Workshop Descriptions

Read the descriptions and schedule of the workshops being offered at convention. There will be one workshop that fulfills requirements for the inclusivity CEUs and one for ethics.

Talleres: Español

For more information on required CEU credits for ministers, LUTs, and those under special dispensation, please click on CEU credits



The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership (1.5 CEUs)
Presenters: Mary “Kirti” Cesaratto & Kyra Baehr

This workshop engages people to become leaders of their own lives and of their spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Learn to use the 15 commitments with staff, board members, and congregation members. They are relevant for leadership development and talk material. These commitments can be shared in the community as a workshop for business leaders. Much of the information is generated from authors such as Gay Hendricks, Katie Byron, Eckhart Tolle, and Lynne Twist. Other resources include the Enneagram Institute and Sedona Method.

The workshop will show how the commitments fit in alignment with our Five Basic Unity Principles, and will give concrete ways to lead others and ourselves in our personal, spiritual, and business life. It will focus on ways to take action:

  1. Taking Radical Responsibility
  2. Learning Through Curiosity
  3. Feeling All Feelings
  4. Speaking Candidly
  5. Eliminating Gossip
  6. Practicing Integrity
  7. Generating Appreciation
  8. Excelling in Your Zone of Genius
  9. Living a Life of Play and Rest
  10. Exploring the Opposite
  11. Sourcing Approval Control and Security
  12. Having Enough of Everything
  13. Experiencing the World as an Ally
  14. Creating Win for All Solutions
  15. Being the Resolution

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.    

The Power of Showing Up (Ethics)
Presenter: Karen Starz

This workshop will address the power we have as leaders when we model “showing up.” We’ve all heard the phrase “suit up and show up.” The suit we put on depends on our own ability to practice self-care, become resourced, and navigate the energy we expend as leaders. In this workshop, we will explore the different types of power, how we recognize personal power, and provide methods of “powering up.” As ministers, consultants, teachers, and role models in Unity, there is an ethical duty to live in congruence with our principles. God is the source of power and is everywhere. We are living a human experience with human agency, hopes, and dreams. We will explore these layers and focusing on experiential clarity. We will draw on real life experiences from the participants and practice embodying power. If you want a fun, interactive workshop with a bountiful harvest, show up for this!

In an ongoing effort to support ministries, this workshop proposes to meet the 1-hour Ethics CEU requirement for our ministers and licensed Unity teachers.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.  

Play on the Stage (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Jo Ellen Fulton   

In churches small or large, theatre can be an action tool for expressing ideas through story. It’s the kind of action that moves people to feel, think, and grow. Theatre is alive, different, and fun. It has a message that can stand alone or be used as a story base for a talk. Every church has a few people who have dabbled in theatre. When members are the cast and crew, it creates a bond between them and with the audience who knows them.

Learn what it takes (and doesn’t take) to put a skit, a children’s story, or a catchy announcement into action during a Sunday service. We’ll go through the creative process, the physical process, and possible pitfalls when producing these three types of performances. We’ll discuss topic choice, writing suggestions, directing, acting, sets, and costumes. In small groups, you’ll write and perform short announcements. Both introverts and extroverts are welcome!  No prior theatre experience is necessary.


Spiritual Activism in a Politically Charged World (1.5 CEUs)
Presenters: Leona & Matthew J. Evans

In these turbulent times, Unity and New Thought leaders are being called upon to broaden our vision of ministry by addressing critical issues involving social and political reform. The big challenge is how to enter the world of politics while remaining true to our spiritual ideals. The Gandhi-King philosophy of nonviolent action represents a new paradigm of political activism, which promotes nonviolent engagement in its highest form. This workshop will provide the methods and strategies, which can empower our Unity leaders to affect legislation in positive ways while demonstrating humane, inclusive, and harmonious life choices. The workshop will include: 1) becoming familiar with Dr. King’s Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change and learning how nonviolent movements have impacted our world, 2) relating Unity principles with social action, 3) debating political issues using nonviolent communication skills (discussion and role-play), 4) finding common ground with our political opponents, and cultivating acceptance and compassion toward those with whom we disagree, and 5) learning how our Unity and New Thought colleagues are taking social action.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.

Unitive Circles as a Conflict Resolution Practice in Ministry (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Valorie Kay Gunsch

In this workshop, you will receive an overview of: the arcs of Unitive Justice, Unitive Circle questions, and how to apply these in personal life and ministry for conflict resolution. We will discuss how the arcs of Unitive Justice relate to values. Unitive Circles use the restorative circle process to bring understanding, connection, and healing of the root of conflict. Our society has had a culture of punitive justice dating back to the Hebrew Scriptures, “an eye for an eye” justice. It is not surprising how quickly we go to punitive mindset when we feel wronged. The Unitive Circle process brings people to the table to create connection, understanding, collaboration, and solution. It provides a pathway to understanding the underlying pain of conflict. The action of applying restorative circles to personal, cultural, and societal breakdowns is “living the truth we know” and brings about peace. I will use multiple intelligences in this presentation including PowerPoint, music, and experiential exercises to practice the unitive circle process.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.   

Shield the Vault (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Jody Ruth

The model of best practices we have developed and implemented at Unity of Fairfax can be applied in communities of all sizes. This model:

  • Takes advantage of the latest technology to eliminate manual functions,
  • Transfers employer risk by outsourcing payroll and HR-related functions and legal responsibilities,
  • Segregates duties utilizing outside experts and thus eliminates material internal control weaknesses, and
  • Leads with transparency—by developing methodologies for three-year forecasts, annual budgets, target setting, and an annual or periodic external audit.

Learn how to utilize best practices for systems and processes to improve internal controls, segregate duties, reduce manual effort, improve the reliability of financial information, and create transparency for the community. The technology available today allows all organizations to have the advantages of state-of-the-art functionality with a price that is affordable. I will outline what systems to use, what processes make sense, how to segregate duties when the staff is small, and how to improve the overall security of all assets, and improve the reliability of financial information.

Implement a financial foundation that provides your community with the confidence to support your mission and vision abundantly.


Increasing Racial Literacy and Dismantling Racism One Conversation at a Time (Inclusivity)
Presenter: Wendy Craig Purcell 

The need for increased racial literacy has never been more important. As spiritual leaders, we are looked to for guidance each week. How we deal with the issues of the day matters now more than ever. Racism is not a thing of the past. It is very much with us today, and it will not go away without the work of white allies. The Unity Center launched its anti-racism work in the summer of 2017 following the “Unite the Right” Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a result of deep conversations with our black members, we created a program to increase racial literacy and build dialogue skills among our white members. Our training program ran over a six-month period and incorporated tools from Dr. David Campt (creator of the R.A.C.E. method), as well as selected readings, videos, podcasts, and deep, brave conversations.

Having completed two such training programs, we have now established a black and white coalition whose mission is to share our experiences in our broader community.

This workshop will share some of the tools, sources, and experiences we used to engage and teach our group of White Allies at The Unity Center.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.   

The Path to Divine Embodiment Given to Us by Kabir, India’s Great Mystical Poet (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Andrew Harvey

Kabir is India’s most famous and beloved mystical poet. His fierce, clear, wild, ecstatic songs were incorporated into the heart of the Sikh scriptures and have been loved by Hindus and Muslims as well. Kabir is a revolutionary of the direct connection with God, beyond dogma or traditional religion. His voice of truth proclaims the birth of an embodied divine humanity.

Andrew will give an overview of Kabir’s astonishing 15th century life in Benares, India. He will read and explain the poems he has translated. He will offer a vision of the path to divine empowerment as lived and expressed by Kabir—drawing on his own studies in various mystical traditions and his own mystical experience. Andrew will show why he believes that Turn Me to Gold offers the highest inspiration to seekers and sacred activists and will detail the one practice that Kabir stressed as the most powerful way of connecting directly with the Divine—the saying of the name of God. Experience the peace and passion of the path of Divine Love as lived and interpreted by one of humanity’s universal mystics. Discover the most potent tool to help all seekers on all paths realize the splendor of their essential nature.

Using Social Media for Fundraising (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Kelly Isola

Social media has become an important channel to boost outreach and fundraising capabilities. Everyone from Millennials to GenX to Baby Boomers uses it. Social networks are arguably the best place to fuel your follower base and attract new supporters by communicating your mission in the context of what’s happening in our world. Whether you’re ahead of the curve or feel like you’re still in the Stone Age of fundraising, there’s a happy medium out there. In this workshop, you will learn the beginnings of how to use social media as a powerful tool to build relationships and to counter some of the assumed implications of technology in building relationships and fundraising. Attendees will evaluate the practice of tithing, its future, and look at the latest trends, tools, and practices to evolve the current paradigms of giving and use of language to meet the needs of emerging generations and current issues. Engaging your community's followers through compelling, shareable content, storytelling updates, and calls to action will help you learn to use social media more effectively. Walk away with simple next steps to make social media a natural part of living your mission through fundraising.

Attendees will evaluate the practice of tithing and its future. They will look at the latest trends, tools, and practices to evolve the paradigms of giving and language used to meet the needs of emerging generations and current issues.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.


Through the Valley: The Seven Stages of Grief as a Spiritual Practice (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Ogun Holder

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me...” There may be no better image for how grief feels: walking through a dark valley, or living in the shadow of death, defined by a loss so pronounced that time is defined as “before” and “after” the loss. Yet grief can also be an invitation to reveal and heal deep parts of ourselves that were severely impacted by the loss; a healing process that takes us through the valley back to ourselves, to the Divine, to love. Grief, if we let it, can be a spiritual practice. This workshop is based on Rev. Ogun’s own experience and work with grief. He invites participants to see their traumatic losses as pathways to further awakening their Divine Self, as well as learn how to support others through their grief.

Guest-to-Member Journey Map: Focusing on Growing a Powerful Spiritual Community (1.5 CEUs)
Presenter: Cher & Bil Holton

Imagine the “journey” a person takes from the moment they discover your church/center, to trying you out, to becoming more involved in your spiritual community, to becoming an engaged and active member. The journey even continues when they leave the area and stay loyal and supportive to you.

How are you actively influencing people’s decisions to return, get involved, and donate to your success and growth? The Guest-to-Member Journey Map process can help you intentionally and creatively orchestrate the experience your guests have, transforming them into enthusiastic, participating members—and moving your members from silent observers to active volunteers and supporters.

As a result of this interactive workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand and effectively use the Guest-to-Member Journey Map as an ongoing tool to ensure church growth;
  • Identify and evaluate milestones and touchpoints, to create powerful action plans for positive change, using our 36 Super Growth Strategies; and
  • Reframe the experiences of guests and members, to ensure relevancy, value, and growth, and engage people at every touchpoint along the journey.

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.

A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman’s Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide (Inclusivity)

Presenter: Mark Siljander

Learn more about Congressman Siljander’s groundbreaking research in the Semitic languages of scripture. He pioneered the incorporation of the Aramaic heart language of Jesus in a comparative study to the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Arabic of the Qur’ an. This foundational research underpins our peacemaking “Blueprint;” a spiritual method of engagement, which has proven effective in resolving many global conflicts, particularly among the Abrahamic faiths. This workshop will highlight how you can implement these ideas within your own lives in practical terms. The Blueprint, compiled through trial and error over 25+ years of international peacemaking, works remarkably both with the “enemies” of America and at home in the context of broken family relationships.

Below is a sampling of the leaders who have acknowledged this Blueprint:

"His book offers a blueprint for breaking this logjam of dissension that contributes to so much conflict today."—Hon. James Baker, 61st U.S. Secretary of State

"A compelling case that any faithful reading of religion and its teachings should serve to unite, not divide… With this important new work, Mr. Siljander has courageously stood up to be counted."—Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

This workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.