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Community Y

oung children are inherently creative and have an authentic sense of Self. They naturally listen to and trust themselves. Sadly, many do not have the opportunity to foster this sense of curios- ity and creativity, and often lose awareness of this intu- ition, or inner guidance, as they grow older. Journeys is a trans-faith spiritual community that celebrates the common thread of spiritual wisdom found within and beyond all religions. They work diligently to encourage children in the community to continue to look within themselves to discover what is true to them.

Mary Pat Turner, Journeys’ Youth Education Director, says, “Children are whole and perfect just as they are. We merely offer guidance to help them re- alize their innate goodness and beauty. Journeys inspires each child to discover his or her own unique gifts and talents; so they develop a sense of Self as well as feel reverence and respect for the world around them. The result is a child grounded in self-confidence and with an overall sense of peace and wellbe- ing.”

Happy and healthy children live

in a flow from their inner core, fully alive and present in their lives. Journeys reinforces several core principles:

a Each child is a divinely guided, unique expression of spirit, and has distinctive gifts and talents. a Each child is whole, complete, and perfect just as they are. a Each child has his or her own inner guidance and wisdom.

24 NA Triangle Spotlight Journey’s Children’s expedition Program

Nourishes Creativity and Self-discovery by Megan Cutter

universal spiritual truths and character virtues in an open and creative envi- ronment. Children have fun explor- ing spiritual topics while developing their multiple intelligences as they rotate through spaces designed specifically for arts & crafts, music & movement, storytelling & drama, and prayer & medita- tion.

a Journeys’ guides (teachers) create a space for children to explore their spiri- tuality and to get in touch with their inner Self. a Children and adults are spiritual beings who deserve equal respect and who learn from one another.

To help children tap into their cre-

ative power, Journeys offers a structured and ordered environment along with teachers who understand the mystery and playfulness of creativity. “When children learn to listen to themselves through creativity, they also learn to think for themselves and trust their feelings. Through the use of intuition, children become self-reliant; self- esteem and self-confidence develop, which enhance the way they respond to the world,” adds Turner. The Children’s Expedition meets at 10:30am each Sunday morning in Journey’s new facility in north Raleigh, and offers age-based classes that nour- ish each child’s spiritual development. The classes allow children to explore

Beginning this fall, Journeys will offer an experiential “rite of passage” class for 6th and 7th graders that also offers knowledge of world religions and their spiritual disciplines and practices. This class will empower youth to discover their unique, per- sonal spiritual path. The goal will be for each student to develop understand- ing, appreciation, and respect for each tradition as well as the many ways they overlap. This class will provide leader- ship and service opportunities as well as a forum to discuss ‘tween’ topics of interest in a supportive atmosphere. In addition, Journeys hosts the

Dream Weavers, a self-run teen com- munity facilitating self-discovery, self-confidence, and spiritual growth and inquiry within a safe and support- ive peer group. Teens enjoy getting to know themselves and others at a deeper level through trust-building activi- ties and spiritual discussion as well as social outings, community building and service.

For information about Journeys, the Children’s Expedition, or Journeys’ “rite of passage” and teen programs, visit See ads on pages 27 and 63.

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