An Inclusive & Welcoming Spiritual Community
UNITY OF MONTEREY BAY
At Unity of Monterey Bay, we support one another in remembering the Truth of our Being - each of us being an individualized expression of God - in spite of any appearances to the contrary. Together, we co-create a collective consciousness that invites ALL who are seeking to know and live this Truth to find a home in Unity;
and to affirm together, in deep gratitude:
Thank You, God, for this most AMAZING DAY...
Miracle follows Miracle and Wonders Never Cease!
We invite you to:
Reach out to Silent Unity® for one-on-one prayer support and know that your prayer requests will be placed in the Silent Unity Prayer Vigil Chapel for 30 days.
Visit the Silent Unity Virtual Prayer Vigil and bless the world with your healing, uplifting thoughts.
Find words of Truth in Daily Word. Let each day’s affirmation bless you at the deepest level of your being.
Stay tuned to our Unity social media channels for ongoing spiritual support from Unity leaders.
Try our Unity Online Radio here.
UMB joins COPA in this Statement on the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on 1/6/2021
A Message from Rev Vicky and Rev Michelle
Embracing Anti-Racism Resources
Unity Worldwide Ministries Diversity Statement
Unity of Monterey Bay is an accepting inclusive, loving, vibrant and prosperous spiritual community, committed to living and demonstrating Unity Truth Principles and being in service to the world. We grow spiritually together through prayer, worship, education, service, and participation in compassionate community. We invite and support all people to know God's love and to be the voice and heart through which heaven is made known on Earth.
What is Unity?
"There is only One Presence and One Power in the Universe, God the Good - expressing as Infinite God beyond us (arms spread wide), Intimate God beside us (Namaste position: hands in front), Inner God being us (hands over heart)...Divine LOVE in Action (hands clasped together)." Unity of Monterey Bay's Current Statement of Faith
“Unity is part of the mystical, New Thought movement, which began in the late 19th century; we share a Christian heritage – with Jesus as our Master Teacher – but we focus on the teachings OF Jesus – rather than the religion that has grown up ABOUT him. As our name, UNITY, suggests – we are inclusive – meaning we honor other religious and spiritual traditions and Master Teachers, believing ultimately that all paths, grounded in love, lead to God.” Rev. Vicky Elder
Our Vision: Just imagine a world powerfully transformed by advancing the global movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity.
Summer 2021 Affirmation: Centered in God, I move forward with ease and grace.
Our Senior Minister
Vicky Elder (she, her)
Rev Vicky Elder (she, her) has served as our Minister since 1998, first as co-minister with her late husband, Rory, and since his passing in 2007, as the Senior Minister. Her passions include creating a safe space for all people to explore their spiritual nature, become biblically and spiritually literate, and discover their own Path to the Sacred; and social justice--which she actively pursues through UMB's involvement with COPA (Citizens Organizing for Relational Power in Action - an IAF affiliate).
Vicky also serves as the Regional Representative for the West Central Region of Unity Churches, as well as the Chair of the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) Standards Committee.
In addition to ministry, Vicky's passion is her family. She has two sons who grew up in Monterey and continue to make it their home; Travis with his wife Catherine; and Kyle with his wife, Justine, and their daughter, Rory Rose (Vicky's first granddaughter). Vicky's daughter, Brianna, lives in Cincinnati, OH, with her husband, Salvador, and their sons, Mateo and Joaquin (Vicky's grandsons). And of course, Vicky's rescue pup, Tohbi, lives with her in Castroville.
Prior to ministry, Vicky worked as a Program Manager for the CA Attorney General's Crime & Violence Prevention Center and as a counselor at the Unity Life Enrichment Center in Sacramento, CA. She has a BA (Political Science) and an MA (Public Policy) from San Francisco State University, an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of San Francisco, as well as her Divinity Training at Unity's Ministerial Program in Lee's Summit, MO.
Our Associate Minister
Michelle Vargas, MA Mdiv (she, her)
Rev. Michelle Vargas (she, her) graduated from Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained at Unity Village in June 2019. Michelle has been a member of Unity of Monterey Bay since 1996 and joyfully served as a Prayer Chaplain and on the Leadership Council for many years. She now serves as Associate Minister and works very closely with Rev. Vicky. Some of Michelle’s passions include Bible interpretation, Jesus’ teachings, inclusive and intergenerational ministry, prayer/meditation, nature, and helping others to come to know God as Love.
Prior to ministry, Michelle received a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and worked as an ESL instructor at Hartnell, Gavilan, and Monterey Peninsula Colleges. She has also worked as a family law paralegal and a medical transcriptionist. Michelle received her BA in Language Studies from UC Santa Cruz. While an undergraduate, she lived in Mexico for two years, where she studied at the Universidad de Guadalajara and taught ESL. She is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about Mexican history and culture. A few years ago, Michelle created a Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos celebration at UMB which has become part of our annual liturgical calendar.
In August 2021 Michelle celebrated 26 years of sobriety and she is excited and knowledgeable about how the teachings of Unity can complement a 12-step recovery program. Michelle’s greatest joy in life is raising her son, Alexander, who has special needs. She lives in Monterey with her husband, her son, their dog, and two cats.
(Board of Trustees)
Martha Price (she/her): Co-President (PowerPoint/Website Liaison/Live Stream)
Robin Falkenberg (she/her): Co-President (Platform Liaison, Chaplain, Veterans' Outreach)
Sue Rojcewicz (she/her): Secretary (Chaplain Coordinator/Liaison, Music Team, COPA)
Colleen Adams (she/her): Treasurer (Usher/Banquet Liaison, Platform, COPA)
Larry Sanks (he/him): Trustee (Building Liaison, Chaplain, Sound Team, COPA)
Kay Payan (she/her): Trustee (Sacred Grounds Store Manager)
John Dundon (he/him): Trustee
MaryAnn Boylan (she/her): President Emerita (COPA Liaison)
James Bogan (he/him): Trustee Emeritus
Vicky Elder (she/her): Senior Minister
Michelle Jelinch (she/her): Associate Minister
Denise Hedlind (she/her): Music Director
Dori Bogan (she/her): Administrative Team
IN SERVICE TO OUR CHURCH CommUNITY
Sundays at 10:00 AM
We look forward to everyone returning to in-person services (there’s nothing like physical hugs to boost our spirits and our immune systems); all services will continue to be in-person and live-streamed on our Unity Monterey FaceBook page at 10 AM (technology permitting).
“Friend” our “Unity Monterey” FB page by visiting and clicking on the thumbs-up in the heading – and a notice/link to the service will automatically drop into your email. (You can create a basic FB page and use it ONLY for our Sunday Services and/or other UMB events.)
Additionally, after the close of the live-stream service, the video can be viewed at your convenience by visiting our Unity Monterey FaceBook page (click on “Videos” with the current date – any time after 11:15 AM) OR on our Unity of Monterey Bay YouTube channel (usually posted by 1 PM Sunday).
NEW COVID GUIDELINES (Effective Sunday, Aug 1)
The CDC has come out with new “mask guidelines” in response to the Covid Delta variant that is spreading quickly in the United States, especially among those not vaccinated. The new guidelines recommend fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
California Public Health officials, citing a recent statewide spike in Covid-19 Delta variant cases and hospitalizations, and noting that 90% of Californians live in areas that fit the CDC criteria for “substantial or high transmission,” are recommending universal masking in indoor public settings until more Californians are vaccinated.
Therefore, in our usual abundance of caution, UMB is asking for masking compliance from ALL our members while indoors, especially interacting with others, singing during the services, or when unable to physically distance. Again, this is not only for our own protection – but for the protection of others.
While research shows that vaccinations continue to significantly reduce the risk of people catching the Delta variant (and/or reduce the level of sickness if they do), there is some evidence that vaccinated people can sometimes carry and spread the disease even when not having any symptoms.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. As always, we will keep you informed of changes as they develop.
We honor the decisions each of us makes about returning (or not) to in-person services at this time. We are watching the numbers and give thanks they are continuing in the right direction. Please check this weekly eblast for updates on any future changes or developments regarding protocols.
Needless to say, your on-line, mail-in, or auto-bank-giving is greatly appreciated in these challenging times, and always. We continue to affirm that prosperity is a state of mind and abundance in joyous generosity. Now especially, we transform all appearance of fear or lack into faith-filled peace of mind by shifting our attention to thoughts of gratitude for the abundance of God's Good in our lives.
Spirit of Recovery on Unity Online Radio with Rev. Michelle Jelinch
Tuesdays at 2 PM
Spirit of Recovery explores the ways that Unity teachings and 12-step recovery intertwine -and work together - to support our spiritual growth on our recovery journey. Each week Rev. Michelle and her co-host, Rev. Dan Beckett, share their experience, strength, and hope in a fun, casual format. You can listen live, and/or access all past archivesd shows at the link; or you can find Spirit of Recovery on Spotifu, Google Play, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Tune In.
Spiritual Discussion Circle
Wednesdays 7:00-8:15 PM
Beginning December 1 - December 22, we will gather on Zoom to share in a discussion of Advent, and how we can embrace Hope/Faith; Peace; Love; and Joy - in preparation for the Miracle of Christmas.
A Course in Miracles will return in January 2022
Expand Your Spiritual Toolbox
If you’re looking for tools to support your spiritual journey, we have collected some of the most practical ways to nurture your divine spirit—whether you’re looking for an affirmation, a meditation, or simply silence.
Sundays - Virtual and In-Person church services on Facebook at Unity Monterey page.
Mondays at 7:00: Prayer Vigil (via Zoom) lead by Rev Molly Steele. November: Gratitude.
Tuesdays at 2:00: Spirit of Recovery, Unity Online Radio with Rev Michelle Vargas
December 19 aat 10 AM - Magical Mystical Christmas Story
December 21 at 7 PM - Solstice Interfaith Celebration of Light
January 1 at 10 AM - New Year's Burning Bowl
April 1-3, 2022 - Women's Retreat at the Land of Medicine Buddha. Save the date!
We are looking for a Youth Church Aide to support Nicole - there is a modest monthly stipend available... If you know of someone who loves working with children, please encourage them to speak to Nicole, or Michelle, or Vicky. (Our policy is to have two adults present with the children at all times.) In the meantime, if you are willing to volunteer in times of need - please also let Michelle and/or Nicole know.
We are also needing to create a Sound Team - now that Kyle is soon off to boot camp. If you would be willing to serve one or two Sundays a month - and learn the set-up and management of the Sound Board - please speak with Vicky or Robin or Larry.
Other Opportunities to Serve
Youth Church Aide - We are looking for a youth church aide to work with Nicole (so that we meet our "best-practices" goal of two adults (at least 16) present at all times with our kids). There is a stipend available if that's an incentive. We could also use respite volunteers to give Nicole an occasional break. Speak with Nicole or Michelle if you are interested or have questions.
Sound Team - We need a team to cover the sound board and recording of the services. It's not too complicated - Robin will train. Multiple volunteers can make it a once-a-month commitment.
Sunday Ushers & Coffee - If you are looking for a way to feel more connected and involved in our commUnity - sign up to usher and/or make coffee once-a-month. See Jan Lindenthal-Cox with any questions.
As active members of COPA, Unity Monterey Bay supports the COPA stance on immigration, as noted here:
COPA Immigration Campaign
The separation of young children from their parents at the border violates a fundamental principle of the American and Abrahamic (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) traditions – the sacredness of the family. COPA stands with our IAF sister organizations across the US-Mexico border in calling for (1) the reunification of these families, (2) an end to the practice of detaining families, and (3) serious attention to the health (physical and mental) needs of these children.
Being a country that is welcoming to immigrants goes beyond how they are treated at the border, however. Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties are home to over 180,000 foreign-born residents. We let these people know that they are welcome NOT through symbolic gestures, but with the quality of life and the opportunities they are offered.
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