Our UniKids, UniFriends and Uniteens have been playing Compassion “Giving Games” Survival of the Kindest. They are striving together to make our planet a better place to live through community service and acts of kindness. The youth staff is providing fun and creative ways to ignite and catalyze compassionate action. Their activities will extend into the new year. They created a Caring Tree on a Compassion Wall for all ages at Unity to decorate with stars noting acts of kindness. A Parent Compassion Day (to give parents a break during this busy season AND build community amongst our kids) is being sponsored Saturday, Dec 3rd with 4 hours of free childcare and a children’s program for infants through 11 years of age. Older kids are helping staff to facilitate crafts, games, snacks and more. The youth decorated their family kindness jars to hold slips of paper recording acts of kindness they have given and received as well as those they have seen.
Also, our youth will be gathering supplies for Refugee Baskets Dec 11 – Jan 8. These baskets will contain items that families can use when they arrive and get set up in their new environments. The kids have chosen to create baskets for the bedroom and the kitchen. Some items can be used, in good condition, and some must be new. You can help “Share the Love and Welcome the Stranger” by helping the kids put together medium-sized laundry baskets for refugees in need. The game is to experience the joy of giving with compassion.
NGU event on January 8th at 1:30 at the North Spokane Unity. Anyone 18-35 is welcome to attend. This will be a Y.O.U. reunion for many. We will have lots of conversation and snacks to get everyone reconnected. Contact Kelley 208-597-1384 for more info about this event.
Contact Rev. Jackie jackienwyouATcomcast.net, or call 838-6518 for more info on our youth education programs and camps.
Under our most recent amended bylaws, governing members must renew, every year, to keep their governing member status. A governing member is someone who has voting rights and is able to vote on bylaws changes, at our annual meeting, and on issues governing our ministry and center.
Follow the link & complete the form, and you will be good to go! Please note, by completing the renewal form, you are agreeing to…
1) Deepen you spiritual practice via participation in classes, SpiritGroups , workshops, Q Process, and Sunday worship
2) Participate in meaningful volunteer service
3) Give in integrity with my capacity to financially support the overall operations of Unity Spiritual Center
Thank You! Thank you so very much and from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve on your board for the last six years. You see, I am completing my 2nd straight term and 6th straight year overall as a board member and that means my time on the board will come to an end in February. And WOW, what a journey it has been for me personally. So in my final Discoveries article as both President and a member, I’d love to share with you what I experienced during my time on the board.
During my time, I had the pleasure of serving alongside four ministers: two years with Clare Austen, two years with David McClure and the last two years with Gary & Jane Simmons. I had the opportunity of being a part of two major transitions from Clare to David and David to Gary and Jane. I had the opportunity to take part in a ministerial search as well as changing our name to Unity Spiritual Center. My roles included being Treasurer, Historian, Vice President and President. I’ve experienced connections, challenges, self-development, trust, transformation, safety, companionship, fear of not enough, disappointment, fun, enthusiasm, empowerment, stress, excitement, joy. The list is endless! I’ve personally grown as my own spiritual journey has been enhanced while being a member of the board. I’ve made friends. I’ve learned the business side of Unity Spiritual Center. I’ve experienced declining membership and revenues. I’ve learned how to be more grateful. I developed my own core values as well as struggled with my own sense of not enough. I received tons of support, especially from my wife Rebecca – thank you sweetheart. I have been part of this great transformation that is happening now at Unity Spiritual Center. I have had the honor of deepening my friendship with Dr. Gary over our many Saturday morning get-togethers. But the one thing that I cherish the most and will always carry with me is that sense of fulfillment I have in my heart for serving Unity Spiritual Center and giving my best and always showing up. I remember the call I received from Jeff Hunter six years ago asking me if I would consider serving on the Board of Trustees. After praying about it, I called him back and said YES, and I am so grateful I did. Being a trustee is an experience that I can always look back on and know that I did my best and gave my all. I have been very blessed to serve here at Unity Spiritual Center. So again, I thank you for allowing me to gain this life experience. I will always treasure it.
With Love & Blessings, Charlie Ker, Board President
Here it is (link below)! Enjoy your winter weather and your winter newsletter!
You don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to see that winter is coming. The signs are everywhere – leaves blanketing the earth, temperatures plunging, a hint of snow in the air and nature preparing to enter its time of dormancy. Tucked away in these days of increased darkness, is the light-filled holiday season. What better time to share the warmth of the heart?
From the joys of gift giving with loved ones at Christmas to extending kindness at Valentine’s Day – opportunities abound to be love in action during this holiday season. It is an exciting, magical time of the year.
But it is not just about the outer expression of love – equally important is to do the inner healing work of self-compassion and releasing of old beliefs and past hurts in order to move into a greater awareness of who we really are. Carl Jung tells a story about a Taoist master, who was asked by some villagers if he could help bring rain during a time of great drought. He moved into a small hut in the community and spent three days quietly tending the garden that was there. On the fourth day, it began to rain and he was asked how he had achieved the miracle. The master explained that he was not responsible for the appearance of rain. Each day, as he tended the garden, he had let go of any disharmony that he found within himself and when he had achieved balance, the rain came naturally.
And that’s the work. That is what the spiritual path is really about. It may not be easy but the results can be extraordinary. As Teilhard de Chardin reminds us, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time, [humanity] will have discovered fire.”
Never underestimate the power of the heart to make change no matter what the outer appearance may be telling you. The dormancy of winter gives the appearance that all growth is suspended and yet underground, behind the scenes there is much going on in preparation for spring’s new growth. In the same way, doing the inner work under the surface – feeling gratitude, radiating love, sharing kindness, releasing judgment and limiting beliefs – is leading to growth and transformation. Wholehearted living is the key to the transformational journey.
Blessings, Gary and Jane
Join Silent Unity on a powerful journey. Beginning today and spanning two weeks, Silent Unity, where many go for prayer support, is posing 14 questions to help you process difficult times. Questions that may help you shift your energy and your outlook, in order to make it through another difficult day. Questions that prompt us take pause and reflect. As stated on their website…
Life doesn’t always go as planned. When the outcome isn’t what you expected, you may experience a sense of grief, anger, fear, or loss. Over the next two weeks, Silent Unity will present a question each day to help transform these thoughts into a more positive outlook. As we begin our journey, please join us in affirming: Today I choose a fresh perspective. I see possibility instead of limitation. I see hope instead of despair. I choose thoughts that build a better world.
Our center is again hosting a Tree of Sharing (TOS) for the holiday season. We have requested 35 gift tags, 10 more than last year because all the gifts were scooped up so quickly last year. Joan McConnal was here today, and mentioned that the TOS received 7,456 gift requests this year! Gifts are modest, with most priced $20 or less. We choose a variety of gift requests from babies, young children, teenagers, adults and seniors.
The TOS started in 1982 as an outreach ministry of Westminster Congregational Unity Church of Christ. It began with requests for 650 gifts through 8 agencies. The program has provided “often forgotten” Spokane residents with gifts at Christmas time through the generosity of families and individuals. Today 57 agencies, like Meals on Wheels, Head Start, YMCA and VOA’sCrosswalk, send in gift requests.
Come in a choose a gift beginning Nov 13, and return it to us, UNWRAPPED, by Dec. 11. Thank you for caring! Thank you for sharing!
Diane Bisson, who heads our outreach efforts at Crosswalk Teen Shelter, had this to say about this fall’s pantry project:
“We delivered a car full of food – items that will provide good nutrition to the hungry kids as the weather gets cold. The support of our congregation always warms my heart as people respond in such a positive manner. The shelves were filled up with canned soups, chili, vegetables, good old Mac-n-cheese, and pancake mix. In addition to the food donations the packages of socks were a big hit with the staff and so needed this time of the year. DeniseDerrickson put her love into making hats and scarfs to warm the boys and girls this winter-and used such cheerful yarn which will bring joy to these deserving kids. I will be shopping with the donated money for items the staff has expressed a need for: small sized deodorant , gloves , and more food to round out all of the lovingly donated items. I thank each and every one of you who have blessed these children either with your donations or your prayers.”
Thank you all for your generous contributions!
Our Unity Choir has been working tirelessly on an amazing musical, Billboard on Bernard. The show is this Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Sunday’s show is SOLD OUT! Choir members and other church members, like our sound guy, Doug Ladwig, have literally put over a thousand combined hours of prep, planning, promo, staging, set design and rehearsals into this fabulous show. Billboard will feature our choir and other guest musicians performing hit songs from the 1950’s through today.
Our Music and Choir Directors, Tawni & Shawn Wright stopped by the KPBX studio to talk about the event with Verne Windham yesterday. Vern’s program is called “From the Studio,” and you can listen to the podcast HERE.