I have just returned from the annual Unity People’s Convention in Olathe, Kansas. It was a rewarding and inspiring week! I’d like to share some of the highlights and let you know some of what is happening in Unity.
Donna Johnson, CEO of Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) said this was the ‘Just Imagine’ convention. Things were different this year, starting with a joint licensing and ordination ceremony at Unity Village for all the credentialing paths’ graduates. This was the first time they have ever done the graduation and ordination ceremonies together, and it was moving!
We had some great keynote speakers. Rev. Richard Bunch, outgoing UWM board president was powerful in a presentation about ‘back casting’ (as opposed to forecasting). The premise is moving to a point in the future and imagining what we want to see. Then, back-casting to create the plans to achieve it. We heard Rev. Erin McCabe, minister at Unity Village Chapel. She spoke on “No Title”, which has to do with labelling. A powerful duo spoke one evening, Bishop Carlton Pearson and Rev. David Ault. Both were graduates of Oral Roberts University who ended up going in very different directions. Bishop Pearson was the subject of a movie, Come, Sunday. Rev. Ault is now a powerful and successful New Thought, Center for Spiritual Living minister. Finally, there was a panel of well-known and well-respected Unity ministers who shared their thoughts and experiences with us – Rev. Howard Caesar, Rev. Joyce Fisher Pierce, and Rev. John Strickland. John Petersen, a futurist, completed the line-up on Friday morning. I found every speaker interesting and I learned from every one of them.
Awards are given out every year to outstanding people in our movement. This year the Light of God Expressing Award went to Rev. Claudell County, the Myrtle Fillmore Award to Rev. Maxine Martin, and the Charles Fillmore Award to Rev. Joe Sloan. All very deserving people!
We also had some really good seminars. Sometimes, I had a hard time choosing which one to attend! Two that I thought were powerful and very relevant today were Inclusive Leadership for Ministry Leaders and Courageous Conversations. Both offered tools for encouraging inclusivity and connection.
During the business meeting, Donna Johnson reported that UWM and Unity World Headquarters (UWH, aka Unity Village, etc.) are making plans to merge into one organization. This is big news, and it is a huge undertaking. There was much support for this, and she committed to bringing a proposal to the convention next year for the membership to vote on.
It was a wonderful week! What I saw and heard tells me that Unity is moving forward in a very positive, progressive way. I can’t wait to see what happens!