Council of Trustees
Born April 3, 1951 in Chicago, Ill. to parents Dorothy and Mel Cavin. In 1957 moved to Southern California till I was 14. In 1967, after a few stops along the way, ended up in Beautiful Lake Tahoe. Also along the way, a man named Brian Farnon adopted me and life was good.
Have had a wonderful job working at Norm’s auto repair for the last 17 years repairing cars and sometimes the frazzled nerves of my customers. Retirement is just around the corner and I am looking forward to it.
Now its time to give back to Unity some time I just could not devote before. Unity first entered my life about 11 years ago when introduced to me by a friend. I was going through some tough times then and Unity helped me onto the right track. It wasn’t long before, with the help of a friend at Unity, I met and married my wonderful wife.
Again through Unity I found a voice in ONE VOICE, and also joined the team at Bread and Broth. It is truly a blessing to give.
I am the proud father of a son and daughter and two amazing grandbabies, and also step-dad to my wife’s two boys. It is truly a blessing to be alive. Proud Unity member, Michael Farnon
Keith Williams, Vice-President
When I was asked to serve on the council of Unity at the Lake, I was both honored and excited. I've heard it said that the universe provides what we need, when we need it, even when we don't know that we need it. This has been so true in my life.
I grew up the youngest of three kids in a military aviation family and spent my first 12 years moving about the country. I always felt the love of a safe supportive environment and somehow knew that the universe was benevolent. Though my family were never "church goers" I did have some exposure to spirituality as a youth. All of these factors continued throughout my life. My parents never seemed to try to direct us, but simply taught by example. And what an example they were!
When my dad was stationed in Vietnam, my mother and I moved to Southern California to be near her sister. I was 14 at the time and spent the next 8 years in California perusing my education reluctantly; aviation with passion and my youth with typical abandon.
I graduated from San Jose State and resumed my previous pattern of moving every 2 to 3 years. During the next 10 years I held many different positions in marketing, engineering, technical support and at one point as a business owner. Yet my love of flight continued to call. I had started flying at a very early age and would end up spending the next 25+ years in the airline industry.
In 1987 I moved to Hawaii where I meet my wonderful wife Carrie. We spent several of our winter vacations in Tahoe and naturally fell in love with the peace and beauty of the mountains. On one of our vacations we decided we wanted to spend more of our "free" time here and bought a home. In 2001 we moved full time to the mountains and I commuted to work - 3000 miles to Honolulu.
I feel my spiritual path really started when taking Tai Chi classes at LTCC. It was here that I was first exposed to what my teacher called "correct world view" or what Michael Beckwith calls the "real" world vs. the "reel" world. I had happily existed in the "reel" world up until then but felt there was something else profound to discover about life and myself. Through following a simple practice of reading spiritually based books, I discovered many common principles in all faiths, religions and beliefs. I was drawn to Unity at the Lake because of the principle of "many paths and one God". This actually started by attending an Awaking Wednesday class which led to attending Sunday Celebrations. Here I found a wonderful, enriching, supportive, safe environment to continue my discovery.
I want to thank Unity and all my friends for allowing me to serve and continue my path. The universe does truly provide what we need. Bless you all..
Nancy Nance, Treasurer
Hi, I am Nancy Nance and I have been asked to serve on the Council of Trustees. I am honored to have been asked and also a little surprised. It took me a couple of days to decide whether or not to serve. I figured that if this showed up in my life, it must be important. So I said yes. I trust that things that show up in my life, especially unexpectedly, must be there for a reason.
I joined Unity at the suggestion of my good friends Ed and Marsha Slater. I was going through a tough time and they knew that Unity would provide the peace and love that my life was lacking (or so I thought) at that time.
I fell in love with the messages and the people right away. Many people have said this before, but I truly felt at home right away. I knew I had met my soul group.
I taught high school English years ago until I realized I felt more comfortable with elementary aged kids. I taught for a couple of years and now I substitute teach in all of the elementary schools here in Lake Tahoe. I still love working with the young children who give me much more that I give them. They are delightful.
I have been on the Council years ago with Denise Schellink. I was the secretary then and it was educational.
It will be a new and wonderful experience to be on the Council with Rev. Stew and Hillary Bittman. I am looking forward to serving my dearly loved Unity family.
Janice Eastburn, Secretary
I moved to South Lake Tahoe 20 years ago and discovered Unity at the Lake soon after I moved. While my spiritual home has seen many changes over the past 20 years, what has remained alive is the pure love that it represents and radiates into our community. I am proud to be part of a community that honors the Divine in every being, that embraces diversity, and that so fully embodies the Unity truth principles. The heart lessons I have learned at Unity at the Lake inspire my profession as a Social Worker and all of my relationships. I am blessed by the years I have served our spiritual community, particularly as a Council Trustee and as a Prayer Chaplain. I look forward to many more years of blessed service and being enfolded within this community that has become my soul’s home and my spiritual family. Namaste.
Cindy Archer, Member-at-Large
Growing up as a navy “brat” we lived all over the east coast and overseas a few times, including Guantanamo, Cuba, the island of Mallorca and then Madrid, Spain. I continued with a summer exchange program in Guatemala after high school and studied Spanish in college. My BA is in Sociology and I have a Masters in Social Work. I worked for Alta California Regional Center for 32 ½ years and enjoyed being able to provide services and support to people of all ages who have developmental disabilities. I had been lucky to be able to make the transfer from our large Sacramento office to the small one in S.L.T. in 1980 since no one else felt they wanted to live in the snow! I have loved snow sports, outdoor activities and gardening. I have been a member of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe for many years, and am now committed to issues of human trafficking through a small group called PATH (Partners Against Trafficking of Humans).
Back in the mid 1990’s I came to UATL for the first time at the Senior Center. What sweet services there were, with music that made me cry. My strongest early memory was one snowy Xmas eve when out cat had escaped to the deck. Nonetheless we went to the evening service at Unity and I received the warmest most heartfelt hug from Karen Martin, and realized that at Unity focusing on a beneficent world is the way to live! Thank you, Karen for those constant reminders that kept me coming back (and so did my cat the minute we got home).
UATL was fairly young then, with Culliver, our first, yet temporary, minister. Several ministers later I served on the Council for a term and a half and had the interesting experience of being on a Ministerial Search Committee. After the person selected wasn’t a good fit, we had wonderful interim ministers Denise and Larry who came out of nowhere for the summer and stayed 2 years! After they left Stew offered to fill in temporarily and I got solace from Karen again as I felt we should be able to have Stew permanently right away. I learned to have patience that all will work out in a ‘beneficent’ world. And it did since with time he and Hillary completed the important and necessary work to become ordained. They are indeed the face that our UATL had been missing all that time! We are dedicated to them and they to us and to our community. Another blessing we had along the way that came to us when we needed it was the addition of Kristina as Music Minister, along with her gifted husband Jazz. OneVoice provided me the joy of music of new and different kinds. We all grew musically with her quiet support, and we swore she had eyes and ears in the back of her head! As her path takes her elsewhere now, we are very blessed to have John, a very talented musician, as our music leader.
I am pleased to return to the Council and await the new adventures ahead.
Peter Hussmann, Member-at-Large
I first came to Lake Tahoe when I was 4 years old and little did I know that it would play such an important part in shaping my life. My family spent a couple of weeks every summer camped at D.L. Bliss State Park and Lake Tahoe became our second home. When I was 15 my parents decided to make Tahoe our actual home. They built a house in Tahoma and as beautiful and peaceful as it was, it was also lonely for a teenager from the suburbs of San Jose. The high school was in Truckee at the time so trying to convince my parents to drive me there for a dance or sporting event was fruitless. As our house backed to National Forest and State Parkland it was the perfect place for me to explore and explore I did. I fell in love with the beauty of the surrounding forests and meadows. That love affair has never abated and I am still discovering new places of wonder and beauty in this amazing place.
I met my wife Alysone in Tahoe, we raised both our sons here and other than a couple of attempts to leave and try other places we are firmly ensconced here. While the mountains provided me with a great deal of spiritual connection I realized that I was missing a sense of community in my/our lives. After visiting some of the other faith based communities in town I/we came to Unity at the Lake. Like a lot of people have said, walking into Unity was like coming home. I knew I had found the spiritual family I had been longing for. Alysone and I became members in 2007 although we had been attending off and on since 1997. When we heard that Stew and Hillary were the acting ministers we became members, as we had known them since moving to South Shore in 1988.
I have served on the Council once before because I wanted to be in service at Unity. Since I have retired I now have the time to once again commit to serving on the Council if selected. I have met some the most honest, courageous, and loving souls at Unity and this has helped me become the person my dog knows I am. Namaste
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