Excerpts from another email to an inquiring friend:
We don't really have a "youth group" like most churches. Almost everything at Unity bypasses age restrictions. Let me give some examples.
Kevin teaches the boys' class, ages 6 and up (!). They have two teachers and could split, but the boys want to stay together. They had a lock-in two or three weeks ago. First they played basketball at FBC gym from 6-10, then went back to Unity and had pizza and snacks. Everyone brought gaming systems and they had play-offs. I'm not sure what else they did because I don't ask about those things. LOL! But I do know that the youngest boy there was seven and the oldest was nineteen. Three of the men were there, one who doesn't even have children yet. Any fathers who wanted to come were invited.
When Kevin was working on the playground, four of the youth boys showed up to help and did hard, manual labor alongside the men. The project covered several months and the boys continued to come (when they could be there) up until completion. The girls serve, too. One lovely young lady, who is 16, usually prepares the elements for the Lord's Supper. She also sings with me on the praise team and faithfully attends practices. The nursery rotation includes several of the girls (ages 9 or so and up).
There are also all the "little things" that I see from week to week. The boys' class has a "special handshake" and during the greeting I watch from the platform as boys of all ages go around greeting each other. When a new boy starts attending, I've noticed almost immediate inclusion, so it is not a "clique" sort of thing - more of a male bonding.
About a month ago at a fellowship meal, the youth were all outside, sitting and standing around in a circle (surrounded by chatting adults and running children). All of them who had cell phones had them out and were punching numbers. I asked, "What in the WORLD are you guys doing?!?!" They shouted at once, "Trading numbers!"
And of course, the older boys play on the mens' softball team (I'm sure it was just a coincidence that we placed last!)....and they all go out and play football and softball at the fellowship meals...and I watch as an eighteen-year-old hoists Owen on his shoulders and runs around with him...or as another older youth shows a little guy how to swing a bat...or as several youth girls play a board game with some of the seniors. It's just like that. Not really a youth group. More like a big family.