Evan Dow-Williamson and Camille Escovedo who both attended the 2019 Next Gen Retreat and recently gave a presentation to our Board of Trustees about their experience.

To and for - Dylan Jansen and Kalyla Harper, two of our teen leaders who represented Santa Rosa at the recent Centers for Spiritual Living winter workshop planning event in southern Ca.

I am very grateful for and inspired by the ways our volunteers say yes and the graceful dance that is our coverage schedule that always comes together in support the various areas of our Youth and Family Ministry!

Inspiration can come in many forms. Just last night when I was driving home, the evening sun was beaming through the liquid amber trees along the street and they looked as if they were glowing from within. In that moment I felt inspired, lifted up and blessed to witness such beauty.

When our children are inspired, they too glow from within. It is one of the most beautiful sights in the world to witness. Our youth ministry volunteer teachers and assistants know this. It's one of the reasons they volunteer!

Our youth and teen volunteers are a huge blessing to our community. Week after week they show up, ready to meet and greet the families and offer inspiration and spiritual connection within the children and teens of our Center. To all of you who currently support our Youth and Family Ministry directly  Thank YOU. You bless us all with your loving presence and gift of service.

If in reading this you feel inspired to be a part of the wonderful things that are going on within our Youth and Family Ministry, I would love to talk with you. My contact information is below.

Many blessings to all of you ~

Susan Robinson, RScP

Monday, October 21, 2019

Spiritual Inspiration for YOU!

Dear Center Community!

We had so much fun creating our colorful prayer cards and sharing them with you in September, we decided to do it again - a little differently.

With our theme in October being, Unity - we worked together in unity (See what we did there?) to create some fun and wacky photos pointing in a various directions. It was a little difficult to get the "picture" in our heads of how our new project would turn out, yet we had faith and confidence that it would all come together. We all know a little kindness goes a long way and that when we trust the process we will experience an abundance of infinite possibilities. So from a place of peace, we poured our love into this project and created a little bit of spiritual inspiration for YOU!

Each envelope contains a variety of inspirational quotes and a personal affirmation for each quote. Choose what calls to you and keep it nearby for the day or the week to remind you of your magnificence. There are no limits to the good that is available to us ~ just as there are no limits to the number of times you can come visit this board!

And ~ if you didn't pick up a prayer card in September, you can find them on the 'Volunteer' table in the social hall on Sundays.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Love Offering

Sharing love and blessings with our Community!

On September 22, the children and teens of our Center gathered in the social hall after each service to mingle with and offer the adults of our community a blessing card. Each youth classroom and our teen group prepared the cards as part of our creative activity leading up to this Sunday. Knowing that the theme for the day would be Community and Connection, we thought it was a perfect time to share this special Love Offering with our beloved Center community. The children were very excited to choose and hand out the blessing cards and the smiles were endless on both sides of the tables.

While we did not count exactly how many cards we made, we estimate it was between 500 & 600! Thank you to everyone who stopped by the table to say hello and receive your blessing. Extra thanks to all the volunteers and parents who adjusted our morning routine to support this offering. If you weren't able to join us and would like one of the cards, we do have several left. They will be at the Facilities table in the Social Hall for the next few Sundays.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Love of Life - Love of Nature

It's September! The month the children come back from summer vacations and adventures with family, friends and fun. Over the last few weeks we've heard stories of their adventures, camping, swimming, visiting National Parks, or visiting family in exciting destinations such as Japan, Hawaii and road trips through the United States.

It seems fitting that our topic of conversation and spiritual enrichment this month follows the value of Love and Stewardship of our Planet. There are so many variations on how we express our Love. We started the month with a recognition of Divine Love and Self Love and the unity and fluid flow of life that exists within the Oneness of our very being.

We are also spending some time looking at our "Carbon Footprint" and how the activities we enjoy, like playing video games or leaving the lights on or keeping water running when we brush our teeth, impact our natural resources. In addition, we are exploring the interconnected ways Nature takes care of itself. Like the Aspen grove (pictured above) that appears to be full of hundreds of individual trees, yet is connected by one root system and how the strong healthy trees send their energy and resources to those in the grove needing extra assistance through an invisible field of Love and connection.
Families can get in on the fun too by creating a "family night" at home where you research the various ways your normal daily activities impact the environment, then come up with new agreements to work together to preserve our natural resources. Or, get outside and watch a sunset together, gaze at the stars, take a walk in one of our local parks, or take a short drive to Armstrong Redwoods and marvel at the beauty of the tall trees and the nature that exists in the forest habitat.

We only have this One planet to call home and she has given us everything we need to survive and thrive. It's up to us to find ways to give back and take care of her. It is the natural way of things, the reciprocal nature of Life ~ a continuous flow of LOVE. 

Monday, July 29, 2019


Have you ever had the experience of wondering how quickly time passes when you are having fun? That seems especially true during summertime. For many of us the pace of life speeds up during the summer. For others it slows down. Our Youth Ministry has experienced a bit of both over the last few months. As we move into August, I find myself reflecting on some of the wonderful things that have come to pass these summer months. As a youth teacher I am looking forward to having our students back from all their exciting vacations and world travels so we can share stories of our adventures. In the meantime, here are a few highlights of what we've been up to.

The lovely and talented Jewel Shield joined us for a Sunday morning of music and a special Sound Bowl Meditation. During both the 10 and 11:30 youth classes, we were treated to the healing vibrations of sound in a variety of forms. From the soothing strings of the harp, to the long resonance of Crystal and Tibetan bowls, we blissfully practiced being still and listening. It was a perfect way to start off a busy summer full of travel, activities and fun.

Then our community gathered together for our Annual Center Picnic. As we arrived to the Center that morning we were greeted with a flurry of floating bubbles. It was a wee taste of the fun that was to be had as we gathered together at the park. While not all of our bubbles were as cooperative as we wanted them to be, we filled our time together with lots of laughter and great food!

This summer was also a time of celebration as 4 members of our teen group graduated from High School! Congratulations to Alexander Dunlop, Danna Iverson, Charles Woodside and Lily Downs. We wish you all the best as you take the next steps in your life journey.

Next up ~ CSL Summer Teen Camp! Our two International Youth Leaders, Danna Iverson and Dylan Jansen (pictured below) did a fantastic job, along with their teammates, leading us through a week of workshops, personal growth, spiritual awakenings and connection. Our Santa Rosa tribe was 10 strong this year out of approximately 325 of us on the mountain at Buckhorn Camp, Idyllwild Ca. We made new friends, deeper connections and celebrated the growth that comes from living with intention, purpose and spiritual awareness. Life is good and our "summertime" has been very blessed indeed!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Diversity and Inclusion

On the morning of March 31 the youth and teens of our Center were actively engaged in a big group project of Diversity and Inclusion.

It was a big morning for Youth Ministry. Three of our teen leaders opened each of our morning services and our teen group hosted a phenomenal Sunday Brunch fundraiser. Our community's engagement and response was delightful. No one visiting our tables went away hungry. Plus thanks to your generous donations, we raised over $1500. for our teen fund! And that's only what you could see on the outside.

Behind the scenes in our youth classrooms, the children and teens were engaged in a wonderful conversation of Oneness, Diversity and Inclusion. Through the eyes of our youngest children, it is easy to witness our connection to each other and to feel our oneness with Divinity. As we grow and become more engaged in the world around us we learn about "other" and "them" and can more easily forget our connection. Within our interactive conversation we explored all the ways Nature teaches us of it's Diversity and how easy it is for us to include, accept and appreciate the variances and beauty of the natural life around us. We then applied that same practice to our hands as we brought them together in a large circle and admired all the beautiful colors and textures of our skin tones. We are unique and we are the same.

Each of our students were then invited to team up with a partner to trace their lower arm and hand and to decorate and color it with all the joy, light, love, power, and any other quality and color they choose to express their unique expression of being. Everyone participated and at the end of the day we had quite the collection.

The goal of our little project was to create the Diversity and Inclusion board that now resides on the bulletin board in the breezeway next to Grinton chapel. It is our way of sharing a colorful connection between the youth and teens of our Center and our greater community. If you haven't stopped by yet, come take a look. We've included a few of our favorite quotes to inspire you and added some group pictures so you can see our beautiful faces.

Thank you one and all, for supporting our Center and giving us a place to learn and grow together in Spiritual practice! 


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sunday Brunch with our Teens!

This coming Sunday - March 31st our teens are hosting their first FUNdraiser of the 2019!

It's not easy to pick a favorite fundraiser ~ because we love spending time with our Center people, however this one is extra yummy for the tummy as we'll be preparing breakfast foods ~ snacks ~ and treats.

We hold these events to raise money for our teens to attend Centers for Spiritual Living teen camps, one in the summer and one in the winter. We also do fun events, some of them in house and some with other Northern California Centers, like overnights!

We are so very grateful to be a part of this thriving community of like minded people and we absolutely love getting together with teens from all over the USA, Canada and beyond who also study this teaching. Through your generous donations, we've been able to grow and thrive!

There is another reason this Sunday is so special, it is because we will be celebrating the dedicated service of one of our trusted advisors, Debby Young, RScP who is moving on to other areas of volunteering within our Center. Debby has been supporting our Center as a volunteer in our Youth and Family Ministry for almost 9 years. During her time of service Debby has been a nurturing presence to our nursery friends - our young children and the teens within our community as well as stepping in to oversee our Youth and Family Ministry when our Youth Director has needed to be away.

So come by our tables in the social hall to say hello - thank you - learn how you can support our youth and teens of the Center, make a donation and enjoy a tasty breakfast treat on us! See you Soon.

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

Popular Posts