Volunteering as Sacred Service

Roxanne Kornelia3 crop fixSpiritual communities grow and remain healthy when there are opportunities to participate through volunteering. This is not just because the spiritual community has a particular need, but because this volunteer service is an opportunity for each of us to grow spiritually through giving of our time and talents. When we volunteer here at Unity of Santa Rosa we can transform our volunteer opportunity into sacred service.

The perception is there seems to be enough people doing things, so they don’t need me. However, the reality is, there are never enough people volunteering. And this has nothing to do with numbers. What it does have to do with is individual spiritual growth. The reason being, volunteering is another way of worshiping. Volunteering is another way to demonstrate your commitment to doing God’s work. How is this so? Well volunteering is serving, and service is yet another way of connecting your spirit with the Spirit that God is. It is another way to create a perfect union with your higher self, that which we call God or the Christ. That is why there are never enough people volunteering, because there is always an opportunity for someone else to add another dimension to his/her spiritual growth through service.

Another way to view becoming a volunteer in sacred service is to see it as a powerful opportunity for transformation to be experienced. That can’t happen if we simply go about our lives without expressing our true selves. All the great spiritual teachers have observed that there is another authentic aspect to each individual. You can think of it as your true self or your true nature. However you see your true self, you know at the deepest level, that that is what you share with others. That’s what volunteering actually is – it is sharing your self with others in such a way that serves you and them. It is win-win.

So, the opportunity for you to serve Spirit by serving others is here and waiting patiently for you to take your rightful place with others. Remember, there is always room for you to join those who are already volunteering as an additional way of experiencing God. Make a commitment today. We look forward to having you become a part of our volunteer ministry.



Contributed by one of our regular and beloved speakers, Richard Southern, Ph.D.


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New Beginnings

Hard to believe, but here we are at the beginning of a new year, 2015! For many of us the New Year brings thoughts of resolutions. Those being – start to go to the gym, start that new hobby, lose those extra pounds from the holidays or look for that new fulfilling job.

possibilityMay I suggest a couple more to add to this list? One is refocusing on one’s spiritual growth. This can be accomplished by easily attending Sunday service more often. Another is to take part in some of the wonderful workshops that are offered after Sunday service. If you have not taken part in the Prosperity classes, I highly recommend you do so this year. I have heard many people attest how this class has changed their lives for the better. A visit to our new bookstore is a must. There are so many great reads available for purchase that deal with spirituality, life awareness and on the Unity principles.

A second resolution may be to make a commitment to your spiritual community here at Unity of Santa Rosa. If you have been sitting on the fence about joining Unity of Santa Rosa as a member, take the Unity Basics class. This is the first step in becoming a member and a way to learn more about Unity and its principles. You could volunteer for one of the many positions that are available which make it possible for us to put on the high quality Sunday service each week. How about joining a committee and help Unity resolve some of the important issues that arise during the year. Attend the quarterly sessions of talking with the Board and have your voice be heard. Then there are the fun special events that we put on – concerts, potlucks, the church picnic, and the summer party programs are making a return this year!

Yes, the New Year brings many new and exciting possibilities for us. The New Year also brings some endings. My term of being on the Board of Trustees comes to an end this year. I have had the privilege of working with two Boards during my three-year term and the dedication, professionalism and compassion of its members has made me a better person. I have witnessed the congregation come together and keep us on a positive path. Unity is now able to be looking for a part-time minister to give us that consistent spiritual leaUnity - Easter John cropder. I may be leaving the Board, but I am not leaving Unity of Santa Rosa, for this is my spiritual home. I thank you all for your help, counsel, kindness and your trust in me to serve you for the past three years. New beginnings are a great thing!

May the Divine give you all peace and joy in 2015.


John Consedine

Vice President, Unity Board of Trustees


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Gift of Gratitude

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” — Terri Guillemets

Welcome to the season of harvest and thanksgiving, such a precious time of year! The light is low and golden. The vines and trees are in flaming color. Leaves line our trails and sidewalks. The harvest is in, having been stored, sold or pressed. We are readying ourselves for a season of gratitude and celebration.

Gratitude-QuoteAt Unity of Santa Rosa we stay pretty darn grateful. We are grateful for our highly involved community, for our loving congregation, for all the opportunities we’ve had to grow spiritually and be inspired in our lives. We are grateful for the full array of speakers who have come and graced us with their wisdom and heart. We are grateful for Scott Grace’s humor, for Richard Southern’s after-service circles, Alyzsa Van Til’s “wowing” us with mystical amazement, Karen Epps’ expression and passion, Robin Gail’s insight, Margie Brach’s Unity teachings, Kathy McCall’s metaphysical perspective, Karen Drucker’s song, Janice Campbell’s daily life learnings, Bill Engelhart’s dog Shadow, Allan Hardman’s soul story, and Mary Murray Shelton’s provocative lessons. We appreciate our time with Debra O’Rourke, John Butler and Heidi Listug. All these teachers have come to share their gifts and voices with us. They have inspired and uplifted us.

Though for me our church is more than Sunday service, I will always appreciate coming on Sunday. Church aligns me for the week in a heart-centered place from which to perceive my world. I find our culture, news and life demands can erode my spiritual perspective by the end of the work week, and I can forget that I am connected to every other creature and every other person I meet. I can forget I am co-creating my world on a thought-by-thought basis. I can misplace my magnificence and bravery. Our Sunday teachers remind me of the Truth of who I am. My life works better after this Sunday realignment. I feel more peace, joy, love and gratitude. What a gift from my spiritual community! This is the practical Christianity of Unity.

Now is the time to rest for a moment, to look back at the fruits and gifts of the year, coming together in appreciation and celebration for all we are blessed with. We have our church community with all its involved and loving members. We have a sense of spiritual understanding through which to view the world and, hopefully, be able to alleviate some of the jagged edges of being human for ourselves and others. We have this precious day and each other.

Kathy HoarePlease join us in celebration for our Gratitude Concert with Maury and Cheri on November 15th.

In Gratitude,
Kathy Hoare
President, Unity Board of Trustees

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Expect Your Good, Create Your Good

good thingsMy husband and I come from different religious backgrounds. I was raised a Roman Catholic, and my husband was a Southern Baptist. I am grateful for the spiritual foundation I received growing up, but I found, in my twenties, that I wanted something else, something different. I wanted a spiritual home that felt right for both of us. A friend invited us to attend their church, and that is where we were introduced to the concept of New Thought. I started volunteering in the bookstore and began reading this little magazine called the Daily Word.

In Unity, I learned about the power of prayer and the power of affirmations. Looking back at my life “BU” (Before Unity), it is not that I expected bad things to happen, just that I did not always expect good things to occur. I had to do something extraordinary to “deserve” whatever good happened to me. That was just my mindset at the time.

Through the encouragement of great Unity teachers, I realized the power of my mind, of my belief system, of my expectation of good. They showed me that, when I expect good to show up in my life, I look for the good and I actually see it (surprise, surprise!). Situations, circumstances, people whom I might have ignored now became channels for good in my life because I saw the good in all.

A recent article on LinkedIn shows that the secular world is well aware of this power of positive thinking. Here is an excerpt from that article, called “The Power of Belief” by Bruce Kasanoff:

“Never underestimate the power of belief. It works both ways. If you constantly tell yourself you are not capable enough to get promoted or to get a raise, you won’t get either. If you believe you will fail, you will fail. If you fear sickness, you may well fall ill. If you feel your career is headed nowhere, it will probably head nowhere.

“The first step to health, success, and achievement is to believe. But don’t take on this challenge by yourself. Surround yourself with credible evidence that good things are headed your way. Spend time in the company of positive, supportive people. Do whatever it takes to build a strong belief in your mind that success is in your future.”

If you want to be surrounded by positive, supportive people, come experience Unity of Santa Rosa. Join us for Sunday service and stay afterwards for refreshments. Sign up for a workshop or class, such as Prosperity Plus II: Harnessing Your Invisible Power. Attend one of the special events you find on our calendar, such as Guy’s Request Concert.

Randi Vessels picTake charge and create the amazing future that you deserve! For you are part of the Divine, you are a blessing and you are truly blessed!

Randi Vessels
Secretary, Unity Board of Trustees

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Prospering Our Way to the Future

Kathy HoareIn Unity, our basic beliefs are in the all-pervasive, all-good presence of God, along with each one of our own God-selves as a unique expression of Spirit. The reason I am so passionate about prosperity studies is that manifestation is practical, real-world experience of these beliefs. It roots them further in my being by seeing proof of my relationship to this power. Currently, we are almost halfway through the incredible new study materials in Mary Morrissey’s Prosperity Plus II program. For those of you who are not in our summer class, you will have a chance to join us in the fall.

As our community commits to fiscal responsibility in our new ministerial leadership, I invite those who have not yet experienced the power of tithing to experiment with this dynamic spiritual tool. I invite you to a summer experiment, used by other Unity communities, called the Unexpected Income Program (UIP). From now until August 31st, I encourage you to commit to daily prayer of prosperity for yourself and our community and to tithe 10% of any and all unexpected income that comes to you during this period. Unexpected income would be income outside your regular form of income; income arriving “out of the blue.” You will find your focus will shift to the abundance of Source and responding with gratitude, and blessing through tithing unexpected income, you will seed the growth of increased abundance.

Using a conscious and deliberate connection to God through affirmative prayer and tithing, we become more aware of the Presence within ourselves. We see how our mind is part of the Universal Mind. Making a commitment, being open and receptive, and paying attention is all that is required. Please mark any tithes as a result of this summer experiment “UIP” so we can report back to the congregation the results of our exploration.

Please align with many others in our congregation in affirming this prayer each morning from now until August 31st, joining together in the power of collective prayer.

Our Prayer for Prosperity
The rich abundance of God is our infinite resource.
Our lives and our church are wondrously blessed.
Each day the bounty of Source flows into our lives and community.
We are increasingly open and receptive to these blessings, big and small.
As we give freely and fearlessly, our gifts seed our bounty and it is returned many times over.
Many blessings here and now manifest in expected and unexpected ways.
We are so deeply grateful.
And so it is. Amen.

In appreciation of this blessed community,
Kathy Hoare, President, Unity Board of Trustees

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Welcoming Our Future

After an incredible stabilizing two years, our community has moved into being open and ready to receive Unity’s next minister. As the board member assigned to assist the search team, I am excited and honored to participate in this process.

What skills will this person bring with them to Unity of Santa Rosa? Will they be a visionary, a communicator, great in human relations, strong in chaplaincy/pastoral skills, a team player, and a spiritual counselor, or bring with them a strong administration background?

ImageWe as a community will get to decide this and how exciting is that! Every Sunday you will find a yellow sheet of paper asking for your input on this and on a few other topics. The search committee and the board will be reading these and taking notes. The board is going to hold a members’ meeting in the next couple of weeks strictly to talk about the vision for a minister and if the community is behind supporting such a move. Then there is the opportunity to serve on the search team. This team is being led by Ellin Chess, and I want to thank her for taking on this committee.

The process that the search team takes goes something like this: Unity will send in our packet to Unity Worldwide Ministries. This packet will have the job description that we as a community worked on putting together. Any ministers interested in applying for the position will send their resumes to UWM and they will forward them to us. The search team will then review them and set up phone interviews. The search team narrows it down to two or three candidates who will then come for a weekend, do a workshop and a Sunday service. It is then up to the board to decide who is chosen as our part-time minister.

Unity - Easter John cropWhomever Unity hires as a minister, it will be a person that all of us who participated in the process had a say in choosing. I ask that all of you keep the search team and the board in your prayers these next couple of months. I truly believe that we at Unity of Santa Rosa can find a minister with all the qualities that will keep us moving forward but still keep our community the special place that it is.

Blessings to All,

John Consedine

Vice President, Unity Board of Trustees


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What Do You Imagine?

ImageWhy the heck would I join the Board of Trustees again only a year after finishing my previous 3-year Board commitment?

In November of 2012 I wrote the following for the fall Unity newsletter, and it still rings true:

The most valuable gift I get from my participation in Unity of Santa Rosa is an incredible functional family in which to heal, grow and   contribute. In my involvement as a Board of Trustees member, my attendance at Sunday service, my spiritual exploration in community and in the resulting friendships, Unity teaches me every day that I am loved and a precious part of the Infinite Divine. I can’t get this support outside of a spiritual community. I am deeply grateful for this spiritual home.

We are entering an exciting year here at Unity! After a productive, stabilizing and maturing period without ministerial leadership, and under the constant, dedicated leadership of our Board President, Sue Hicks, we have come to the point of adding a minister back into our fold. This is a goal we have had since Rev. Kathy McCall left two years ago. It was hard to see at the time, but events do operate in perfect order. This time of leading ourselves as a community has brought us closer together and given us clarity as to who we are.  We understand every detail of the workings of our church and are now in a position to create a vision for the ministerial leadership that we desire.

The Board will be asking for your input through feedback forms, focus groups and personal conversations. We expect to have a part-time minister by the end of this year. Other 2014 goals will focus on evolving our Sunday speakers, our music program, Youth Education, the bookstore, our Welcome Team, creating great events and educational programs, establishing a Building Fund program to retire our mortgage debt, and expanding our church for a larger, appreciative and involved congregation. We are ready for this. We have the clarity, the imagination, the desire, and most of all, we have such a high degree of involvement and ownership from our congregants.

We’ve got great events coming up this year. The Prosperity Plus program by Mary Morrissey has introduced a 2nd level of course work that will be facilitated here along with the basic class, which begins in March. Movie Nights pick up again this spring, running right through to fall. The 5th Unity Healing Fair will be bigger and better than ever! Rev. Alyzsa will facilitate a fall book study program, and Unity will be adding more workshops, classes and events.

ImageThe evolution of our church is only limited by our imaginations. Please claim ownership to this incredible and dynamic community as it grows and changes. Invite your friends to participate, take a class, step up to the plate. You are invited along for the ride; let’s go together.

Kathy Hoare, Board President

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