I am so thankful for the strong response we had for the Visioning Exercise we had on April 22. More than 30 congregants came to the event to share from their hearts a visioning experience. This is what we are all about: a community of loving souls that together want to create a beautiful experience in their lives, their spiritual community, and as it turns out from the event, also to have a positive impact in the larger community in which we live.  The whole Prosperity Team was truly touched. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being so generous with your time, showing up on a beautiful sunny day after a long and cold winter. Really, you are the best.

I’m writing this article to share with you the main ideas that surfaced in the visioning event. They are broadly classified as follows.

1. Our Space: We would like…

  • A bigger space, with lots of room to move.

  • A large auditorium for music and choir.

  • Lots of natural light, lots of light. Space that is light and gracious.

  • Comfortable chairs, comfortable furniture, natural elements.

  • Space that is accessible to all.

  • Easy parking, easy access to church from parking.

  • A big garden with a solar fountain.

  • Interest in environmental/green technology projects.

Most people envisioned a new church building. Others simply building on what we have. A second floor perhaps? Both are possibilities.

Whatever we’ll do, it will have to happen in an organic way. The questions that come to mind are: Are we ready for a new building? Are we ready for a new location? There is definitely a desire for growth, which is not new. This desire is also reflected below, in a desire for a strong youth program, and a much larger community with lots of families.

2. Youth Program.

There was a strong desire to have a large youth program. Members envision children running around, teen running the technical support, children choir, teens bands, you name it. We want lots of families with children, and lots of program for children and young adults.

And truly, we are ready. The late Jane Bloom and Trudy, had developed a variety of programs for different age groups. Growing the youth program is connected with growing our membership. I feel that at this point, our work is to keep holding the intention for a larger Unity community with lots of families with children. It will happen.

3. Who We Are.

  • Unity is a healing place for many, including outside groups.

  • We are a beacon of Peace.

  • Seekers find us, 1st timers are inspired.

  • A very active community, lots of involvement in what is going on.

  • Expanded feeling of love, stronger than now.

  • Church diversity is much increased in terms of: age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income levels, etc.

  • We are prosperous. $1M showed up.

4.  What We Want.

  • Speakers from many spiritual traditions (ACIM, Buddhism, Sufi, etc.),

  • Interfaith series.

  • More spiritual gatherings: prayer, meditation, and retreats.

  • Small groups for growing spiritually and life sharing. Stay together for 3-4 years.

  • Support groups (singles, couples, parenting, etc.).

  • Sharing Circles: gratitude, healing, miracles.

  • Lots of classes, wide variety of topics & offerings.

5. Ministry

  • Vibrant teams, high number of joyful volunteers.

  • Thriving administrative staff.

  • Crystal is our minister.

  • Music: The vibration is high! Many types of music, great huge stage, choir 1x month.

  • Live stream classes with two-way participation.

  • Videotape classes and offer through library.

6. Community

  • Many ideas for community events, including: Circulation day, Garage Sale, international culinary day, etc.

  • Adopt a family on a week-to-week basis.

  • Meet-up group->outreach->increase in people.

  • A homeschooling resource center, different rooms for each age group – not religious, no indoctrination, no proselytizing.

  • Safe space for kids in community, after school program.

  • Psychic healing resource facility (learning & doing).

  • Opportunities for giving back within our church and the larger community.

  • Resource for neighbors.

  • More recognition of Unity in Albany.

As you see, there were many ideas for growth and transformation. Some ideas can be acted upon immediately, some would need a 1 to 5 years plan, and some would require a longer term strategy. Specially for the later ones, we remind ourselves that “everything is created twice”,  first is the thought, then the realization of that thought/idea. We have done the first step in manifestation process. Now we need to keep a steady focus on what we want to create, and act with inspired action.

As we move through this visioning process, I am reminded that we are following in the footsteps of Myrtle and Charles, who created Unity with a visioning process of their own. In “Healing Letters” Myrtle writes:

But in reality, I feel that I am only the soul who caught the first vision of this ministry, and who nurtured that vision until others came along to help in the establishment of it in the minds and hearts of our dear ones, and to help in the molding in substance the outer forms of this school and its work.

…the Unity work is a dream that has been nurtured and built from the invisible to the concrete through love, devotion, and good, hard work.

I love her writings and the truth behind her words. It is love that creates, it is our love that will create the vision that we have for Unity in Albany. How beautiful and inspiring is that thought? Our love, our devotion, our commitment and our hard work. Our nurturing of our community.  Myrtle continues letting us know that, in this process, we are expression of the nurturing side of the divine:

It is my great joy to perceive somewhat of the mother side of God–the divine love that never fails and that is equal to the drawing of souls to itself. It is my prayer to be able to radiate the qualities of this divine love to all. You too are the mother of Unity, because in your heart you have the same ideals, and the same great generous spirit, and the endless and tireless service, and the love that never fails!

You too are the mother of Unity, because in your heart you have the same ideals, and the same great generous spirit, and the endless and tireless service, and the love that never fails!

And she calls us to energize our vision with love, commitment and action. To organize then that process, the Prosperity Team will be soon unfolding  plans for the next step in the visioning process. This will be a follow up event, where we can look at the different inspired visions and, under divine guidance, form committed teams that will put their energies behind the different ideas for our Unity family.  Summer is a busy time for people. Many congregants are traveling and visiting family. And so we don’t have a definite date yet for the follow up event, but keep an eye for it. The date will be announced soon.

With a grateful heart, Karin.