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SpiritGroups: A review AND preview!

A Quick Review: Our 1st Series at Unity Spiritual Center!

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* 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

Tara

Important Dates: Next SpiritGroups Series

Please mark your calendar!
  • All: Fall SpiritGroup sign-ups begin mid-late August
  • All: Next series begins week of September 11 and concludes week of November 13
    • Week 1 — Welcome Week (Get to know each other, decide on group agreements)
    • Week 2 — Intro Week (5 Spiritual Disciplines practiced in SpiritGroups)
    • Week 3-7 — Topic Content Weeks (A few options will be available for host’s choosing.)
    • Week 8 — Service Project week (Details determined by group)
    • Week 9 — Social Event week (Details determined by group)
    • Week 10 — SpiritGroup Community Celebration Week (Wednesday, November 16 @ 630pm
  • New Hosts: “One-on-One” with Tara held August 1 — 19 (scheduled individually)
  • All Hosts (New and Returning): Attend Host Orientation/Training EITHER:  Wednesday, August 24 @ 6:30—8pm OR Sunday, August 28 @ 1–230pm
  • Returning Hosts: Small-Group Facilitation Training is Sunday, September 18 @ 1–3pm (Optional)
  • Host Mentors: Orientation date to be determined based on volunteer’s schedule availability (See Tara)
Know someone you think would be a super host or would benefit from being in a SpiritGroup??? Send them my way on Sunday mornings or have them email me at twearATunityspokane.org
Comments and/or questions? Please let me know. Thanks!!
Tara
Cheers – To the next series and our future transformations!
Tara

Youth Connection with Rev. Jackie

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.

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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!

 

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.