Welcome to the second monthly newsletter for Canada's Unity communities. In this edition, we highlight our board chairperson Rev. Vicki Vanderhorst, an exciting update in the education policy, and a message from the Member Services Department. To help prepare for Easter celebrations, we include links to Easter images and videos, articles and sermons by Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore and others. And we celebrate Anthony Burbidge of Unity Spiritual Centre of Calgary and his award for Best Music Video at the 2016 emPower Music and Arts Positive Music Festival!
As always, submissions and ideas are most welcomed.
Blessings of renewal and awakening to all of us this Easter season,
Rev. Doris Lewis, who has served at Unity of Victoria since 2004, is retiring in April 2017. We bless Rev. Doris as she embarks on a new chapter in her life, with gratitude for her service and devotion.
Welcome to Rev. Bruce Kellogg, who will become the minister at Unity of Vancouver in mid-April.
We congratulate Rev. Roxanne Buckle who graduated from the Field Licensing Program on March 16, 2017. Roxanne will be ordained on May 28 at Unity Spiritual Centre Ottawa.
Congratulations to Anthony Burbidgeat Unity Spiritual Community of Calgary. Anthony took home the Best Music Video award at the 2016 emPower Music & Arts Positive Music Awards ceremony. Watch and listen to the powerful message in the award-winning music video "Us and Them".
Please note the new address for Unity Ministry in Motion:
Rev. Pat Ball
16404 Somervale Link SW, Calgary, AB
GETTING TO KNOW YOU This month we meet Rev. Vicki Vanderhorst, the board president of Unity Canada and minister at Unity Comox Valley in Courtenay, BC.
Where were you born? I was born in Rochester, New York. When I was 16 years old our family moved to Los Angeles which was quite a shock. I grew up in the 60’s and in the hotbed of civil rights, the Vietnam War, ‘free love', and ‘back to the land’ which all had a powerful impact on how and where I lived my life from that time forward.
Where have you lived? When I graduated from high school I moved to New York City and worked at the first crisis centre in the US. It was in East (Spanish) Harlem and so I was adopted by the Puerto Rican/Black neighborhood where I lived. At that time I discovered a college that sent its students around the world to be involved in other cultures and see the world from a larger perspective. It was run by the Quakers. I moved to a small remote village in Kenya for a year and helped in the area of community health. I learned to speak Swahili.... ...and travelled extensively around east Africa. I journeyed overland in a Land Rover from Kenya to Nigeria which was quite an adventure and could not be duplicated today. Through this college, I came to Canada in 1973. I moved to Quadra Island and fell in love with the lifestyle and the people and one particular man, who became my husband and the father of my two amazing children: Juliette and David. We bought 10 acres with some friends, cleared the land, built our homes, started a Waldorf School and a second-hand store. In 1988 our family moved to Victoria where I discovered Unity.
What was your path to ordination?
I started taking classes because I was intrigued by the concept that I could do something about my life’s experiences and that I was co-creating with Spirit and did not have to let ‘stuff’ happen to me. I became a Licensed Unity Teacher in 2001, with no plans to enter the ordination path. I loved to teach and that was good enough for me. Although I had several opportunities to enter the Field Licensing Program I turned them down as I did not want to become a minister. After serving with Unity ministers for over 15 years I knew what a tough vocation it was. When we moved to the Comox Valley in 2009, I was again presented with the option to enter Field Licensing, so I had to have a good ‘talk’ with Spirit to help me question my beliefs about ministry and how could I serve more fully. As you know Spirit – that would be my own Higher Self – prevailed and in 2015 I was ordained.
What’s your favorite aspect of ministry?
I love to teach and create an environment for optimum spiritual transformation. I love being a witness (and support) to the sometimes arduous path of self realization. I also find supporting people through life’s traumas, difficulties and transitions is a sacred privilege and one I hold gently and lovingly.
If there is one thing you'd like people to know, what would it be?
We are so much stronger and wiser than we think. Our thinking can keep us back from engaging the heart more fully and realizing our full potential more beautifully. I love this journey and I love that I am in such good company on this path of spiritual evolution!
2017 CANADIAN CONFERENCE AT UNITY VILLAGE
Mark your calendars for the 2017 Unity Canada Conference,
Wednesday October 25- Monday October 30, 2017
at Unity Village,
the 'mecca' of the Unity movement.
Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsettwill be our keynote presenter.
She is the author of the award-winning book
"How to Pray Without Talking to God."
We will have other special guests, tours and activities.
Exciting education policy update: be sure to apply for the expanded US Dollar exchange rate grant. Grants are now available for expenses related to completed courses, on-site L&O interviews and on-site intensive weeks for ministerial students including Unity Village and UUMS in Detroit. This policy is retroactive to Jan 1 2016. Students who have successfully completed SEE Credit Classes; Ministerial Path classes and/or pre-requisite Ministerial path classes and/or required L & O and intensive weeks, and have received acknowledged written credit from UWSI mayapply for reimbursementof the US dollar exchange when there is an adverse US dollar exchange rate. (An adverse exchange rate is when the Canadian dollar is valued lesser than the US dollar, causing the student to pay what is essentially a premium on the US charge)
Are you interested in furthering your Spiritual Education? Spiritual Education and Enrichment (SEE) Courses will be offered onsite at Unity Village in May 2017.
Registration is now open for Spring 2017 online SEE courseswhich run from April 17 - June 11, 2017. The courses are offered through Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute.
MEMBER SERVICES: An Invitation from Director Rev. Cynthia Vermillion Foster. Does your ministry need help with bylaws, policies, and procedures? Is there a sense of tension in your ministry? Is your ministry in transition? Do you want to grow your youth and family services program? Are you considering starting a new ministry? Good news! You don’t have to figure it out by yourself. Led by Rev. Cynthia Vermillion Foster, the Member Services Department exists to serve the needs of ministries as they evolve and grow.
Member Services offers primary resources used in ministries:
Employment support for ministers and for ministries. Employment contracts; ministry postings.
Youth and family services program support.
Ministry administration support including budgets, bylaws, policies and procedures.
Transitional support. Supporting ministries as they prepare themselves to welcome their next minister.
Ministry skills and consultancy. Supporting ministries as they work through changes.
Guidance regarding ethics concerns. Member Services works in alignment and consultation with the Ethics Review Team.
Hot off the press! “Embracing Ministry Together” is a new resource manual which is now available for ministers and ministries as they “dance” together. It includes subjects such as the employment contract,
how to create a feedback-rich environment, tips for planning and evaluating ministry initiatives, and other practical suggestions to encourage ministers and ministries to embrace the joy of ministering together. If you are interested in receiving this manual, please contact Rev. Cynthia Vermillion Foster.
In the next few months, member services will expand its offering to include the ability to get training and support online. The Blackboard platform is currently used by Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute for delivery of classes, and will be used to connect with ministries for training and consultancy. This will make it easier for smaller or geographically remote ministries to get support in a cost-effective way.
In Canada, our regional consultant Rev. Pat Ball works closely with the Member Services Department to facilitate training, support ministries in transition and assist with bylaws and rules that are specific to Canada and individual provinces.
“Member Services cultivates relationships and a feedback-rich environment with Unity ministries and leaders. Through leading edge services and resources, we collectively prosper and evolve in spiritual community.”
Please don’t hesitate: if you have an issue that you’re unsure about, if you’re wondering if your ministry would benefit from board training, if you have a question about policy, if you are considering an expansion in youth and family ministry, please contact Member Services Director Cynthia Vermillion Foster, or Rev. Pat Ball.
Cynthia Vermillion Foster: Cynthia@unity.org816-282-8741 Pat Ball: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUILDING A PRODUCTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS As you have AGMs and there are changes on your boards, remember to take the time to form as a group before trying to address ministry business. Remember the 4 stages of building a group or team:
For ideas to build a strong board, contact Rev. Pat Ball. Pat is the "411/911 assistance" equivalent for Canadian ministries. Pat is a resource for guidance and/or support regarding policies and procedures, ministry dynamics, board training and ministry consulting. She can be reached by email at email@example.com