a positive path for spiritual living

Rev Steve Colladay, 1942-2024

We were deeply saddened to hear of Rev Steve Colladay’s passing in late February 2024.
Steve’s obituary begins,

With profound sadness and a gentle embrace of memory, we share the heart-wrenching news of Rev. Dr. James Stephen “Steve” Colladay’s departure from this world. On the serene morning of Friday, February 23, 2024, he softly transitioned into a realm of eternal peace and solace. He has found his rest after a brief illness.

It is not surprising to learn that Steve’s transition was gentle and serene. He was, after all, a transition specialist!

For those who are newer to our ministry, Rev Steve came on board to guide us through our transition period following Rev Crystal Muldrow’s departure early in 2020. Yes, that year. Steve arrived in Albany from Missouri during the last week in March against the advice of friends and colleagues, as New York was reported to be something of a pandemic hot bed at the time. But Steve made the journey and jumped right in, helping us navigate those early days of live-streamed-only services and Zoom gatherings of all kinds.

He led a weekly “Heart to Heart with Steve” on Zoom to enable us to get to know him and vice versa. He initiated and facilitated a Unity Membership Class on Zoom. And the Zooming continued… There was a Wednesday class series on A Course of Love — a spiritual teaching close to Steve’s heart — and later a book study of Gary Simmons’s The I of the Storm. Steve instituted our first Spirit Group series, uniting our community around the study of Christian Sorenson’s Living from the Mountaintop.

These were days and months of isolation for many, but for those of us who joined one another and Rev Steve for these programs, we knew the strength and solace of heart-centered community.

Then there was the official Transition period in the summer of 2020. Steve knew that ministry transitions are a rocky road and he provided many opportunities for our community to meet that time head on with courage and honesty, always guided by his own huge open heart.

To honor the sacredness of transitions in ministerial leadership by providing specialized programs that support healthy spiritual community through transitional periods in ministry. We utilize skills and tools that contribute to transformative integration of the past with future possibilities.
Statement of Intention for Unity Worldwide Ministries Transition Ministry Support Team

The centerpiece of our transition period was called HOPCOF – Honoring Our Past, Creating Our Future
It involved a deep dive into our history, allowing for safe and open dialogue; a clearing of the air around any past hurts and releasing of any old energy;  a reconciliation healing ceremony; clarifying our core values and more – the whole process (“Trust the process”, said Steve often!) enabling us to strengthen our community and embrace a bright future.

Through all nine and a half months of Steve’s time with us (his farewell Sunday service was held on January 17, 2021) he shared so abundantly from the deep well of his being.  I invite you to visit unityalbany.org and to use the search field at the top left of the homepage. Type in “colladay” and take a little time to look back over those 9 1/2 months. Read articles Steve posted on Simply Counting My Blessings (and download Steve’s Attitude of Gratitude Primer!),  The Healing Power of Amends, and The Summer of a New Dimension of Love. Find out about the Journey Through Grief series he led with the late Patricia Hunt-Perry.

What a legacy Steve left us, and what richness he shared in his relatively short time at Unity of Albany.
We were greatly blessed to have him as our transition minister, and our lives have been deeply enriched by his presence and friendship.

-Rev Roger Mock

Rev Steve’s obituary may be found here.

Celebration of Life

Rev Steve Colladay’s Celebration of Life will be held at Unity Village’s Atrium Chapel on Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 pm EDT. It will be live-streamed and if there is interest in doing so, we will broadcast it in the Sanctuary at that time. Please RSVP here.

To watch from home, go to www.unityvillagechapel.org. There are options to watch via YouTube, Zoom, or Facebook.


  1. Roger— what a great reflection on and description of Rev. Steve! Thank you so much! 🙏❤️ although I was there very step of the way, I could never have pulled together as full a picture of Steve’s ideas, programs and many other gifts as you have done. I am particularly grateful for all the links that allow us to savor Steve’s generosity of spirit, spunk and wealth of ideas. He was such a character, truly one of a kind . I am grateful and touched. Thank you🙏🙏🙏🙏

  2. P.S. just in case we have to rsvp here,, I would love to be able to watch Steve’s memorial service from the sanctuary that was his spiritual home base during the pandemic.

  3. Hi Raj,
    Thank you for sharing your recollection of Rev. Steve. I have fond memories of our time with him as well. Upon his arrival, he did not waste time schmoozing or pressing the flesh. He simply said to our Prayer Team and Chaplains:

    “Establish a presence online and implement an outreach campaign.”

    We took a deep breath and figured it out for ourselves. The Chaplain’s online pandemic presence has morphed into our present online “elder outreach” at the Thursday Prayer Hour.

    We love you Steve. Fare well and Godspeed!

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