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Summer Has Arrived!

Summertime has arrived, abounding in opportunities to rest, relax, and become immersed in the healing beauty of nature. While all of the seasons hold out the promise of supporting our healing work, the summer seems to be tailor made for it. It invites us into spending time releasing the stresses of everyday living, while focusing on the abundant gifts of nature and has great potential for healing.JaneGary_1lo

The Unity movement sprang out of a seemingly incurable healing of tuberculosis in its co-founder Myrtle Fillmore. Inspired by the words, “I am a child of God and therefore do not inherit sickness,” she took on a practice that, in essence, consisted of loving her body back to wholeness, with miraculous results.

Many have been drawn to Unity’s teachings through the healing path over the years, following Myrtle’s lead and seeking their own expression of wellness. This includes not only physical healing, but also emotional, mental and psychological wholeness. In addition, the internal healing effect can extend outward to aid in transforming relationships, finances, career, addictive behavior and all aspects of one’s life.

Healing happens by removing the stress from the body, allowing the neuro-immune system to take over its job of healing whatever is wrong. Although the effects of healing can be as varied as the needs of those seeking healing, the root cause remains the same – it is a spiritual healing and a journey of the heart.

Last March, Dr. Gary shared with the congregation news of his cancer diagnosis and how his healing journey would unfold. You can learn more about his story and his efforts from his blog: drgarysimmons.com. Recently, he joyfully reported that his tumors have shrunk as a result of the many varied approaches and treatment regimens including alternative therapies and a self-directed, heart-centered, energy healing process, in addition to his Keytruda treatments.

Charles Fillmore affirmed, “I have faith in the glorious infusion of the more abundant life of Christ vitalizing me. I am lifted up and healed.” As we allow this glorious infusion within us to fill our awareness, we open the door to loving ourselves back to wholeness. Let us step into this sacred, bountiful time of year, prepared to rest, relax, get still and let the power of Spirit bring forth healing for whatever is showing up in our journey of the heart.

Blessings, Gary and Jane

 

I Spent the Weekend at Unity Village

We, Unity Spiritual Center (USC) of Spokane, are making history! At the Small Groups Leadership Summit this last weekend in Missouri (Unity Village), our center was recognized as the “Campus of the Year” for our spiritual community’s commitment to our mission of transforming lives through SpiritGroups. We are the first Unity to create and invest in a SpiritGroups Program Leader position. Plus, in our first series, we had over 50% of our congregation engaged! USC is a leader in the Unity movement! I just thought you should know…

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Yes, I was blessed with a weekend getaway to Unity Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where I attended the first annual Small Groups Leadership Summit. I have come home energized, excited and ready to take our Center and community to the next level!
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The setting of the Unity Village was perfect with calming fountains, a rose garden in full bloom and quiet sitting areas for peaceful reflection. The musician for the weekend was Robin Hackett (yes, the same angel voice from the SpiritGroups curriculum videos). She is a sparkling soul with a guitar that expresses beautiful Spirit through music (her voice fills my office as I type). She has a gift and brought us all together with her smooth, buttery sounds and soulful, uplifting lyrics.Inspirational ministers, leaders, volunteers and curious people from several states across the country joined Mendi Audlin (the program creator) and a variety of incredible speakers to share ideas, nuggets of wisdom and stories of true impact on lives changed from SpiritGroups.

So what’s next for our center? We finish our first series at the end of this month after an amazing launch – 10 groups hosted by 14 angel hosts for over 80 participants. That’s more than half of our average Sunday attendance! What this tells me is that a good number of people in our USC community are practicing spiritual disciplines, connecting with each other through exploration of ideas and service and that numerous lives are a-changin’. To continue living our mission, our next series kicks off the week of September 11.

To celebrate and reflect on our first series, we will be having a community-wide event on Wednesday, June 29 @ 6:30 pm in our Unity Spiritual Center Sanctuary. Whether you are a current host or group member, plan to host or be in a group in the fall, are simply curious about what all these people have been up to for the last ten weeks or just want to come celebrate with us, please join us at the end of the month.

Hope to see you there!
Tara Wear

Emotional Baggage and Parenting

Rev. Jane spoke last Sunday about the emotional baggage we might still be carrying with us in our present lives: the hurts and traumas from our past weighing us down. It takes work to unpack these “bags.” We must unlearn what we’ve learned in order to try and cope with these hurts and to carry on with the business of living (Listen for Rev. Jane’s “The Great Unlearning” talk for help).

And work we shall do if we want to live an awakened life and nurture healthy relationships with our family members, friends and community members. One woman, Dr. Shefali, has been raising awareness on the issue of decluttering and clearing out our emotional baggage, especially as it relates to parenting. She’s received a lot of media attention lately on the topic of present parenting and nurturing awakened families. She’s a clinical psychologist, and she resonates with Oprah Winfrey, the most famous Unity member we know 😉 So it seems like an appropriate topic for our blog.

Dr. Shefali states, “Our egos get hooked and we lose our ability to educate for the sake of education. We begin to project all sorts of emotions onto our children that were not theirs to bear, but instead ours to process and heal. It is here that we muddy the waters. If we were able to stay unemotional and simply teach our children the right way to behave, without drama, then we would have mastered the ability to contain our children the conscious way.” Wow. Ponder that for a while. Then receive this blessing….

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Rev. Jane and Dr. Gary left today on a road trip to Unity Village-wish them well. They’ll return recharged and with inspiring words and transformative talks soon.

This Sunday, hear from Rev. Michael Moran, and next Sunday plan on spending Fathers’ Day with us and guest speaker, Dennis Ashley. Then Dr. Gary speaks, June 26 on “To Have and Not to Have-That is the Question.” Blessings to you.

Summer Discoveries Newsletter

It’s that time again–our Discoveries quarterly newsletter is complete! Link below…

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Read messages from your board president and treasurer, ministers and more. You’ll also have an opportunity to hear one woman’s story about how returning to Unity has transformed her life.

Enjoy!

 

Transforming Lives: Brianna Dirks

dirksBrianna Dirks started coming to Unity when she was pretty young, around 3 years old. She and her mom recently returned to Unity about 6 months ago.  What brought Brianna back were the discussions with her mom and the memories these sparked about church being an important part of her childhood. Brianna wanted the same kind of experience for her two boys, so she’s returned. Since she’s been back, Brianna, her husband and her mom joined the gardening Spiritgroup that Dee Mueller and Linda Tweedy lead. It has been a wonderful experience for her to build closer connections with others in this small group. Meetings are fun and full of laughter and camaraderie and good food. You can see  some wonderful recipes online at the website that her husband developed for their SpiritGroup: unityspokane.iscookin.com

When asked how her return affected her and her family, Brianna said, “It has been an emotional journey for me to return to Unity Spiritual Center. It was months before I could make it through the Peace Song without getting tears in my eyes. I struggle with an anxiety disorder and depression. Church actually became the first place that I have been able to go to without having panic attacks. Unity Spiritual Center is truly a safe place for me, full of loving, caring people. Gary and Jane have impacted my life in so many ways that I cannot even begin to express them all. The Art and Practice workshop as well as their Sunday sermons have helped me heal numerous deeply embedded injuries to my soul. I still have lots of work to do, but I am positive about what my future holds! In addition, Sunday school has already become a transformative experience for my younger son. He told me that everyone is accepting and caring in a way that he has never experienced outside of our home before.”  Thanks for sharing your story Brianna and for returning to your spiritual home!

 

Join us on the Journey – Become a Member Today!

Our center’s mission is all about transforming lives and inspiring people to make a positive difference in the world. If this sounds like a purpose you can get behind, you are invited to join our inclusive and diverse spiritual community!

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There are two phases of membership in Unity, not unlike two phases of a labyrinth walk. The first phase is called becoming a Community Member, the entry point of walking the labyrinth, the beginning of an intentional journey. The second phase if called becoming a Governing Member, the return part of the labyrinth walk, and symbolizes the deeper progression of becoming a member of Unity Spiritual Center.

Community Member orientation meetings are scheduled at least two times each year. Those interested in becoming a Community Member must fill out a New Community Member Application and attend a Community Member orientation meeting. Upon completion of the orientation and application process, new Community Members will be officially recognized during the Sunday service following the Community Member orientation.

Governing Members are officially received into our organization once a year, prior to our Annual Membership meeting. Community Members who have fulfilled their community member commitments for at least a year are eligible to make application for the Governing Member role. Once it is verified that the qualifications for the Governing Member role have been fulfilled, the application will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Whether your time with us is for a little while or for a lifetime, you will find love, acceptance, kindness, and prayerful support in your journey of spiritual self-discovery. We welcome you on this journey! Email Dr. Gary at drgaryATunityspokane.org with your membership questions.

Kid’s Week Returns This July!

Are you thinking about summer already? We are, and we’re getting prepped for our super-fun summer camp: Kid’s Week! Kid’s Week is designed to be a fun and creative experience for children ages 4 to 11. Mornings will begin with uplifting songs and affirmations, then groups will visit different activity stations. Children will have a simple lesson, create crafts, plus have a snack and play time. Our theme will take children on an adventure to explore the good within themselves, within others, and within the world around them.

One of our youth ed volunteers, Mary Ladwig, had this to say about lat year’s camp,

“I have been loving this whole experience this year!  I especially loved that all of you somehow captured my intention and wanted to make it as good as I did.  I have been so wowed to be working with so many teachers! I felt so supported!  My teaching experience was really isolated and I would happily have worked in a grade or a building with any of you…because of the respect that you [the teachers] gave this material, I have a greater respect for the intentions of the writers of so many other curriculums that we use in the Youth area.  Much gratitude to all of you!”

Register today and reserve your spot. Download the app KidsCampregistrationform2016 and mail it in-2900 S Bernard 99203

Or bring it to our center with your $25 fee.

 

Sacred Rubble 2016 Wrap Up

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Clothing, sporting goods, musical instruments, tools, pet supplies, toys, books, furniture, art, linens, household goods, high-end items. That was some of what we saw at our Sacred Rubble Rummage Sale. Aside from all the amazing STUFF, there was love, organization, community, fundraising, laughter, sweat, commitment, dedication, creativity, energy and transformation. We had it all!

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Over 900 people came through our doors to shop our amazing sale, and about that many volunteer hours went into creating this wonderful community event.

Sacred Rubble is us living our values and fulfilling our mission. “Transforming lives…” You bet! Here’s Cassie, who won our 50/50 raffle and is planning to take the money and buy a greenhouse to fulfill her daughter’s wish of having a garden. Winning that money will lead to a positive change for Cassie and her daughter–growing food, eating nutritious veggies, and sharing the bounty with their friends and family.

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“Inspiring people…” The Dress Shoppe (that’s part of our sale where high-clothing items are placed) and the creativity that went into making a lovely space for people, painted a perfect picture of inspiring people. Dee, Annette, and Judi were not only volunteering their time, they were volunteering their ideas, their energy and their wish to make other women’s lives more beautiful.

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“Making a difference in the world…” doesn’t just happen.

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Gary Lock kept everything, and all of us, highly organized and motivated to build a different kind of rummage sale. We do our best to honor the goods that are donated. People trust us to do positive things with their items. Our neighbors in the Comstock/Cannon neighborhood, as well as our congregants, were encouraged to declutter and donate items that no longer served them, shaking off some of that mortal coil that can weigh us down. Many of us have too much stuff, and we’re happy to share. Gary made sure that we priced items low so that families, students, immigrants, people on fixed incomes, and everyone else could spend a little money to receive a lot.

Post sale we continue to spread the wealth around, and the ripples of generosity reverberate around the community. Leftover items went to the Center for Spiritual Living for their sale. Clothing suited to teenagers got donated to VOA’s Crosswalk teen shelter. Other clothing was given to East Valley School District for a textile drive, and the remainder will be donated to Goodwill.

Thank you ALL for donating your time, talents and treasure to our 2016 Sacred Rubble sale! Thank you for helping us make a difference in the world!

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Alternatives to Violence & Rev. Jane in The Fig Tree

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Pastor Working in Prisons Finds Many Prisoners Seek Alternatives to Violence

“Many people in prison for life or serving long sentences want to escape the violence they experience there.  Many want to move outside the defensive bravado façade that living in a prison engenders.  Many want to avoid becoming abusive themselves.

Jane Simmons, who began as co-pastor at Unity Spiritual Center in Spokane in April 2015, has spent 16 years offering Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) training programs in prisons in her native country of Canada as well as around the United States.  Now she is offering classes to train others who may be interested in being AVP facilitators.

Workshops help participants increase self-awareness, empathy and personal responsibility through techniques for interpersonal peacemaking and transforming conflict through community building, communication exercises and cooperative games.

In a 20-hour weekend in February, Jane and two facilitators led 10 people in a basic workshop, the first step to becoming facilitators. Members of the congregation and her husband and co-pastor, Gary, were among the participants.

She hopes to offer the program in Spokane-area prisons, similar to the one being offered at the Monroe Correctional Facility.”

To read the full article click HERE