Making a positive difference



Special Seminars


This year we will be offering Tracks for the following:

  •      Ministers/Spiritual Leaders

  •      Licensed Teachers

  •      Board/Lay Leaders

  •      Youth and Family

  •      Spiritual Development for Congregants

  •      Nurturing and Developing your Ministry


Tuesday, June 9, 2015  9:00-11:00am


Ministers/Spiritual Leaders Track

Church and Minister Finance and Tax, What you need to know! By Rev. Bruce Verkruyse

Who should attend-- all Board Members, Church Administrators, Ministers and Spiritual Leaders that are involved with Church Administration and Finance.

Please join us for a complete overview of the essentials of Church, Accounting, Finance and Business practices, followed by a special session on Minister taxes and how to get the greatest benefit from using the current tax laws.

Bruce is the COO/CFO for Unity Worldwide Ministries.

Licensed Unity Teachers Track

Calming the Chaos: Managing your Energy Rather Than your Time or Stress by Jackie Woodside

Far too many people  working in ministry and in our culture at large feel they don’t have enough time to “get it all done.” The stress of this chronic overwhelm creates a disorganized mind that leads to a chaotic life that is a far cry from experiencing and expressing the Truth of Who You Really Are. Based on her highly acclaimed “Energy Management” workshops, and drawn from over 25 years of counseling and coaching experience, professional trainer and speaker Jackie Woodside shares her breakthrough methods that lead to becoming the least stressed, most productive person that you know!

In the Calming the Chaos session, You will learn the step-by-step skills and thought processes that lead to increased productivity, clarity and peace of mind. Jackie’s approach stems from the new frontier of human performance called energetic consciousness. Part philosophy, part psychology, part metaphysics and fully practical application, you will learn:

  •      Why there is no such thing as time management and what to do instead.
  •      How to manage your energetic consciousness instead of your time and stress.
  •      The three step formula for managing every aspect of your life for the rest of your life!
  •      Why “to-do lists” are a set up for failure and what really works.
  •      “The Three Strikes Rule” that will end procrastination for good!
  •      How to always know that you have the time for what you want and need to do!

Jackie Woodside is the founder of the Woodside Wellness Institute , a holistically-oriented center offering coaching, training and consciousness-based psychotherapy. She created a spiritually-oriented coaching program entitled, “The Curriculum for Conscious Living” which includes three courses: Life Design, Life Mastery and Living a Transcendent Life.

Jackie delivered her first TEDx talk in 2012 at TEDxWaldenPond and her talk has been highly acclaimed and reviewed. She leads spiritual retreats and has spoken at numerous Unity churches around the country.  Jackie just released her second book, “Calming the Chaos: A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather than Your Time,” and is an Amazon Best Selling author of “What If It’s Time for a Change" and a contributing author in the award-winning book “Conscious Entrepreneurs.”

Youth and Family Track

Transforming Lives: Growing Inclusive and Intergenerational Unity Cultures by Revs. Richard and Victoria Bunch

Description: Unity of Richmond is a dynamic, inclusive and intergenerational ministry whose vision is “Transformed Lives, Transforming the World.”  Our energy-filled environment attracts spiritual seekers.  We have an infrastructure that is designed to be flexible, prayer centered and service-oriented.  Our seminar offers ideas to grow inclusive and intergenerational cultures in your Unity ministry through dynamic outreach opportunities, team ministries, non-traditional programs and multi-site ministry.  We will introduce ways that our ministry uses the power of technology to spread the Unity message of Oneness and Wholeness and keep our membership informed.  We invite you to join us and share what your ministry is doing to promote inclusive and intergenerational activities within your congregation

Board/Lay Leaders Track


Creating Dynamic, Thriving, & Sustainable Spiritual Communities by Rev. Toni Boehm

Are you ready to create a thriving and masterful experience of spiritual community?

Through a highly interactive dialogue we will focus on:

* The important dance between spiritual awakening and spiritual maturity.

* Discerning the skills, tools, & best practices that are needed to move forward, organically, as a spiritual community.

* How the spiritual consciousness of a community’s leaders powerfully shapes the consciousness of the community.

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to share visionary, inspiring insights that will guide this spiritual community into an ever more vibrant and thriving future!

Toni has worked with over 200 Unity ministries who laud her ability to support them in discovering how they can best move to their next level of excellence.

"Toni and I have worked together on Unity Worldwide Ministries’ leadership teams and I appreciate how fun, inspiring and skilled Toni is in facilitating excellence."

B.B., N.Mexico


Spiritual Development for Congregants Track

The Power and Impact of Vibrations by Rev. Gregory Guice

This seminar is designed to examine how our consciousness and the way we respond is effected by the vibrations and frequency we receive within our mind, our body and our heart.

In Unity we understand that everything in the Universe has a vibration. Each flower, plant, tree, mineral, rock, crystal or gemstone has its own specific vibration. Each type of cell, organ, and system in each living organism also has its own specific vibration. Each thought and emotions has its own vibration and each sound and color has its own vibration.

Participants will learn how to begin to raise their vibration and enhance their frequency to sustain spiritual growth.

Feeling the call to ministry, Gregory Guice was ordained at the Unity School for Religious Studies in Lee’s Summit, Missouri in 2000.  His goal is to prayerfully demonstrate and teach the principles of Truth as taught by Jesus Christ. Before becoming the Senior Minister at Detroit Unity Temple, Rev. Guice served with Reverend. Argentina Glasgow as Co-minister at the Temple. He was hired as Senior Minister at Unity of Lake Orion, and Unity Christ Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He has also had the privilege to serve on the Board Directors at Unity School of Christianity.

Nurturing and Developing your Ministry

Drumming up Spirit!!! by Christine Stevens

Join internationally acclaimed musician Christine Stevens from UpBeat Drum Circles and Agape drum ministry and tap into (pun intended) the multi-cultural lineage of drumming for spiritual communion and unity!  Learn the rhythms of Life, Spirit, and the World.  Discover the unique beat that only you can play.  Drums and percussion instruments
provided.  No prior musical experience necessary.

Christine Stevens is an internationally acclaimed author and music therapist.  The founder of UpBeat Drum Circles, she has appeared on NBC, CBS and Living Better TV.  She is a frequent contributing writer for a variety of magazines on music and spirituality.  She has drummed with students at ground zero, survivors of Katrina in New Orleans, and
 Iraqi survivors.  She is the author of The Healing Drum Kit and The Art and Heart of Drum Circles.

“Christine’s work is anointed with the kiss of heaven’s inspiration, celebration and joy.  She absolutely fulfills her calling as an instrument of global peace on the planet.”  - Michael Bernard Beckwith, author, Spiritual Liberation, Founder, Agape International Spiritual Center

"Christine Stevens can introduce you to the magic, fun, and healing power of drumming.  I recommend it."  -Dr. Andrew Weil, MD


Thursday, June 11, 2015 1:30-3:00pm


Ministers/Spiritual Leaders Track

Mission-Based Ministry: Advancing the Movement by Rev. Deborah Frownfelter and Rev. Barry Vennard

Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Current Vision and Mission:
Vision: A world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening
Mission: Advancing the movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity, a positive path for spiritual living

How can each of us and our ministries play a role in advancing our vision and mission?  Let’s explore together proven practices and new emerging trends and ways of ministry that create ways for increasing numbers of people to actively engage in spiritual growth and development, connect with others in community, and find meaningful roles in advancing and expanding the movement of shared spiritual awakening and transformation. Shared spiritual awakening to our oneness with God and creation is critical to the future of humanity.  Nothing in humanity is more important or more promising.

Youth and Family Track

Geek Speak by Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons

What are the positive and negative effects of technology on our young people? How can we best use technology in youth ministry? What safety measures and policies should we adopt in our youth programs? Join Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons to explore the pros and cons of the use of technology with our youth. Learn strategies for keeping youth engaged in our programs, as well as ways to communicate safely and effectively with them and their families in this techno age.

Board/Lay Leaders/Licensed Unity Teachers Track

TRP (Totally Responsible Person) by Daniel Lobb

This workshop will help each participant see themselves as someone who is responsible for how they handle any given situation and will be accountable to others, as well as themselves. Each participant will learn proven techniques to move beyond blame and judgment and gain the confidence and tools needed to interact with others in a positive, constructive and respectful way.
Presented with humor, the workshop is nonthreatening, yet has a profound impact on those who attend. It is fast paced and includes lecturettes, role plays, skits, video clips, group discussion and reflection.
Participants learn innovative and proven ways to control negative emotions, beliefs, or habits that impede cooperation and productivity.

Spiritual Development for Congregants Track

Talking Circles by Martha Paquin

Communication in Native American culture is quite different than the "usual" American competitive-style communication. Their style values cooperation over competition, which reflects in many areas of their lifestyles. When many Native Americans engage in conversation they listen intently, usually looking down and not establishing eye contact, until the person speaking is completely finished talking. Then the other person talks and fully expects to be able to completely finish their thought without interruption or before the conversation turns to another person.  A feather is used as a symbol for a talking stick.

·  The person holding the "talking feather" or some other Native American object is the only who has the right to talk. Even if it takes several minutes to think about what they wish to say or if there is a pause in the conversation. Whoever has the "talking feather" has the floor.
·  If someone in the circle wishes to express a view or comment on what is being said, it is limited to noises that can be made through the nose. This would be a faint grunt of agreement. Any comments, especially negative comments while someone is speaking are absolutely not allowed. In fact, they are banned. Each person MUST wait his or her turn.
·  When the "talking feather" comes to you, you may talk about "whatever is in your heart or on your mind." There may be an overall topic that the Talking Circle is discussing but you are in no way limited to discussing or commenting on anything anyone has said. A talking circle is not limited in topic content. You are free to say whatever you desire, without limitation or fear. Talking circles are safe environments and you should feel comfortable knowing that no one will interrupt or criticize you.

Nurturing and Developing your Ministry

Just How Adored You Are by StoweGood

Through laughter and tears, this powerful StoweGood session will take you on a musical journey to the soul. Heart-opening written and inter-active exercises create a safe space for you to explore subjects like forgiveness, second chances and embracing your gifts and who you were born to be. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and on fire to do what you do best!
“I came to the workshop with a slammed shut heart and StoweGood was the spiritual crowbar that cracked me open.”
~ A Workshop Attendee, Albuquerque NM

StoweGood is an international touring duo based out of Nashville TN and comprised of Grammy-nominated songwriter/authors Karen Taylor Good and Stowe Dailey. Through the power of music and the sharing of personal tragedy and triumphs, Karen and Stowe are all at once vulnerable, hilarious and totally inspiring! From TEDx talks to musical keynotes for corporations, Unity Minister’s Retreats and New Thought congregations around world, StoweGood delivers a message of hope and love that has audiences dancing in their seats and on fire to live their best lives.

Author Your Book in a Weekend: A Truly Spiritual Approach to Writing by Tom Bird

We are all familiar with the power of Source as It moves through us. Nowhere is this more powerful than when Source moves through our writing. As this class shows, when properly communed with, Source can lead us to the successful completion of a book, and a major life enlightenment as well, in as little as a weekend. Taught by Number One Best Selling Author, Tom Bird, this course is designed for would-be authors as well as seasoned writers - anyone who feels drawn to write for any reason and who seeks the deeper meaning and purpose behind that drawn. In 2014 alone, 24 of those who took Bird's retreats found homes as #1 Amazon Best Sellers. If you have got a book inside of you, this class is for you.

Tom has led tens of thousands of aspiring authors to write/publish their books, including 22 over the last year who have become #1 Amazon Best Sellers. His most current offering, his  Write Your Best Seller in a Weekend Retreat, leads authors to tap into the Spirit of their books and to complete the writing of them in three days or less.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 3:30-5:00pm


Ministers/Spiritual Leaders Track

Infinite Connections: Growing Your Church with Small Group Ministry by Rev. Mendhi Audlin

This program explores the power of Small Group Ministry as a tool for engaging new visitors, as well as established members.  Participants will discuss case studies of churches of differing denominations to see how small group ministry is utilized in mega churches, as well as in smaller ministries.  We will discuss common reasons why small group initiatives fail, and how to train members to step into small group leadership as a means of increasing connection among members, better serving the spiritual needs of the congregation, and creating a healthier, more balanced congregation.

Participants will learn:

  • The difference between being a church "with small groups" versus being a church "of small groups."
  • The role small group ministry can play in fulfilling the mission of the church.
  • The hidden benefits of establishing an ongoing small groups program.
  • The most common mistakes ministries make when establishing small group programs.
  • Best practices for engaging your congregation in small groups that contribute to the overall vision and mission of the church.

Mendhi Audlin is the former pioneering Spiritual Leader of Unity Church of Wimberley in Wimberley, Texas.  She is the founder of Unity Online Radio, and hosted its first program, The Leading Edge.  She is a contributing writer on the topic of Small Group Ministry in Unity Leaders Magazine, and is the producer for SpiritualityToday.TV, providing DVD-based curriculum for Small Group Ministries in New Thought and the Executive Director of Spirituality Today, providing Small Group Ministry leadership development programs for New Thought churches.

Board/Lay Leaders/Licensed Teachers Track


Creating Feedback-Rich Environments by Rev. Cynthia Vermillion-Foster

Do you find that your ministry, in an effort to keep the peace, experiences triangulation, lack of authenticity, suppressed concerns and other ineffective ways of dealing with everyday interpersonal challenges? Well, you’re not alone. This is one of the most frequent challenges I encounter in consulting with ministries Such behavior is learned and reinforced in our competitive, consumer oriented culture, but when ministries intentionally nurture new ways of being together, the real power and potential of community are released leading to greater health, vitality and engagement. This interactive seminar will enhance your ability to foster feedback-rich environments in which communication is fluid, ideas are shared openly and directly, and tension is embraced as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Cynthia Vermillion-Foster graduated and was ordained at Unity School of Christianity in 1997.  She then spent three years at the Association of Unity Churches serving in the Employment and Expansion Department.  She and her husband, Don Foster, served as co-ministers of Unity Life Center in Chantilly, VA from 2000 to 2006.  In September 2006, they relocated to Hamilton, ON to serve as the ministerial team at Unity of Greater Hamilton.

Cynthia has been serving as Canada's Regional Consultant since 2007 and is a Certified Peace Consultant and Transitional Ministry Consultant.  These roles have allowed her to interact with a number of ministries and leaders, supporting them in giving greater expression to Spirit.  She believes that Unity has an important role to play in awakening the world and is dedicated to supporting, nurturing and creating vital twenty-first century Unity ministries. 


Spiritual Development for Congregants Track

Spiritual Gifts for the 21st Century by Rev. Kelly Isola

Just as fingerprints are unique, so too are our soul prints, meaning each human soul has an individual mark that it leaves behind on everyone it touches. When intentionally creating thriving ministries, it is important to keep in mind that your community, even your global community, needs people who are on an ongoing spiritual journey of discovering their gifts for sacred service; and for people to see themselves as stewards of those gifts.

Discernment of an individual’s gifts provides meaning and purpose, and becomes the mooring for living in alignment with the values of the individual as well as the values of the church community, local community and the world. In this seminar you will be introduced to Spiritual Gifts in a new context, a two-fold path. It begins with the journey of discerning the gifts – an essential piece of our spiritual development or how we are BEING, and then invites a person into being stewards of those gifts by creating ways to ground their gifts into a daily routine, DOING that engages five forms of service: Service to the Divine, Service to yourself as an instrument, Service to sentient beings in your life, Service to your local community, Service to the global community.

The topics we will highlight are:
·    Reconnect with the True Self – who I have come here to be
·    Identify the Unique Self – what does it look like in service when I am expressing “who I have come here to be”
·    Create core values and personal purpose statement
·    Gain clarity on what awakens passion within a person and connect that to world needs
·    Discern individual gifts for sacred service and see ourselves as stewards of these gifts
·    Helps individuals mature spiritually by using gifts to serve each other and the community
·    Continue their spiritual awareness and development for self and others
·    Support people in discovering what their passions, not skills, are and what their leading edge is personally and within their relationships in the community

Rev. Kelly Isola, MDiv, consultant, teacher and author, shares her passion for living an engaged spiritual life – embracing the inner path of healing, and the outer path of compassionate service. She holds several certifications in leading edge models of human and organizational development – focusing on how we relate to ourselves and the world. She is the co-author of the bestselling book, "Who Have You Come Here To Be: 101 Possibilities for Contemplation."



Nurturing and Developing your Ministry

Music In Ministry Ministry by Sue Riley and Richard Mekdeci    

You won't want to miss this "in a nutshell" session on topics relevant to your music program from the people who literally wrote the book on New Thought music ministry (Music In Ministry – A Handbook for Ministers and Music Directors)
Bring your questions, concerns, joys and victories to share. And receive valuable information and tools from a pool of over 40 years of experience in all aspects of music ministry such as:  
·    New Thought music resources
·    Finding and hiring the perfect music director
·    Hosting successful concerts and events
·    Guest musician protocol
·    Copyright and Music Rights
·    Service order and flow
·    Choir and band
·    Technology tips and tools and more.
Sue Riley has chaired the Music Ministry Team for 8 years, amassing a substantial body of music for our ministries through the Songs from a World Awakening songbook series. She has been the music director at Unity Church of Clearwater, Fla., for more than 20 years. She is Vice President of EmPower Music & Arts, and an instructor at the Summer Songs songwriting camps. Sue is also an award winning songwriter, and sought-after performer and songwriting coach.
Richard Mekdeci has served on the music ministry team since its inception in 1996. After 5 years and over 70 retreats, providing music and special programs for Unity Village Retreats, he worked at the Unity Worldwide Ministries home office producing the Sound Connections e-newsletter, Sound Connections Music Conference, and new songbooks and resources for music ministries in the field. Richard is President and co-founder of emPower Music & Arts and currently serves as Music Director at Unity Renaissance in Chesapeake, VA.


The New Age of Publishing and What It Means to You by Tom Bird

As this class will show, you can:  Get your book published and distributed internationally in as little as a few months; Earn as much as 300% more than you could have expected to earn from book sales as an author before the crash of the economy; Become a bestselling author in as little as a few months; and Change not only the world as we know it but your life literally overnight. If you have an unwritten book inside of you, dying to be birthed, or you have already completed a book, and you want to change not only the world but the world around it through publishing it properly, this course is for you.

Tom has led tens of thousands of aspiring authors to write/publish their books, including 22 over the last year who have become #1 Amazon Best Sellers. His most current offering, Write Your Best Seller in a Weekend Retreat, leads authors to tap into the Spirit of their books and to complete the writing of them in three days or less.

Dancing for Your Body and Soul by Rev. Johannys Jiminez-Hartog

Want to have fun, and lose some calories? Want to move a bit after sitting on chairs for hours? Want to learn some Latin rhythms and new steps? All with an uplifting Unity message?  DANCE!!!
In this class, Rev. Johannys Jiménez-Hartog uses her most recent CD, Un Pasito Mas (“one small step more”), to facilitate a dynamic, up-lifting, exercise/dance experience. With songs in Latin rhythms with Unity teachings, you will feel energetic, physically and spiritually, while learning to, or simply enjoying, dancing salsa, merengue, bachata and more. All skill levels welcome! Wear exercise or comfortable clothing.
An Ordained Unity Minister serving since 2010 as Senior Minister of Misión Unity (renamed “Unity de Miami”), Rev. Johannys has sung and conducted workshops at numerous Unity Village Spanish Retreats at the Unity Annual Convention. In addition to her religious studies at Unity, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Education in Mathematics. Prior to these studies, Rev. Johannys acted, sang and danced professionally, including on her own TV show in Puerto Rico.


Related Material

Return to Unity People's Convention home page

Register Now