It’s Working! Feedback From Transformation Experience Pilot Ministries

Published on: September 1, 2012

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At the 2012 Unity People’s Convention, four ministers from the Transformation Experience Pilot Program shared some of the program features that were working in their ministries. The following are highlights from their presentations.

Shipley Allinson, Unity on the River in Amesbury, Mass.

Getting clearer on who we came here to be, and who we are not, has been an interesting discovery and not always easy. It began with our building. It leaked water in the walls and HVAC, and air through the front doors that would not shut. The last straw: Water shorted out our sanctuary’s lit stained glass wings.

We might be slow, but we are not stupid! Our building was out of alignment. “As within so without.” Where were we out of alignment?

Gary Simmons’ Integral Wizardry program advises that instead of jumping immediately to fix a problem, you let the discomfort inform you. So we spent time looking at the discomfort of where we might be out of alignment.

The first area was in our music program. We wrote a vision for the highest expression of the Director of Music Ministry. Soon after, we shook hands with our new music director.

We had an internal financial assistance program for people in our community. When it was originally set up—and I helped—there were no accountabilities, none! We ended it so we could create space for a new program. Everything that we do needs to line up with our mission, including financial assistance.

We are center of transformation—that is who we came here to be. I just want to say that all the things that have happened have just been amazing. We have a de-cluttering team and no more leaks! We got new doors and they fit! – Contact Shipley at [email protected]

Beth Head, Unity of Melbourne, Fla.

Unity of Melbourne is celebrating its 50th year and has only had two ministers in the last 30 years. However, all the things that were happening were Beth’s idea and Beth’s energy. Our board said that we didn’t have good follow-through, but we do now! Why? Because we have increased accountability in every area.

To be a voting member of Unity of Melbourne, you must have taken “The Art & Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You” class, a prosperity class and a Unity basics class. I got booed the first time I mentioned it. But because of the increased requirements, our leadership team came up with intentions and objectives which we took back to the congregation. They came up with goals. One of the goals is that anyone who comes to our church three times—we’re in Florida with lots of visitors—our goal is for you to be an active member one year later.

[During Convention, Beth held up a piece of paper.] We’ve completed all these goals and we’re making new goals and they’re getting done! – Contact Beth at [email protected]

Deidre Ashmore, Unity Church of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

I’m aware that this Transformation Experience might not be for everyone. But if you have this inkling in your heart that there’s something your ministry can do better, trust that it may be your intuition guiding you to be a part of this program.

One of the keys has been the “Art & Practice” class, because we’ve healed our stuff and we’re more whole. That class is a requirement now to serve in leadership positions.

We did a Genogram that looked at church history. One of our shadows is that we don’t talk about money. Not anymore. When the shadow of lack overtook us, we changed our consciousness, but we still didn’t approach the situation directly.

I knew then what was mine to do. I asked for the “M” word and told the congregation where we were financially. They appreciated the transparency. We instituted the “I’m In and Engaged” personal pledge program. (Contact me about it.) When we instituted that program, I didn’t sleep all night. I thought I was going to die asking for money.

Now I’m excited to talk about money and tithing. What’s happening is that accountability piece. We have the tools and structure to support us into being a healthy and dynamic community. I am very grateful. – Contact Deidre at [email protected]

Geraldine Colvin, Unity of Northwest Indiana, Hammond, Ind.

I am excited about the leadership development portion of TE! About four years ago, Spirit gave me guidance to create a spiritual community of leaders and people who really “get it” at a cellular level, that they are the living Christ.

And like with many things with Spirit, I get the beautiful, powerful vision—and absolutely no plan how to make that happen. Then came the Transformation Experience program.

Our community said yes, and a line from a Rumi poem kept coming to me, “Start a huge foolish project, like Noah” (from “These Spiritual Window Shoppers”). That’s what it felt like.

TE gave us structures, practices, processes and ways of being that created a spiritual community of leaders.

Our board created a collective Q-Card that we’re asking our congregation to hold us to and one of the qualities is humor—I love that. We use the Pause, Reflect, Evolve process anytime we are seeking guidance.

So for me the Transformation Experience Pilot Program has been nothing less than an answer to prayer. It’s been a plan of Spirit to come forth as an unstoppable, collective movement in Unity. – Contact Geraldine at [email protected]

 

LeadershipGuidesCoversFannedTo view the entire TE Keynote address from convention 2012 and learn more about the Transformation Experience, please see our Transformation Experience page.

 

Seven Leadership and Ministry Resource Guides have been developed from the Transformation Experience program. Unity ministers and ministries may download them for free. Learn more on the Leadership and Ministry Resource Guides page.

Shipley Allinson
Rev. Shipley Allinson was ordained in 2003 via the Field Licensing Program and was the founding minister of Unity on the River in Amesbury, Mass.
Beth Head
Rev Beth Head is minister at Unity of Melbourne, Fla., and judicatory representative of the Southeast Region. She serves on the Admissions ministry team. Last year Unity of Melbourne celebrated its 50th anniversary and this year they move to a new 16,000 sq. ft. building.
Deidre Ashmore
Rev Deidre is minister of Unity Spiritual Center of North Idaho.
Geraldine Colvin
Senior Minister at Unity of Northwest Indiana
Rev. Geraldine Colvin is the Senior Minister serving at Unity of Northwest Indiana.

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