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July / August 2011 Newsletter

LETTER FROM OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS, by Hillary

Letter from our spiritual leader - Stew

Two weeks ago I announced at our Sunday celebration service about the possibility of renting a new building that we would be able to occupy full-time. We still don’t know anything definite, although we expect to fairly soon. It seemed to happen overnight, and yet, as with most dreams, it really took a life journey of ‘becoming’ in order to get to this point. In other words, it took some visioning and then it took a lot of holding a consciousness of energy in order for the foundation of that vision to take root.

UATL is 17 years old in September (that’s one of the things we celebrate at the beach during our kite-flying/volunteer appreciation day) and through those years many of the past ministers along with the members have held a vision of Unity having its own sacred space. Stew & I also held a similar vision while we were still in Safe Haven - to have a space where we could celebrate community. So we courageously moved from Al Tahoe, where we had shared space & finances with others, to Meyers so we could have a bigger place to serve the community and start creating what we were holding in our hearts. I am very proud to say that, in many respects, that did indeed happen, even though the space was still too small.

Here we all are together now and it appears that a dream might finally be manifesting. What makes a dream come true? I believe one reason is that collectively many of us held the dream against the odds and refused to give it up. In Tahoe, available buildings are abundant, yet they are quite limited for our needs due to other factors. Truth students know that appearances don’t have to define our inner reality, however. Building after building failed to work out for us and the dream was still alive in our hearts. Most importantly, however, was the “acting as if” part. We had to mature into actually being what we said we wanted. Charles Fillmore called this “soul growth” (and he said this represents the time lag between vision and manifestation, as we do our part).

Looking at our history, many more people now have ownership in the heart & soul and nuts & bolts of Unity at the Lake’s activities and services. This is evidenced by our strong, committed Council, our ministry teams such as OneVoice and Prayer Chaplains, and our volunteers stepping up big time as in the SSA committee Kathi O’ s article talks about and during our fun(d)raisers.

Perhaps another reason is the way we are standing in our Truth principles. Having created a new Mission/Vision for ourselves 2 years ago and now a new tagline that more clearly explains to the community-at-large who we are, we find we are also defining for ourselves more clearly what it means to be a part of Unity at the Lake and a Truth student. Following the process of Stew and I applying for ministry through field licensing from Worldwide Unity and instead winding up pursuing an inter-faith ministry field licensing program with your support, it seems that UATL’s boundaries are expanding. We are truly becoming a spiritual community that embraces oneness and nurtures wholeness as together we will learn about the many aspects of the One! For this, for each one of you, for all your support, for your love, for the dreams you hold in your heart and, most especially, for the loving and peaceful way you keep choosing as you walk on your journey, I am very, very grateful.


OFFICE HOURS:

TUESDAYS 12-2 and WEDNESDAYS 10-2

You are cordially invited to come by and sit in the sacred energy, browse the lending library, or just say hello! It’s a wonderful space!!

Of course our Spiritual Leaders, Hillary & Stew, are ALWAYS available (except Sundays or Mondays, unless an emergency) during the week and are eager to meet with you for spiritual counseling** and/or prayer, to talk over the Sunday talk or Unity principles… or just to chat. “There are so many of you we’d love to know better.” Feel free to call the office anytime and make a date with them.

**Spiritual counseling is what you might consider if you need a reminder of the Truth of what you are, a tool to access that Truth to help in a certain situation, help with how to communicate what’s alive in you, an empathetic ear, etc.


SPECIAL EVENTS:

A Celebration of Health & Wellness: This Saturday, July 9th, 1-5pm at Tahoe Verde Club House. Music by OneVoice (followed by Dory and then Jeff’s Jam Band) - a benefit for Karen Sanders: if you are coming and feel called to bring some kind of salad, please do. If you are not coming, and would still like to donate towards Karen’s medical care, you can do so by check to UATL or online through our website by credit card or PayPal (please specify that the donation is for Karen Sanders).

Friday, July 15th, the 2011 “Unity Revival” in Reno - "MUSIC TOGETHER" Presenting the music ministries from Unity of Reno, UATL & Unity of the Sierras (Carson City) as they come together to share a fabulous fun filled evening of "social action" themed music everyone will love! Come enjoy this great opportunity to get to know your fellow Unity churches and hear some incredible music too! Contact the office for tickets, $10.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

Mark your calendars for September: Thursday 9/8 Unity World Day of Prayer & Sunday 9/25 for our 9th Annual Bob Memorial Kite Flying for Peace and Volunteer Appreciation Picnic…that’s also our 17th birthday party!


SPIRITUAL SOCIAL ACTIONS:

Stay tuned to our weekly email updates because these tend to be spontaneous

Ryan’s Well report: from our movie night and canteen sales we were able to send $211 to Ryan’s Well Foundation to help in the building of a village well in Africa.


ONGOING EVENTS IN THE OFFICE

Wednesdays, NOON-12:45, PRAYER/MEDITATION CIRCLE is the best 45 minute God vacation/spa package you can give yourself. As with everything in Unity, we start with ourselves, sitting to align with the Divine Presence of Love we are in Truth. From that consciousness we are able to hold a new perspective of hope, clarity and well-being, grounded in wholeness, for ourselves, everyone in our prayer list and the entire world.

Both “Awakening Wednesdays” and our Wednesday evening Silent Meditation Circles have been discontinued at least through July…stay tuned to your email updates or our website for their return, as well as our next book study!!


SUNDAY CELEBRATION SERVICES:

As a loving reminder, our Celebration Services begin right on time at 10am. We appreciate your support in this.

July 31st: Special Family Service/ 2nd annual Flower Communion Ceremony. Join us for this beautiful ceremony where we honor our diversity, uniqueness and community. Bring a flower (there are plenty out there right now – yahoo!). Children are welcome to participate…there will be no YEP that day.

We are holding off on planning an OUTDOOR SERVICE pending what happens with our prospective new sacred space – stay tuned.

12 POWERS TALKS:

August 7th: The Power of Will (wear the color silver if you’d like)

September 4th: The Power of Order (wear dark green)

OneHeart drum gatherings: Following Sunday service on July 17th & Aug 28th...always a blessing as we explore & create fun, healing, unique rhythms together! Another wonderful way to celebrate & express the Divine! Weather permitting, we'll be moving outside to the lawn for the summer. Come join us! Dance, sing, listen & enjoy - all are welcome! Some instruments provided or bring your own. Love offering.


FROM THE COUNCIL:

Well...summer has finally arrived! What a very special place Tahoe is! And, what a very special Spiritual Community we share at Unity at the Lake. What I dream, I can achieve. I am excited about all the participation we have with our Spiritual Social Action committee. We've seen volunteers form a cooking and serving crew for Bread & Broth, volunteers participating in the local Habitat for Humanity efforts, teams helping out the Women's Center, spring sugar pine plantings at Angora, our 1st snowy sign waving for peace event, and our fundraising efforts for Ryan's Well. Unity at the Lake is so blessed to have so many caring and wonderful members. I am enriched to serve on this Council of Trustees and look forward to “Celebrating and Inspiring a Positive Spiritual Life”. Enjoy your summer days in Tahoe.

See you in September!

Namaste, Kathi O


SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES:

Public Relations: Do you know our new tagline?

UATL – Celebrating & Inspiring a Positive Spiritual Life

Unity at the Lake has such a tremendous impact on people’s lives and yet too often when people are asked about us they say they have never heard of UATL, or they’re not quite sure what it is. How sad! We have a vision to communicate more clearly to the community-at- large who we are and what we are about. Our PR committee is discussing new and creative ways to ensure that people know UATL is here. Do you have an idea and/or would you like to join this team?


FUN(D)RAISING:

Fun(d)raising: We are beginning to plan our October Harvest Our Dreams fun(d)raiser. Please let us know if you are interested in lending your creative skills to this endeavor, helping to make it the most successful one yet.


SOME INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES:  

if you think you’re too small to be effective you have never been in bed with a mosquito.

…life is…too short…to wear…tight shoes

The real purpose of being here in the first place is to journey through life with a maximum of enjoyment, victimizing no one and undertaking tasks that will make this planet a better place to be on for everyone now living here and those who will live here after we leave, Dr. Wayne Dyer


FAITH IN ACTION:

We joyfully affirmed and celebrated our abundance thru tithing to the following during May-June, 2011:

* Ryan’s Well Foundation (in addition to what we collected at movie night and from water bottles) * Rick Gunn * Unity Institute * Mountain Yoga * Silent Unity * Winston McCullough * Unity in the Community

Total of outgoing tithes for this period was $1213.96. Thank you, God!

Financial report for 1st half of 2011: We are pleased to inform you that as of June 30th, 2011 our expenses totaled $47,726.87 and our income was $51,605.16; so we are in the “green” in the amount of $3,878.29. For the first half of 2010 we were $3,727.61 in the red (expenses $43,666.48 and income $39, 938.87)!

Our current bank balances are as follows:

Bank of the West Checking: $6,822.78 (covers everyday spending and bills)

Bank of the West Savings (our Hands and Hearts for Christmas fund): $124.48

Everbank Checking (General Reserve fund): $17, 988.27 (of which $3523 constitutes the Ministerial fund)

Everbank Money Market (Sacred Space fund): $26,829.09


CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE:

www.unityatthelake.org

Our Sunday talks are now available on our website, beginning shortly after each Sunday service.

Tell your friends! This is a wonderful way to introduce other folks to the Unity message.

You can now make donations (for regular tithes, building fund, Minister’s Fund & Hands and Hearts) and purchase all the below CDs, plus CDs of Sunday celebration services, directly from the website via PayPal or credit card.


MORE YARD SALE THANKS:

This particular event takes a lot of bodies and you supplied them. Truly, we couldn’t have done it without you! A huge heart-felt thank you to ALL of you who so generously donated your time & energy toward making this a successful funraiser. And, of course, those of you who donated “stuff”, we couldn’t have done without you either. So, ‘mwah’ to everyone that allowed UATL to net $1700.

Special thanks to Lynn Spiker who designed a wonderful canvas labyrinth for us -and to Lynn and Kathy Bellairs who helped me paint it amidst love, laughter and music - and to Zachery Bellairs for giving it its first test run.


A Fun Bio Sketch to know our Spiritual Leader, Stew Bittman, better:

Occupation: Minister, healer, green witch and wild woman

Hobbies/interests: Being outdoors, wildcrafting, hiking, cross country skiing, daydreaming by a river, tree-hugging, a good book, enjoying life

Favorite movie: Casablanca or any Irish movie

Favorite music: Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary and OneVoice

Favorite other pastimes: Stretching myself and discovering my God Self

Greatest influence on your life & why: Having a family and making a conscious commitment to husband and child inspired me to heal myself so I could be more authentic, honest, loving and peaceful with them and in all my relationships

Best advice you were ever given: “Choose love instead of fear”

Describe yourself in 5 words: powerful, passionate, grounded, authentic, alive

unity
If you miss the format of our past newsletters and would like to volunteer your skills in that regard in the future please let us know.

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