A Year at Unity of Traverse City - 2021
At Unity of Traverse City, we prayerfully select a theme that will be our underlying focus for the year. In 2021, our theme is ‘HOW TO STAY CENTERED, NO MATTER WHAT.
2020 brought a lot of changes to our lives due to the pandemic of COVID-19. And yet, we navigated our way and are grateful for a brand new year. As always, it will be a year that we will be guided by the spiritual teachings and principles that always lead us to our highest and greatest good.
Throughout this year, we will explore various spiritual teachings, principles, and ways of being that will lead us to a state of calm, inner peace, and a deep knowing of our inherent, innate power. As we do, we will hone, develop, strengthen, and use divine attributes of Spirit in us to bring our own divine nature into expression in all that we think, say, and do.
begin the year with our traditional White Stone Ceremony. This is a powerful
opportunity for you to discern the unique intention that God is placing on your
heart for the year . . . an intention that you write on a white stone you are
provided and carry with you as a reminder throughout the year.
We also begin our annual Outreach program in January, which is usually through providing a meal for the guests of our local homeless shelter.
February is a time when we come together for our annual membership meeting. It’s a time to celebrate the year past and plan for all that lies ahead. We provide updates from all operational areas of the ministry, discuss any applicable business matters, and elect new members to our Board of Trustees. You must be a member of Unity of Traverse City in order to vote.
Our Outreach efforts continue through sponsoring a food drive for local Traverse City food pantries.
One of our favorite events is the kick-off to our Spring Basket Silent Auction. Individuals, families, and/or teams put their creative hats on and create wonderful baskets with many and varied themes. Everyone has fun bidding on the baskets over 3-4 weeks, with the proceeds benefitting the general operations of the ministry.
In addition, we have a powerful Prayer Chaplain program at Unity of Traverse City. In March we invite our congregants to take time in prayer to discern whether prayer chaplaincy may be the next step in their spiritual unfoldment. General information meetings are offered, with training sessions beginning later in the spring.
Join us as we celebrate Easter, a Sunday celebration service offering a transformative resurrection message and uplifting music.
Also in April, we take time to honor and celebrate our wonderful volunteers on Volunteer Appreciation Sunday. We would not be here without them and this day is all about them and the gratitude we feel for each and every person.
Lastly, we honor our participation in the Unity EarthCare program by celebrating Earth Day during our Sunday service and recommitting to all we can do to assure our planet’s sustainability.
We start off the month this year with our annual celebration of World Labyrinth Day, which takes place on the first Saturday of May. We invite everyone to join us on our Sacred Steps Labyrinth as we walk as one for peace.
In June, we celebrate all of our graduates and open to all that summer in Traverse City brings.
Our second Outreach program of the year is offered, one in which a special financial offering is taken and donated to a local non-profit community agency in service to those experiencing challenges in their lives.
Towards the end of the month, this year we hope to have our first outdoor summer arts and crafts fair on the beautiful campus grounds.
In July, we bless the tourists, a host of festivals and events – including the National Cherry Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival - and do all we can to be a welcoming presence in our beloved community.
August is when we offer our third Outreach program, supporting a local back-to-school program which focuses on providing food, supplies, financial assistance, and more to children and families preparing for the start of another school year.
We also bless our prayer chaplains into another year of prayerful, committed service to all who ask for prayer, from both near and far.
We join with millions around the world in celebrating Unity’s Annual World Day of Prayer. A sacred opening night service, followed by a 24-hour prayer vigil and closing ceremony, all available via livestream from Unity World Headquarters in Unity Village, Missouri, highlight this powerful experience of global prayer.
In late September, we begin our annual Fall Program series. This is typically a 6- or 7-week series based upon a book chosen especially for the program and one aligned with our mission to transform our lives and the world.
We offer small group circles that meet each week to explore the contents of the book even more deeply. They do so fully supported by a curriculum created specifically for this purpose. We celebrate the end of the series with a fabulous evening of dinner, food, fellowship, entertainment, fundraising auctions, and more!
Join us on the Sunday before Thanksgiving for a special communion service. We join together for a time of sacred connection and sharing of gratitude.
We also kick-off our final Outreach program of the year, one in which we share our abundance by providing gifts to children and/or families in our local community who may be experiencing financial and/or other challenges during the Christmas holiday season.
In early December, we hold a craft fair and holiday cookie sale. A wide variety of vendors are present to offer their wares and delicious goodies provided by members of the congregation are available for purchase as well.
During this time, the season of Advent begins and continues through the Sunday before Christmas. We choose a special theme for our Advent Series, which includes the lighting of a candle each week in recognition of a particular divine quality that resides within us all.
We then have a very special Christmas Eve Candle Lighting service that typically begins at 5:00 p.m.
And, on the last Sunday of the year, we will offer our powerful Burning Bowl. This is an opportunity for you to release, by ritualistically burning, those things in your life that no longer serve you. You simply write them on a piece of rice paper, place it upon the flame, and watch as it all dissipates into nothingness.
During this service, you also have the opportunity to write a letter to God setting forth your intentions for the New Year. You’ll receive your letter in the mail mid-way through the year in order that you can ‘check-in’ to see the progress you have made or make any adjustments you may wish to make. It is a very powerful way in which to enter into the start of a New Year.