Science leads to new local programs for the ‘spiritual, but not religious’ families

Young People’s Spiritual Exploration Program at the CV Unitarian

Science shows spirituality in children leads to better emotional health.

Dr. Lisa Miller, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Spiritual Child,” says a lack of support for healthy spiritual development has contributed to alarming rates of childhood and adolescent emotional suffering.  In her interview on CBC Radio’s Tapestry program (Dec 10, 2015) she explained studies show that children with a sense of their own spirituality have lower risk of substance abuse and other risky behaviours, and lower rates of depression.  Alternatively, Miller says a strong sense of personal spirituality is correlated with emotional wellness and academic success in children. Miller defines spirituality as a personal relationship with a loving, guiding universe.

The Young People’s Spiritual Exploration Program at the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship is incorporating Miller’s research as it expands its programming to meet parent’s desires to support the spiritual development of their children.  Workshops on “The Spiritual Child”, a “Spirit of Adventure” program and the ‘Our Whole Lives’ sexuality education course are all new for 2016.

The Unitarian Fellowship encourages exploration of concepts and experiences with diversity and tolerance in a contemporary world.  Amanda Ridgway, director of Young People’s Programs, says that this approach is particularly satisfying for the ‘spiritual but not religious crowd.’

“Families here are incredibly diverse in background and beliefs and with so many people now embracing Eastern traditions, turning to or reclaiming ecological or earth-based worldviews, or simply believing in the goodness of the Universe,” said Ridgway. “It’s affirming to have more support from the scientific community as we expand our offerings.”

The Unitarian approach does not focus on a particular practice or religious belief, but rather encourages the exploration of children’s and families own sense of spirituality. Ridgway, who also works as a substance use counsellor with youth and families, adds that spirituality is increasingly embraced in clinical settings as an important aspect of healing work. “Sharing these tools will only serve to strengthen our families and our communities as a whole.”

To learn more and to register for these and other programs, families can visit:


Just Posted

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Jim’s Clothes Closet celebrates 50th anniversary

Store began in Port Alberni, expanded on Vancouver Island and beyond

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Recent CVGSAR rescues see varying degrees of success

Teams searched for a dog swept downstream and helped an 80-year-old hiker

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Contest: Win a movie pass for two

It’s that time again - free movie passes! The Record is giving… Continue reading

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read