On Sunday, October 22nd Jeanne Keller led a breakfast discussion to address five questions that would help us identify a way forward to maintain and grow our spiritual community. Jeanne set the stage by explaining the current environment for churches in general and the Unity movement in particular. After presenting the current realities of spirituality in the US and in Unity, and defining some terms such as minister, spiritual leader, etc., there was considerable discussion around the first of the five questions “Are we ready to begin our search for a new minister? If no, what needs to be addressed and resolved before the search begins? We heard a number of diverse viewpoints that can best be summarized as most members were ready for a change, but uncertain about the nature of that change and what it might involve. The second part of that question, what needs to be addressed and resolved before the search begins? And the four other questions were left open as our time together ran out.
On Sunday, November 12th, Jeanne will lead a continuation of our discussion on the remaining questions presented below. To facilitate that discussion, the remaining questions are presented below in a slightly different format to help members consider their thoughts and contribute to UCSG’s approach to moving forward.
1. What needs to be addressed and resolved before the search begins?
a. Do we want to search for a Spiritual Leader who is a “duly ordained or Licensed Unity Minister” (Bylaws Section 4.02 (a) 1.) (Note: Unity Worldwide Ministries would approve of an ordained minister, a Licensed Unity teacher, most ordained interfaith ministers, and ordained ministers/teachers from New Thought traditions.)
b. Do we want to expand the search for a spiritual leader beyond the definitions currently approved in the UCSG bylaws?
c. Do we want to continue with multiple speakers without a Minister/Spiritual Leader?
d. If we decide to search for a Minister/Spiritual Leader, how many Sundays do you want them to deliver the message with other Sundays filled by guest speakers?
1. Every week
2. Three times a month
3. Twice a month
2. What are the top 2-3 strengths/positive qualities of UCSG?
a. Unity core beliefs
b. Sense of community
c. Sunday Service
d. Fellowship after service
e. Youth programs
Other strengths: ________________________________________________________________
3. What are the top 2-3 things you believe UCSG should accomplish in the next 3 years?
a. Grow membership
b. Expand classes and programs
c. Identify a charitable cause to support (more involvement in our community)
d. Expand music program
e. Provide more social events
f. Develop a clear and inspiring mission statement
g. Improve the exterior and presence of the building, including our street front sign
h. Keep things the same
i. Promote Unity to millennials and youth
j. Promote Unity to 50 and older adults
k. Create and develop teams to support the center
Other thoughts: ________________________________________________________________
4. What do you envision as the focal point of a Minister/Spiritual Leader?
a. Sunday service message that is engaging, powerful and thought provoking
b. Growing membership
c. Counseling, weddings, funerals and related family/personal support
d. Classes and education
e. Youth program development
f. Actively engaged in the community promoting Unity
Other thoughts? __________________________________________________________________
5. Rank the following qualities of a new Minister from most important to least important. (“1” most important to “5” least important)
( ) Communication (Inspirational speaker, good listener, demonstrates prayer consciousness)
( ) Human Relations (compassionate, sensitive, fosters collaboration and compromise)
( ) Pastoral Care (home/hospital visits, prays with members)
( ) Leadership (inspires a sense of confidence, mentors/develops others, and encourages volunteer participation)
( ) Spiritual Counseling (maintains confidences, helps people develop a spiritual practice, ministers to people in crisis)
Please mark your responses to these questions on the form and bring the form to the meeting if you are attending. If you are unable to attend, please fill out the form and e-mail it to email@example.com.
Thank you for your help!
Unity Board of Trustees