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!
I 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 social media channels for ongoing spiritual support from Unity leaders.
A MESSAGE FROM REV. VICKY
Cultivating Joy Every Day
While the current state of our nation and the world can understandably cause us to feel “off-balance, crispy, heavy, and even anxiety” – it’s more important than ever to foster moments of joy, delight, and gratitude every day.
It can be as simple as savoring a sweet piece of fruit, getting caught up in a child’s giggles, listening to a favorite song, appreciating the beauty of a flower, or allowing the unconditional love of a pet to transform our gloom into a bloom of appreciation…i.e., being open to small, unassuming, disarming moments.
“Often, we have to coax these small moments of joy into our awareness. We have to let our guard down and allow them rub up against us like a purring cat.
“One practical way to counter our negativity bias is to attend to joyful moments. Soaking in moments of delight requires mindfulness. It’s challenging, for example, to enjoy an uplifting breeze when we’re doom-scrolling on FaceBook.
“We don’t have to aspire to picture-postcard ideals of happiness to feel more joyful. Those are more than welcome. But so, too, are the quiet, happy moments that arrive when we’re present for them.”
Here are three mindful practices that can help us experience more joy-filled moments:
Shift Our Frame of Reference: Rather than waiting for the big events or occasions, we can intentionally look for the joy in ordinary moments and even in our daily routines (like our first cup of coffee in the morning). It creates a positive feedback loop: “The more we attend to joy in the ordinary moments of our lives, the more we experience it, and the more joyous we become.”
Slow Down: It can take the brain a few seconds to register that something good is coming our way. Slowing down lets our heart, mind, and body acknowledge pleasure is present.
Non-Problematic Joy: Sometimes, finding joy is as simple as noticing what’s not wrong. In the wild swings between pleasant and unpleasant, we often neglect the contentment of the neutral middle. Being grateful for each new day, our health, our job, a car that’s reliable – might not thrill us, paying attention to them encourages an appreciation for all that’s still right in the world.
(Adapted from “3 Simple Ways to Cultivate Joy Every Day” by Kelly Barron, published by MINDFUL firstname.lastname@example.org September 8, 2020)
Namasté, Rev. Vicky
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.
Spring Affirmation: My heart knows well-being no matter the circumstances. Releasing all fear - I RISE!
Our Senior Minister
Rev Vicky Elder has served as our Minister since 1998, first as co-ministers with her late husband, Rory, and since his passing in 2007, as the Senior Minister. Her passions include social justice and creating a space for all people to explore their spiritual nature, become biblically and spiritually informed, and discover their own Path to the Sacred. 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, as a member of the Regional Advisory Council, and as a member of the Ethics Review System Team.
In addition to ministry, Vicky's passion is her family. Her sons, Travis & Kyle, grew up in Monterey and continue to make it their home. Her daughter, Brianna, lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband, Salvador, and their sons (Vicky's beloved grandsons), Mateo and Joaquin. And her 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 Jelinch, MA Mdiv
Rev. Michelle Jelinch 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 2019 Michelle celebrated 24 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 son, their dog, and two cats.
(Board of Trustees)
Martha Price: Co-President (PowerPoint/Website Liaison)
Robin Falkenberg: Co-President (Platform Liaison, Chaplain, Veterans' Outreach)
Sue Rojcewicz: Secretary (Chaplain Coordinator/Liaison, Music Team, COPA)
Colleen Adams: Treasurer (Usher/Banquet Liaison, Platform, COPA)
Larry Sanks: Trustee (Building Liaison, Chaplain, Sound Team, COPA)
Kay Payan: Trustee (Sacred Grounds Store Manager)
John Dundon: Trustee
MaryAnn Boylan: President Emerita (COPA Liaison)
James Bogan: Trustee Emeritus
Vicky Elder: Senior Minister
Michelle Jelinch: Associate Minister
Denise Hedlind: Music Director
Dori Bogan: Administrative Team
IN SERVICE TO OUR CHURCH CommUNITY
Sundays at 10:00 AM
By now you know that California and Monterey County have rolled back the opening of inside restaurant dining, museums (the aquarium), sports venues, hairdressers, AND CHURCHES. Additionally, our phone-call survey revealed that most of you are content staying virtual. So we've extended our exclusively on-line services through the month of October.
We will be live-streaming our Sunday Service on our Unity Monterey Facebook page at 10 AM Sunday morning. (Note: If you sign in after 10 but before the service ends, you cannot start at the beginning, but can watch from where you enter. After the service ends (by 11:15 at the latest) you can find and watch the service from the beginning. If you are not on Facebook, you can watch the service on our Unity of Monterey YouTube channel after it gets posted by Sunday afternoon.
In order to stay connected, remember that prayer requests can me made at our website.
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.
How to be an Anti-Racist
Wednesdays, Beginning July 1, 7-8:30 PM
Zoom Reading Circle Discussion Group
Join Rev. Vicky for this Zoom Reading Circle/Discussion Group that will explore the book, “How to be an Anti-Racist" by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
Pre-Registration is required to provide Zoom connection & reading materials. Send an email to email@example.com
(putting “Anti-Racism sign-up” in the subject line) – so I can send you the ZOOM link and class information.
Here is a link to an interview with Dr. Kendi: aspenideas.org/sessions/how-to-be-an-antiracist?utm_source
Offered on a love-offering basis
Sundays - Virtual church services on Facebook at Unity Monterey page.
Wednesdays beginning September 16 through November 18: "See No Stranger" Book Study on Wednesday nights 7:00 - 8:15 PM.
September 21, 28: Prayer Respite on Zoom @ 7:00-8:00 PM with Rev Molly Steele (CSL). Email us for details.
November 13 - Virtual Unity Banquet
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.
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.
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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Love offerings for our recordings are appreciated!