From the Board: How Do We Connect Now?

Published on: September 23, 2015

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I have to admit that I am still so charged from this year’s convention! The connections made there started with the opening ceremony, when all of the glow lights were connected, the whole room was bathed in light. We were all connected and we were all united as one. From where I stood it was magnificent!

The energy of the whole convention was so upbeat. I was extremely inspired and so very grateful to be part of this great work we are all doing together. When I chose the theme Honoring the Past and Growing the Future for next year, little did I know what was going to happen … and happen so quickly. I love the way Spirit just jumps in, takes the reins, and off we go!

Like it or not, we are moving in a fast-moving technological age! The world I knew when I came to Unity in 1980 sure isn’t anything like it is today.

We now have phones that Captain Kirk couldn’t operate. We know instantly what is happening in the world—and the staff at Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM), the CEO and the board of trustees have been thrust right into the thick of it.

How Do We Connect Now?

How will we use the new tools and some of the old tools to keep going?

Let’s start with what we know so far: We have eliminated lots of paper from our communication—The Path is electronic, the new Unity Leaders Journal is electronic, the Conversations with Unity Leaders dialog calls are done by an amazing web-based system, and the board now has some of our meetings by Adobe Connect. And look at the Facebook inspirational posts, the YouTube videos of our up-and-coming ministers’ chapel talks, and YouTube inspirational talks.

The new tech connections we are making are just what my granddaughter’s generation not only live for, but it seems to live on. With the grants we are anticipating from the Templeton Foundation—well, hold on to your socks! The sky is the limit!

But, I still believe we need to have human connection involved.

Inviting Teamwork

That is where you all come in. We need you—our Unity ministers, our LUTs, your board members, your congregants and your YOU leaders. The UWM staff and the board can’t do this alone. We need you to roll up your sleeves and dig in to help us. Did you know we currently have 32 active ministry and task teams? Some are short-lived—in and out and done with, and some are ongoing. There are teams that are very active and other that need support. And with the new education program that must be designed, there is much to be done.

As I said, we have to do this together. Just like the glow lights, we have to be connected and pulling together.

Now, I know for some that might not be so easy—not so easy to get back into this together. While I was only on the periphery, I do know that some of our ministers were deeply wounded in the past. I know that things were done, or are being done, so that the past isn’t repeated. But the hurt seems to still be there for some.

I would ask that we all own and recognize that we, as an organization are only 50 years old. That is a dot on the measuring stick in comparison to other organizations. Were mistakes made? … Yes.

Were measures put in place to correct those mistakes? Yes, there were. Are there new policies and procedures in place, protections and advocates so that the same mistakes are not made again? Yes, I believe they have been and I believe everyone is working to ensure we don’t go down the same road again.

And, finally, were apologies made? I have seen letters that were written by past board chairs, and know that apologies were done publicly. Now, as your newest chair of the UWM board, let me add my voice to those apologies. Please accept how sorry I am and how hard I will work to be sure we are more caring, loving, compassionate and forgiving as we move forward.

Also, because we are all humans, we have to again recognize that we are a young organization. We are evolving, growing and changing—and we just might break a few eggs as we go along. If we work together, forgive together and heal together—just think of the glorious omelet we will make together!

An Educational Opportunity

We have a mighty work in front of us: how to create a ministerial school for this time, and an LUT program and SEE classes so that more people in your spiritual communities will want to be an LUT or take classes, or perhaps follow your lead and become a Unity minister.

I believe the time is now to make Unity education more accessible, more affordable and definitely more convenient so we have only credentialed leaders in our Unity pulpits. We need people teaching Unity Principles that are grounded in the Fillmore teachings, in Truth teachings, and are keeping current with what is unfolding in the newest forms of New Thought so that what is heard is heartfelt, current and relevant.

We will get there through the Bring It Home movement, the new technologies that are being researched and launched, the new ways to be “schooled,” and by our commitments to grow these new programs together.

It is my wish, that no matter where my grandchildren are, they can walk into any Unity spiritual community and hear and learn all that I have been fortunate to learn over the years and get the newest Unity and New Thought ideas and message—that they will be able to meet in Unity hubs and take classes and learn in person or virtually from the best Truth teachers we can have and prepare for the years to come.

While the task seems daunting, we can stand up with these new programs … but we must do it together. Come to the Winter Meetings in St Petersburg, Florida, on January 25-27, with ministry teams meeting on January 28. Participate, let your voice be heard and lend a hand.

By the Winter Meetings, we should know far more about how we are going to connect via electronics and by satellite … how we are going to move forward.

Thank you for the work you are now doing to help Unity grow. We are making a difference in the world—together.

Tim Alderman

Tim Alderman is chair of UWM board of trustees (2015-2016) and Unity of Wimberley, Tex., and is a prayer chaplain. He is a project manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Management Division, and has a background in mediation and HR.

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  • You mention “videos of our up-and-coming ministers’ chapel talks”. How, as a Unity congregation, would we submit videos for possible inclusion?

    • Jacquie Lenati

      What kind of videos are wanting to submit- and for inclusion to what? Tim referenced the UWM Youtube channel

      • Hi Jacque, Since videos of “up-and-coming ministers’ chapel talks” was specifically mentioned it sounded like features of talks by local Unity ministers. Our minister, Rev. Bob Fortner (also on the credentialing team) has a clip of “Charles Fillmore’s Twelve Powers Explained & Applied” using the recent positive education changes with UWM and Unity Wordwide Headquarters that has been greatly received by other Unity centers and leaders.

        • Jacquie Lenati

          I see what you mean, though it was referring to student chapel service talks the article doesn’t say “student.” This is the perfect place to link the video of Rev. Bob’s talk, glad you did!

  • David Ezell

    Another way that UWM is connecting electronically is with the Online Music Library. The Music Ministry Team has selected beautiful, spiritually-true songs to be included. Previously UWM published over 300 songs in a dozen printed songbooks. These songs are now being added to the online library. Heart Wind Music, LLC is the contractor which administers the library for UWM. The URL is