Message from the Minister

Minister's Report for the UCCM Annual Meeting on February 6, 2011

There is much to celebrate this year at UCCM. We have continued to stand strong in our numbers with 56 members, 30 friends and 15 children and teenagers actively involved in our church. We have developed our paid staff by increasing the salary of our Youth Education Director- June House, adding an Assistant Youth Education Director-Natalie Sowell, hiring and increasing the salary of the Music Director-Rachael Douglas, doubling the weekly hours of our Office Manager-Patricia Sarty and adding a Sanctuary Set Up Person-Nancy Minto and Take Down Person-Michael Wagg to our payroll. We welcomed the addition of 5 new Ministry Teams: the Flower Team led by Jeannette Cardozo, the Green Team led by Jennifer Snay, the Greeter Team led by Robert Blozie, the Usher Team led by Patti Rossi, and the Worship Assistant Team led by Jill Baldarelli. We implemented a new Unity Prayer Chaplain Program at the church consisting of 6 Prayer Chaplains: Jill Baldarelli, Lois DeMille, Arlene Dorischild, Cathy Estey (Coordinator), Betty Hunt and Pat Sarty. Our education program consisted of one book study on Eckert Tolle taught by Arlene Dorsichild and Carol Virostek, a Spanish Prosperity Class focusing on Rev. Edwene Gaine's book taught by Jeannette Cardozo and Alfredo Cass, and a Prayer Class taught by Cathy Estey. In addition, I taught the 4T Prosperity Program, the Bible Overview of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Bible Overview of the Christian Scriptures and the Prosperity Plus Program focusing on the work of Rev. Mary Morrissey. We expanded our spiritual activities to include a Silent Meditation Retreat, 2 Dances of Universal Peace led by Amina Silk and Arif Leininger, and a Board Training facilitated by Rev. Pat Bessey. We also expanded our physical space to include the use of the Carriage House for our Youth Education Program and we implemented a new Safety Policy to protect our children.

We had many guest speakers: Rev. Pat Bessey, Matt Denton, Arlene Dorischild, Cathy Estey, Paula Estey, David Friedman, Rev. Charlotte Gordon, Rev. Harv Meppelink, Sean O'Shea, Michelle Pelletier, Rev. Robin Reiter, Virginia Swain, and Jackie Woodside who added greatly to the richness and variety of our Sunday services. Sunday sermons included an eight week summer series on Spirituality and the Arts. During this series we had our very first Taize service as well as the first production of a Unity Play entitled "You Can't Fake Family." Workshops were presented by Rev. Pat Bessey on the Conflict Resolution, Jeannette Cardozo on Treasure Mapping, Matt Denton on Photography, David Friedman on Voice, Rev. Charlette Gordon on Native American Drumming, June House on Nutrition, Liz Myska on Life Planning, Michelle Pelletier on Acting, Rev Robin Reiter on Sacred Abundance, Natalie Sowell on Youth Education, and Virginia Swain on Life’s Purpose. And approximately twenty UCCM members completed the first year of the Enlightened Leadership Program presented by Unity Institute.

Our regular activities such as the UCCM choir directed by Claudia Acerra and the monthly Kirtan gatherings with Shubal continue to inspire and thrive. Our community gave of their time, talent and treasure to Camp Putnam by attending their annual brunch at the Coral Seafood Restaurant and to Children’s Friend Inc., by blessing many children and their families with gifts at Christmas time and by helping with the clean up after their biggest fund raiser event: the Ice Cream Big Dipper at Elm Park. A fun filled and prosperous Coffee house Concert was held featuring Rachael Douglas, Shilrey McAfee, Sonia Osio and Erik Peterson. And we had 55 people attend our annual church picnic in Douglas.

At the church last year, I had the blessing of baptizing Dane Cameron Mitchell on August 8, 2010 and Amy Nicole Cardozo Meyzan on August 15, 2010 and I had the sacred honor of officiating at Doris Welsh's memorial service on July 10, 2010. I conducted 30 spiritual counseling sessions, 12 hospital visits, 6 visits to Nursing Homes and I made countless pastoral care and prayer calls to members and friends of our spiritual community. On a regional level I continued to serve on the Eastern Regional Board of Trustees and to sponsor and supervise the Spiritual Leader, Cherie Fisher, of Unity of Radiant Light in Providence Rhode Island. On a national level I joined the Licensing and Ordination Team which reviews ministerial candidates at Unity Institute twice a year.

As you can gather from what I have written so far, it truly has been a busy, and event filled time in my life and in the life of our spiritual community. But more than just reporting the busyness of doing and accomplishing so many things at the church, I would like to end this report with several questions for all of us to consider. Questions relating directly to the five core beliefs of Unity.

1.) Do we have a better understanding of the concept of God and did any of us experience the presence of God for the first time in 2010?
2.) Do we understand more clearly our relationship to the divine and do we know now, without a doubt, that we are sons or daughters of the Most High?
3.) Have we learned the universal laws of Truth and successfully demonstrated these laws in our lives?
4.) Are we now meditating every day and praying effectively with positive results?
5.) How many of us are finally “Walking the Talk” of Truth and transforming our lives?

I would be so much happier to be able to write an annual report with the answers to these questions. But for now, I must be satisfied with what we did in 2010 and wait to see who we have become in 2011.

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. B.J. Stannard