If you have been attending Unity Spiritual Center since Revs. Drs. Jane and Gary Simmons became our co-ministers in April 2015, then you have heard the phrase, “raising the bar here at Unity” many, many times. You’ve also heard Dr. Gary share numerous times during his Center Update that the Board of Trustees has also been working on raising our bar so that we can be in integrity and be held accountable by the congregation. Over the past 18 months, I believe your Board of Trustees has transformed, and I want to share a couple of those transformations with you.
It begins with Core Values. At our board retreat in May 2015, we focused on developing core values that we want to live by and demonstrate. We steadily worked on our core values list over the next 6 months and here are those cores values that your board is committed to demonstrating to you and ourselves:
Integrity – we are in a state of wholeness, undivided; congruent and consistent as we do what we say we will do, honest as we show up, and it feels good.
Commitment – with intention, we are bound to our mission and follow through
Emotional maturity – we identify, own and manage our feelings while responding, rather than reacting, to others and situations
Spiritual maturity – we identify, are in touch with and aim to consistently act from our True Self (the Inner Guide, Divine Wisdom)
Accountability: We walk our talk by counting on each other, accepting responsibility to do what we say we will do and freely share our progress without excuses or blaming.
Fiscal Responsibility: Being Spirit-led (as Source) we come from gratitude and act in the highest and best regard for financial health and integrity of USC. We recognize money is one of many Divine tools we use wisely to transform lives.
Another area of transformation that we continuously work on is who we’ve come here to be. At every board meeting right after our opening prayer, we go around the table and do a check in. The check in consists of sharing what is on our Q-card. We ask for compassion when we’re being on and/or in our shadow qualities. Then we share who we’ve come here to be such as compassionate, loving, healthy or more than enough. Then we share what’s going on with us individually, whether it be exciting news or asking for support because of dealing with a difficulty. By doing a check in at every meeting, it allows us to become present thus being able to do our work as trustees. Plus, I firmly believe it helps us connect with one another.
I can whole-heartedly say that your Board of Trustees is committed to raising the bar here at Unity Spiritual Center. We believe that transforming Unity Spiritual Center begins with us. We are ready and willing to do the work we need to do as Unity Spiritual Center moves towards the next level. We are excited and inspired, and we want to extend an invitation out to you to join us!
With Love & Blessings,
Charlie Ker, President Board of trustees
Karl Anthony is a musician whose career has spanned more than three decades and taken him all over the globe, and he’ll be performing at our center, August 26th at 7 pm! His performances feature a synthesis of eastern and western musical styles, such as the infusion of kirtan call-and-response chants, These are mixed in with a little acoustic rock and Karl’s amazing story telling.
Rady’s Children’s Hospital is where Karl Anthony sings when he is not on the road touring. He became part of the hospital’s Healing Arts Department where he and other artists work closely with hospital staff to facilitate the very best supportive conditions for whole and proper healing.
A child once told Anthony that receiving chemotherapy was like having an earthquake inside him with the ground shaking from within. Deeply moved by the boy’s response, Anthony asked, “What do you do when the ground is shaking?” The boy’s reply was, “Hold the sky.” Anthony smiled and said to the boy, “Let’s write a song about that.”
He knew there was a powerful song in this young boy’s experience, and his new album, entitled “Hold the Sky,” debuting this month, features this title song.
Anthony has received several Gandhi/King Season For Nonviolence Peace Hero Awards for his humanitarian efforts and innovative music. Karl Anthony is a producer, songwriter and singer but more than that he is a facilitator of authentic connection with music.
The news: Unity Spiritual Center has purchased new video curriculum for SpiritGroups!
So, now, as a returning host, you have more choices in content for your group in the fall. Your choices are:
During the day and time you have chosen:
What a fabulous Kids Week we had this summer–collaborating, connecting and creating! Seeing is believing–watch the video for the highlights…
Who Have You Come Here To Be?
A five-week exploration of your spiritual gifts and how they express themselves to bless the world. Wednesdays, at 6:30 p.m. beginning August 3.
Your spiritual community, even your global community, needs people like you who know who they are and why they are here. Opportunities for sacred service await for those who see themselves as themselves as stewards of those gifts.
Knowing why you came here and what is yours to do and be gives you a new sense of meaning and purpose to your life. It becomes the mooring for living your life in alignment with what you love to do and be as well as what benefits your spiritual community.
Come find your compass, your inner GPS and create positive and creative solutions that arise when you put feet to your spiritual gifts.
If you are looking to become a Community or Governing Member of this community, this class is vitally important. Suggested love offering – $15 per week
It was sunny, cool and absolutely beautiful when we arrived at the Stage Neck Inn in York Harbor, Maine in the late afternoon on Friday, April 29th. The Inn was perched on a small cliff right above the water looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. Next to the inn was a small crescent shaped beach. It was so beautiful and serene; we were instantly transformed into a calm and peaceful state.
Rebecca and I took this trip centered on a Self-Care retreat for Women that was hosted and led by Cheryl Richardson. Rebecca had registered for this retreat over a year ago, and the original plan was for her to go by herself. Then in January after realizing that getting to York Harbor would be all all-day affair, we decided I would go on the trip too and be her travel companion! Rebecca would spend her time at the retreat for women, and I would do whatever I wanted. I’d hang out, walk on the beach, watch TV, walk around, drink wine and explore. Not only did Rebecca attend and enjoy her self-care retreat, I too ended up having a self-care retreat of my own.
So, what did I do for self-care? Well, I read a book. When Rebecca went into her conference room on Saturday morning, I curled up on the sofa at the inn’s sitting area by the fireplace and started reading. The next thing I knew, two hours had gone by. And you know what, I completely enjoyed it. I lost track of time. I was engrossed in the book. I was comfortable and cozy and best of all, my attention was on the book and not in my head. My mind was quiet. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I spent most of that afternoon and all day Sunday reading. In the end, I had the most relaxed, calm and peaceful weekend, and it was wonderful.
That weekend, I gave myself the gift of self-care. I can’t even remember the last time I did something like that for myself because I normally don’t take time for myself. By getting caught up in a book, I had one of the most memorable self-care times I’ve had in a long, long time. Most of all, I came away with an appreciation and deep understanding that I need to make time for myself and to take care of myself. And as I write this article, I realized I need to do a Q worksheet on my lack of self-care. I have reached a point in my life where I now have an awareness of how important self-care is. My personal pursuit is to start carving out time every day for self-care. I’m hungry for it, and I deserve it. And, I’d like to invite you to examine how your self-care is going. We all need to take care of ourselves. If you need a suggestion, I recommend curling up in your favorite chair and reading a book.
With Love & Blessings and in Gratitude,
Charlie Ker, President Board of Trustees.
A Quick Review: Our 1st Series at Unity Spiritual Center!
* Our first series of SpiritGroups was a huge success! We had 80 people involved, which is more than 50% of our average attendance on Sundays.
* SpiritGroups were offered at 10 locations and hosted by 14 people in our community.
* Every SpiritGroup participated in a service project of their choosing. Here are just a few of the service projects that occurred:
Service at, food donation to, and a tour taken at Anna Ogden Hall, a women’s recovery treatment facility in Spokane by the Women’s SpiritGroup.
A blood mobile – provided to Unity Spiritual Center on July 17 during both services
An artistic video representation of the spiritual gifts and disciplines of all the members of one group
A deep-cleaning of the kitchen pantry and kitchen counters
A road trip to Montana’s Ross Creek Cedar Grove and meditation for planetary healing.
* Our community celebration was held on Wednesday, June 29 in which 55 of the 80 people involved in the 1st series attended, including 2 not-yet-a-member/curious folks! Hosts and Pilot Group members were acknowledged. Also, those present had the opportunity to share their experiences of the impact of their SpiritGroup on their lives with the large group as well as meet with Dr. Gary for a testimonial. In small groups, people noted feedback on how to improve the program and then came together as a large group again to dance the “5 Spiritual Disciplines.” Then we celebrated with cake!
* Leadership attendance at broader Unity events
Rev. Jane, Dr. Gary Simmons and Tara Wear (SpiritGroup Program Leader) attended the 1st annual Small Groups Leadership Summit in Kansas City, MS on the Unity Village campus. Awards were received by our ministry for our excellent engagement of our community in our SpiritGroups (Glenda Engagement Award), our leadership as a ministry in SpiritGroup work (Campus of the Year award) and in the category of Challenge (Challenge Group Leader of the Year, Tara Wear). Rev. Jane & Dr. Gary Simmons attended the People’s Conference in Kansas City. While there, they both produced video curriculum for future SpiritGroups.
A Preview: Looking Into The Future
Preparing for our fall series, From the celebration:
9 New Hosts signed up (were members of a group and want to host in fall)
5 Returning hosts (hosted last series)
6 Host Mentors (previous hosts)
23 people said they would join a SG in the fall
Fall Series-Week of September 11: Kickoff Week!
Week of Sept 11:Groups get to know each other, learn about what to expect and discuss group agreements. Sample agenda & handouts provided in Host Packet
Week of September 18: Introduction to the 5 Spiritual Principles w/Video Segment 1 & Facilitator Discussion Guide provided in Host Packet)
Weeks of September 25 — October 23: Curriculum and discussion, w/Curriculum options still to be determined
Week of October 30: Service Projects w/Groups perform service projects based on what the group decides
Week of November 6: Small Group Social w/Groups have social event based on what the group decides
Week of November 13: Community Celebration w/Party to celebrate, reflect and begin signups for next series!
Thank you, all – Hosts, participants, financial contributors, Board of trustee members and more! You ALL make SpiritGroups and their success possible!
Tara Wear, SpiritGroups Program Lead
A Word from Rev. Jackie Green
I want to feature Emily Michels (pictured below) from USCSpokane who is our NW Regional Youth Of Unity (YOU) Officer.
She was elected at Rally in April to lead and guide all the regional youth events from July 2016 through July 2017. Judi Jamison will accompany Emily to iYOU the international gathering of teens at Unity Village hosted by Unity Worldwide Ministries. I will have the great pleasure of being there with them also this July 3-8. Here is an excerpt from Emily’s application…
Describe prayer in your life and in YOU.
“I think prayer is not just a statement of gratitude, it is a meaningful communication with Spirit. A prayer can be a single word, or an intention or simply a feeling of energy and spirituality. I use prayer during meditation to get myself in a calm and open state of mind. I use prayer to set an intention for an activity and to define the energy of a space. I use prayer to be thankful for what I have and who I am.”
What is your vision and mission as a regional officer?
“My vision is to create an inclusive, supportive and engaging environment where individuals can have positive, spiritual, educational experiences. I want to make the YOU community stronger and more encouraging than ever. Events are safe spaces where anyone can make friends, have fun and even discover some truth about themselves, I wish to continue this mission. Specifically, I want to teach others how they can find joy in their own lives and in their own identities and through this joy, find love in themselves, others, and in life. I want to teach spirituality not just as an ideal but to teach the useful practical applications of everyday spirituality. The true power of spirit lies within everyday moments.”
We are blessed to have Emily, parents Joni and Tim, brother Johnathon, and cousin Sylas in our Unity family!