Thank you for checking in!
We are collecting and organizing information about our Unity ministries in the path of hurricanes, wildfires, and other situations. We will be posting updates here as we receive them. Thank you for your generous support of our spiritual communities!
Ministers/spiritual leaders and ministries, send your updates to Bernadette Swanson at Bernadette@unity.org.
Before you send donations: Please read Rev Kelly Isola's article about donating after a disaster. Hierarchy of donations: cash, online donations, check. Some disaster locations may not have postal service or recipients can't get to a bank. Do not send stuff! Some donations of items are not helpful if ministries have no place to store supplies. When in doubt, contact the ministry via email first or by phone.
We are also collecting articles on preparing for emergencies in your spiritual communities. These are also in the Resources section.
Updates for California Wildfires
Dec 7, 2017
From Rev Cathy Norman, Unity Church of Ventura, Calif.:
Hello there, fellow Ministers! My church congregation at Unity Church of Ventura is in need of your prayers. There have been some who have lost their homes and pets to the fires. Many of us had to evacuate our homes and do not know what to expect. However, I ask that you join me in this prayer:
The power and presence of God is everywhere present—therefore, I know those affected by the California fires, their families, friends, homes, pets, jobs, and businesses are being blessed by the all providing power of God.
To the Santa Anna winds and raging fires, I say, in the name and through the power of Jesus Christ, “Peace be still.” I see the full power of God calming the winds and extinguishing the fires—Peace be still, Peace be still! And so it is! It is done! Amen!
Dec 6, 2017
We hold Unity of Ventura, the surrounding county and the Los Angeles area in our prayers. We see all residents, emergency responders and animals safe during this round of wildfires.
Oct 23, 2017
From Margaret Flick: We are grateful that over 18 states sent firefighters to help us out.
Oct 17, 2017
Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Vacaville (Rev Dalia Adams) was on evacuation alert but only a few in the congregation had to do that.
Further north, Unity of Santa Rosa was closer to the fire. Most had to evacuate and one congregant lost their house. There were some neighborhoods that were burned down but the fire stopped one block away from the church so the church is still standing. They haven’t been able to get in yet with all the smoke but plan on having a service there this Sunday. The minister, Margaret Flick, will send more information as she knows more.
Oct 16, 2017
Diane Pletcher (UWM Central Office) had contact with Unity Church in Napa Valley, Napa, Calif. They were without power for 2 and a half days and have had a few congregants that have been evacuated. The air quality is poor with lots of smoke, but not too bad if you stay inside. They are in waiting mode and request prayer for calm and no winds.
Oct 11, 2017
We are just starting to get information from California. Revs Sonya and Hal Milton from Napa have reported in as safe. Rev Margaret Flick said Unity of Santa Rosa is okay however some of the congregants have had to evacuate.
Click on the location below (alphabetical) to be taken to their specific entry.
Sept 21, 2017
From Xiomara Malagon:
Our colleagues and friends in Dominican Republic are well. Only the East coast was very affected.
Oct 2, 2017
From Rev Juan del Hierro, Unity on the Bay, Miami:
Unity on the Bay is grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from so many different Unity ministries throughout the movement. Although Miami did not receive a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, it did get impacted. Unity on the Bay, particularly due to its location on Biscayne Bay, experienced damages from the flooding and strong winds. Damages to our fence, fellowship tent, roof and other areas, in addition to the loss of a few Sunday services, will be in excess of $25,000.
We have made our upcoming Music for the Soul concert on Friday, Oct 6, into a benefit concert to support our own recovery, and the recovery of Unity of the Keys, the Unity community in Houston, and we are already setting up ways to support the island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Any support to our efforts are a blessing and can be given through www.unityonthebay.org/recoveryfund.
Photo of Unity on the Bay, Miami, FL
Sept 28, 2017
We have called all of the Florida churches, connecting with most and leaving messages with those we didn’t connect. The majority of those churches have reported none or minor damage from Hurricane Irma, including power outages, missed Sunday services, fallen trees, minor roof damage and leakage, lost awnings, damaged fences, sheds, decks and some flooding. They were very grateful. There are been willing hands to help clean up the debris or angels as one ministry put it.
Unity of Orlando reports a lot of limbs and debris. Many congregants will need to have roofs replaced and trees removed. There is a large branch on the church roof but it doesn’t appear to have done damage.
Unity of Melbourne had their air conditioner blow apart and had water in 4 or 5 rooms of the church. They lost a light pole, trees and had some roof damage.
Unity Church of Clearwater had an awning and large trees come down with damage to a gate and a doorway. Congregants lost carports and had windows blow out.
Sept 13, 2017
Rev Daybree Thoms posted on Facebook: "Unity of the Keys [Spiritual Center, Key West, Fla.] website is now set up to accept donations for our Irma restoration fund: at www.unityofthekeys.org/hurricane. Our church and community are facing a variety of challenges after the impact of Hurricane Irma. We’ve set up a specific recovery fund for those who would like to contribute to our roof repair and grounds restoration projects. Any monies not used will be distributed among other churches, the individual needs of our community members related to the hurricane, and the community-at-large. Thank you and God Bless you for your generosity."
Sept 12, 2017
Lisa, board president, from Unity of Naples, Fla., called and their sanctuary and buildings are completely intact. They have trees down and there is flooding but their church is not. They are going to resume services there on the Sept 24th. Lisa also shared that there were 7 people from Unity Church of Bonita Springs, Fla., who were hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning generator and to please hold them in prayer.
Rev Temple Hayes posted on Facebook: "First Unity Spiritual Campus [St Petersburg, Fla.] where I have the good pleasure of being the Spiritual Leader had very little damage. All easy to repair."
Sept 7, 2017
Rev Carrie Kenyon reports, "I have talked with the minister, Rev Daybree Thoms, in Unity of the Keys Spiritual Center, Key West, Fla. The church is shuttered and everyone has been evacuated so all are safe and secure. She said the sun is shining and everything is calm right now. The prayers are appreciated and she sends love to everyone."
Sept 28, 2017
At this time, we do not have any news from our Unity ministries in Mexico. Prayers are always welcome.
Sept 21, 2017
From Xiomara Malagon:
No news from Mexico. I am trying to reach Revs. Beatriz Vargas and Angela Carrillo in Mexico City via telephone. I will let you know as soon as I hear from them.
Nov 22, 2017
From Rev Xiomara Malagon: Rev Esther Mantilla contacted Rev Norma Rosado and learned that Unity de Caguas was severely damaged by the hurricane. Those interested in sending their gifts to Unity de Caguas may use the following address:
Unity de Caguas
PO Box 511
Caguas PR 00725
Esther also shared that most ministries in PR are getting back to normal now. A list of those ministries will be share with us later on.
Nov 20, 2017
The island continues to recover as electricity is being restored. Still, a little over half of the island remains without power from the Sept 20 hurricane. Rev Esther Mantilla is continuing to collect and distribute funds for specific ministries. If you cannot directly contact a ministry and want to donate to them, make your checks out to the specific ministry and send them to Asociación Unity de Cristianismo Práctico. She will see that they receive the funds. Contact information for ministries and on where to send the checks is in Oct 22 below.
Oct 22, 2017
General fund for the island of Puerto Rico: United for Puerto Rico While you may want to steer your donation directly to a Unity community, the greatest need may be in supporting the general community to get back on its feet which will in turn help the local congregation. Please pray for guidance after reading Rev Kelly Isola's article about donating after a disaster.
Esther Mantilla shares that the USPS (United Stated Postal Service) is operating in some areas, but not all. The best thing to do for those wanting to send first aid kits, batteries, portable radios, clothes, etc., is to contact the ministries first to ensure that USPS is operating in their areas. Since the USPS office is operating where the ministry she leads has its PO Box, she is very much willing to serve as a bridge. Please address any checks to a specific ministry. See Note below. If you cannot contact the specific ministry, please address packages/checks to:
(Name of designated ministry/church)
C/O Asociación Unity de Cristianismo Práctico
PO Box 12108
San Juan PR 00914
She will make sure to have them delivered to the designated ministries.
Note: Look up ministries in Puerto Rico on www.unityworldwideministries.org/find-church. In the State/Province/Region dropdown, select Puerto Rico. Click Search. We do not have a fund set up for general PR donations.
Oct 11, 2017
Rev Esther Mantilla, Regional Rep Puerto Rico, shared with Rev Xiomara Malagon the following information regarding our Unity ministries in PR:
Beacon of Light Unity: Church does not own facilities, therefore damage suffered will be covered by leasing company. Standing by.
Unity de Aguada: Facilities did not suffer damage. They are happy and grateful. At the moment they are working on community projects to assist and support individuals and homes for the elderly in Aguada.
Unity de Luquillo: Facilities did not suffer damage. It is considered to be a huge miracle for they are near the ocean. Amen!
Unity de Carolina: Facilities suffered damage.
Unity de Guayama: Badly damaged. Ministry is at a driving distance of two hours from San Juan. LUT Amalia Gonzalez, leader, is planning to go there tomorrow.
Unity de Dorado: Facilities did not suffer damage. Rev Nilza Santiago shared that all is well.
Unity de Caguas: No report has been shared.
Unity de Quebradillas: No report has been shared.
Unity de Ponce: Facilities did not suffer damage.
Unity de Santurce (in San Juan): Suffered minor damage. Rev Mantilla and volunteers are working in community services to assist and support individuals, hospitals and public facilities in the area.
Unity de Bayamon: Badly damaged. Full report is pending.
San Juan: Some of the churches in San Juan are using generators to operate. Others are not yet operating.
Oct 10, 2017
From Xiomara Malagon:
Rev Esther Mantilla shared that ministries in the area of San Juan suffered minor damages and are operating with generators. The buildings of Unity en Guayama and Unity en Bayamon are badly damaged. Unity en Luquillo and Unity Dorado got hit but not as bad. She has not been able to make contact with all the ministers in the country.
Oct 9, 2017
The ministries on the island are designating this Sunday, Oct 15, as Turn Puerto Rico Green Again Sunday. They invite everyone to wear green and hold the vision for recovery. Spread the word to your communities to show support for Puerto Rico by wearing green this Sunday!
Rev Joanne Rowden, Unity Spiritual Center Westlake, Ohio, reached out on Facebook to PR:
"Thank you for your interest in helping us. My name is Blanca Guardiola, MLU, assistant minister. On behalf of our ministry director, Rev Mara Maritza Ortega, would like to let you know the fastest help would be financial in order to do repairs and to continue operations. Phone 787.292.2152; 787.550.7674. Our address: Unity-Educando Para La Paz, Ave Monserrate BA-15, Urb Valle Arriba Heights, Carolina, PR 00983. Thank you for your support ... blessings!!!"
Sept 28, 2017
We were able to contact a couple of Unity ministers in Puerto Rico. They reported that the buildings were not in good shape, more than 11,400 people remain in 159 shelters and 3.4 million are still almost entirely without power. 90% of the cell towers are also down so people are struggling to let families know they are safe. We do not have contacts for donations at this time and will keep you updated as we know more.
Sept 21, 2017
From Xiomara Malagon:
"Esther Mantilla contacted me this morning to let us know she is doing all right. Her home was damaged and don't know yet how much damage has been done at the church building. I have not heard from Mara Ortega or other leaders in Puerto Rico."
Sept 7, 2017
Rev Xiomara Malagon reports, "Rev Esther Mantilla from Puerto Rico shared that they are doing well. I am waiting to hear from the ministers in Dominican Republic, but I think they are okay. We continue to hold everyone in our hearts and prayers, especially those in Florida.
Oct 23, 2017
From Allison Smith, St. John:
I'm back in the States for a few days, gathering more relief supplies. I need to update the shipping info to send solar items or other donations through our PO Box which is now open (but VERY far behind) instead of tropical. It's not ideal, but better than tropical who is MONTHS behind in the shipping to the Caribbean. Send supplies to:
Unity of St John
PO Box 1711
St John VI 00831
We're far from recovered and still in need of Paypal donations, especially for supplies and shipping. We're focusing now on 12v and solar solutions as we're told it will be January before we get power. People are still living under tarps without ice, transportation, uncanned food, cell or Internet. Mudslides have been a major issue with ongoing post-hurricane rain. The trees are coming back, however, as a sign of hope, but my people are generally PTSD. Many are homeless and staying with other people, generally in despair. Recovery is a VERY slow process. Thanks for your help, Allison
Oct 3, 2017
From Allison Smith, St. John:
Hi, Unity Fam[ily]. I'm on the plane back to St John. Almost everyone lost their laptops in the storm, so if there are any companies or individuals who can donate computers (with chargers), new or used that would be great.
Also anything that charges with solar power, like fans, lanterns, phone chargers, solar packs. [Old shipping information removed. See above for updates.]
Sept 28, 2017
The Virgin Islands did not fare as well as Florida. While Hurricane Maria didn’t hit St John directly, it brought heavy rains resulting in mudslides on an already island devastated from Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Maria blew straight into St. Croix. Over 70% of the homes were destroyed and the island is without power. At this time, we have not been able to connect with Unity of St. Croix in Kingshill. To help out, you can donate to USVIRecovery.org.
It will take both Islands a long haul to get back to “normal.” Their airports are closed and they will be without power for 3-6 months.
Sept 21, 2017
From Allison Smith, St John: "Many thanks to all the beautiful people who affirmed prayers of protection for our little island of St John. They worked and the eye of storm went south. Unfortunately it didn't go far enough south and St Croix and Puerto Rico received the storm.
St John experienced rain and wind that ordinarily wouldn't have had much of an impact, but with out fragile, damaged state after Irma, it further damaged our island with excess water, flooding and mudslides. The common theme on island is "enough already" or "this can't be happening!" We set up info on our website today about relief effforts and how you can help. www.UnityofStJohn.org. Thanks for your support ... spiritually and otherwise!"
Sept 18, 2017
From Allison Smith, St John: "Please help me spread the word today to all of Unity that our little island and Unity of St John and Unity of St Croix are in extreme circumstances and need of powerful prayers for protection. In an unprecedented, unbelievable chain of events, our island was devastated by the strongest hurricane in recorded history, Hurricane Irma, less than two weeks ago and now it's predicted that we'll be hit again with Category 3 Hurricane Maria, tomorrow. (Tuesday, 9/19). The majority of homes on St John were destroyed and the remainder are damaged. What's left of our fragile island is extremely vulnerable and our people are traumatized and in emotional shock. They are being evacuated by the Coast Guard at this moment. Every spiritual voice, every thought, every prayer needs to be focused now on the safety of our island, our people, the immediate future, seeing protection surrounding our lives and our island. Considering the Law of Mind Action, I'm calling for powerful visualizations of the storm going well to the south of the Virgin Islands, blowing out in to the Caribbean Sea, away from land. And seeing the property and people surrounded in a bubble of safety, love and protection. Thanks to all my Unity fam who have been so supportive to me during this time. Love you all so much!"
Sept 12, 2017
Rev Carrie Kenyon had contact with Allison Smith, spiritual leader, Unity of St John, Virgin Islands. 50% of the homes are destroyed and most of the boats are destroyed or sunk. The church office with the Daily Word is still standing. To donate: unityofstjohn.org. Or checks can be mailed to: Unity of St John, PO Box 1711, St John VI 00831. Make checks out to Unity of St. John. "I'll be sure 100% of funds are distributed and used to help hurricane relief. We're an all volunteer organization, including me!" (photo of St John, VI)
From Rev Douglas Duerr, UWM Ministry Leadership Coordinator (in Houston, TX):
"The disruption of the internal and external world of so many is not over. For some it's just beginning. The aftermath of recovery is ongoing. As those in the greater Houston and surrounding areas begin the next stages of recovery, our hearts, while tender and many so exhausted from what's occurred locally, pause often in prayer and the deeper stages of grief for our brothers and sisters in so many areas of our country and abroad.
Please include these ministries and all those affected by the latest display of nature's upheaval in our world in your on going prayers. We've witnessed the strength and determination of spirit expressing in a powerful way! There are mass groups formed within these church communities partnering to assist in clean out, tear out, pack up, haul away, food/water delivery, rebuilding efforts and prayer. The memberships themselves have formed new relationships within the ministries, as well as, deeper community connections. Facebook groups and sign up sheets are a common place for those willing to find out where and how to assist. We see the muscle in Spirit expressing, as well as, the kindness of new friendships forming. God is expressing in the most beautiful ways. Tender moments and kinship of true community is being revealed across cultures and communities. Thank you God!"
How You Can Help: Harvey
Unity Worldwide Ministries is partnering with Unity of Houston, Texas, to organize relief efforts after Hurrican Harvey. Donations received on their website will be used for Unity ministries and their congregants in the southeast Texas area. You can see updates on fund distribution at the bottom of this section.
UWM will be posting updates on those ministries affected by Harvey as we receive them. We have been in touch with all the ministries in southeast Texas and are assigning point persons for each ministry. It is our intention to assist, not overwhelm, them. So many of our ministries who were affected are overwhelmed right now. We realize that email works best for most, not phone calls. That allows them to reply as they are able. Please read Rev Kelly Isola's blog post below (General Info) about how to best volunteer.
Click on the ministry name below (alphabetical by city) to be taken to their specific entry.
Unity Southeast Texas, Beaumont
Unity Spiritual Center of Corpus Christi
Unity Spiritual Center of Greater Houston, Cypress
Unity of Houston
Unity Lake Houston, Kingwood
Unity Bay Area Houston, League City
Unity in Rockport
Unity Circle of Light, The Woodlands
Sept 12, 2017
“We canceled our services for the last two Sundays due to the heavy flooding in the Beaumont area from Hurricane Harvey. In many cases, members were unable to leave their homes because houses were surrounded by water. All were without public water supply from the city and many without electricity. All highways out of the city were closed and most of our back roads were covered in water. Some larger trucks were able to maneuver the high water while boats were also allowed in to assist with the many rescues. Two services without any income is a big deal for a small congregation such as our church. Many are figuring out their next steps following a storm of this magnitude. Our funds are low and ongoing expenses are great. Everyone here would greatly appreciate your prayers and any financial gifts you are called to provide on behalf of Unity of Southeast Texas. Thank you very kindly.”—Rev Joy Walker
Mailing address: Unity Southeast Texas,1555 South 23rd St, Beaumont TX 77707.
Sept 12, 2017
"I had tears in my eyes Sunday as I tried to name all of the ministries that had contacted us/me. The center had minor water damage. Most of our congregants left the area during the storm and have now returned. At this point, we have no injuries or deaths and all are accounted for. Many have property damage, and some of our congregants are displaced from their homes. Personally, I was at our home near New Braunfels during the storm. We are safe! While it is easy to claim God the good when times are good, we are challenged to see the ‘good’ when people lose their lives and property. During this weather event, so many offered their prayers and support, that I feel not only blessed but also overwhelmed. The definition of ‘overwhelmed’—‘to overpower or overcome’—resonates with me. Yes, feeling overpowered by the goodness of God that shows up in our fellow human beings. We truly appreciate all the prayers and support. We feel blessed to have our Unity teachings and so few long-term issues. We hold in prayer all our brothers and sisters, especially in South Texas!"—Rev Judy Beach
To make a donation to Unity Spiritual Center of Corpus Christi Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: You will find e-giving on their website unityofcorpus.com or mail donations to Unity Spiritual Center of Corpus Christi, 4819 Saratoga Blvd, Corpus Christi TX 78413.
(formerly Unity Church of North Houston)
Jan 29, 2018
From Dixie Edinger, Office Administrator.
We have moved our location to a new beautiful space! After the flood and fire, things were not being done, so we had to move on. Our new address is:
Unity Spiritual Center of Greater Houston
13615 Kluge Rd, Suite 200
Cypress TX 77429
Sept 12, 2017
The flooding, as a result of Hurricane Harvey was extensive. This spiritual community’s space is completely flooded and unusable. The assessments and the next steps are yet to be determined. Rev Don Seiler and the amazing membership have re-grouped and are meeting in temporary locations. This community honors their mission: “We are an affirming community inspiring spiritual growth through unconditional love and service.” Through the storm and beyond they show up in the most beautiful way.
To give to support their Harvey Recovery, please go to pushpay.com/pay/unitynorthhouston or text unityspirit to 77977.
Sept 12, 2017
“At Unity of Houston we have had some water damage in our youth education building, our main sanctuary and our offices. We feel very fortunate that we have been spared the devastation in our physical campus that so many of our sister churches have experienced. Yet over 60 families and individuals in our church were affected, with new names coming in daily. Some have lost everything. We have mobilized hundreds of volunteers to help our own and others in the city. The needs change constantly and we are seeking to be responsive and prayerful. We are receiving funds from all around the world to aid in the recovery. The distribution of these generous gifts will be focused on Churches, Congregations, and Communities. We will direct the financial support to help with Unity and New Thought churches affected by Harvey, to the members of the congregations of our churches, and to the surrounding communities.”—Rev Michael Gott, Senior Minister
Gifts can be sent to Unity of Houston, 2929 Unity Drive, Houston, TX, 77057 or through our crowdsourcing web page: www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-920110
*On Friday, September 15, at 8 p.m. (CST) in our sanctuary, we will host “Help for Houston—A Benefit Concert.” This will feature our own wonderful musicians and some special guests, including Rickie Byars. The concert will be live-streamed around the world and we hope to raise $100,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Join us here in Houston in our Sanctuary or view us online. Just join us!
Sept 12, 2017
“Our church was under five feet of water on the second floor, we had to discard almost everything. And yet, our altar stayed intact, with our Christ candle dry and upright and the Daily Word sitting there as if nothing could ever harm it. We continue our services as we meet in various places, accepting the generous offers of congregants and the community to open their homes and places of business. For us, it is a wake-up call, recognizing the cleansing aspect of this experience. And, we are in high spirits.
“Three congregants have lost their homes. Two of them are still unable to access their property. Congregants and volunteers from wherever they may have come (other denominations, convictions, ethnicities, etc.) helped to discard furniture, remove drywall, bleach studs, and engage in true compassionate service. Most of our congregation was locked in for days, including my wife Elaine and I. We lost power, experienced backed-up plumbing, and felt cut off from the rest of the world. Yet, we communicated and reached out, offering support and comfort. Our prayer chaplains and pastoral care team worked overtime to hold the space (bless them). We are safe and grateful.
“Various forms of technology helped us stay connected during the worst and beyond. We recognize Harvey's cleansing factor as we pause and reconsider our purpose. The metaphysics of Noah's story, the awakening to our spiritual nature, is not lost, as we are ready for unexpected transformations. We know that there is much beauty to come. Yet, we are still experiencing the grief and pain. We know in heart and mind that Abundance is alive. And yet, many of us are simply too exhausted to appreciate that truth. Let us be blessed with time and the loving support we receive from those whose hearts expand as they embrace us. We are grateful. Thank you. And so it is. Amen.”—Jean-Marie Schweizer
Hurricane Harvey Fund (unitylakehouston.org/donate): Any unused funds will be shared with other affected churches and charities. With an open heart and much raw emotion, we appreciate anyone's contributions.
Sept 12, 2017
“We are meeting with adjusters for numerous roof leaks but our damage is manageable and facility fully functional as long as we do not have sustained rain and other than loss of income for a Sunday. More fareaching are the financial effects on our ministry from 30% who have lost homes, cars, and belongings but also all those self-employed who have business and income losses which have longer reaching effects in the ministry. I have been blessed that my personal home was surrounded by water but none entered and I maintained power throughout. One staff member had flooding. Disaster equalizes everyone as we unite in shared vulnerability and yet also in shared inspiration. PTSD and ‘survivor's guilt’ is prevalent and powerfully drives the need for safety and connection. Reminding one another that we are Indestructible Christ Consciousness is a valued gift as is human touch and being in one another's presence in action and in prayer.
“Our volunteers served over 30 families from our congregation in home cleanup. Countless others in our congregation have supported their own family members and friends. The urgency of removing toxic waters and mud before mold multiplies is still critical. Another 30+ families have been served as of 9/6/17 with cleaning supplies, gift cards and spiritual support. We have attempted to fill the initial crisis support gap for as many as we can as others arrive from around the country.
“We are now working to find temporary housing and autos to support many through their losses. Thank you to everyone for all of the prayers, love, blessings, and support through this journey."—Rev Kyra Baehr
Support our ministry at www.unityofbayarea.org/donate. If you note a designation of Harvey Hurricane Relief, funds will go directly to those in need. The mailing address is Unity Bay Area Houston, 1911 Hwy 3 S, League City TX 77573
Sept 2, 2017
Harvey Relief and Flood Update from Rev Kyra Baehr, Unity Bay Area Houston, League City, Texas
Sept 12, 2017
The Church in Rockport has sustained damage. The full assessment is unavailable at this time. The City remains closed for safety concerns. Many evacuated for safety and have not yet returned to their homes to assess the next steps of recovery.
We hold Rockport and this community in our prayers. Unity Church in Rockport is currently without a minister. We hold the high watch of Divine Order, Strength and Faith for this community that has been in sacred service for more than 35 years. We affirm Divine Love in action as this community begins their healing journey. As their mission statement affirms, “To provide all a gathering place to experience love, acceptance, spiritual growth and their oneness with God” we too hold this mission in the Light with them.
You will find a PayPal link on their website for e-giving.
Sept 12, 2017
“Even though Roger and I evacuated by boat because of rising waters, we returned to our home two days later to find that we had no flooding in our home. The ministry property, though, was another story. We have been a church for almost twenty years, and until this July, we have met in temporary locations. We had our first service in our new sanctuary on July 9, 2017. Our new sanctuary and our fellowship house both flooded. Members and friends have stepped up to remove furniture, rip out carpeting, remove sheet rock, and pull up flooring. Our new sanctuary will need sheet rock, paint, new carpet, bathroom repair, a new refrigerator, and many other things to operate the church. Most everything in our fellowship house is gone, including our entire kitchen.
“We had a brief prayer service last Sunday in our foyer. We plan to continue at least that practice in the weeks ahead. We're taking it one day at a time. As a church, we've learned that love and support come from places you've never expected. The light of God shows up in numbers of ways, always as the presence of fellow citizens of our wonderful planet. We have had numbers of volunteers helping us who are fellow members of our local Faiths Together organization. It is a huge blessing to be connected with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, B'hai, as well as, Christian groups, primarily LDS, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Lutherans. A local mosque brought us lunch on two occasions. We are blessed! We send love and gratitude to all.”—Rev Jerry Roberts
UCL Flood Recovery: www.gofundme.com/unitycircleoflight. Our church mailing address is Unity Circle of Light, PO Box 132225, The Woodlands Texas 77393.
As of September 21st Unity of Houston raised over $200,000 in Hurricane Harvey Recovery donations and as of 9/27, this number has increased to $275,000. Thank you!
Unity of Houston’s intention is to be fair, equitable and transparent in the distribution of all funds.
Hurricane Harvey affected churches in need: Phase I distribution of funds:
7 area Unity Churches were identified in financial need due the affect of Hurricane Harvey. (Unity of Houston not included). See ministries above which have updates dated Sept 12.
An initial tithe of $5,000 has been given to these churches who were affected by Hurricane Harvey either by physical damage, loss of income or both.
The Recovery Effort Committee formed at Unity of Houston hopes this amount will get them started in recovery efforts and trusts each ministries leadership to best determine its highest and best use.
Hurricane Harvey affected congregants in need: Phase I distribution of funds:
The Recovery Effort Committee at Unity of Houston also approved an initial tithe of $750.00 per family that each ministry leader identified. We hope this can make a small difference in helping our spiritual family get back on their feet. Each area spiritual leader identified individuals/families who were seriously affected by Hurricane Harvey with minimal to no resources. Unity of Houston was sent an approximate number of individuals/families that have been flooded, experienced physical damage or both. 100 have been reported as of 9/27, including Unity of Houston's membership. One church's membership status is still unreported as of this update. We are supporting these individuals who have an immediate financial need as soon as possible.
Phase II distribution of funds: If additional funds are needed, A Post Hurricane Harvey Relief Assessment (long) form can be submitted to Unity of Houston for review. The team at Unity of Houston is handling this on a case by case basis for ministries and individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. Again, Unity of Houston’s intention is to be fair, equitable and transparent in the distribution of all funds.
"I Want to Give" Rev Kelly Isola is a Disaster Response/Recovery Chaplain, with lots of education, training and certifications from FEMA. Her blog is on how to donate and volunteer because "so many don't know what to do or how to organize and often people start doing their own thing and forget to connect with the larger network." In our desire to help, we sometimes become part of the problem of overwhelming the recipients.
Crisis Preparation. Tragedies invite us to be aware and consider how we can best create a space of safety in our ministries. This article from Thom Rainer may help you to think into this.
Protecting Your Congregation. An article from Christianity Today has advice for ministry leaders in protecting your spiritual community from a gunman.