Lights, Camera, Action! – Haven for Hope by Birdie Shawker, UCSA Communications Coordinator
When a volunteer with Haven for Hope called the church office, I was excited about her request. She asked if someone would come to her spirituality class at Haven for Hope and speak about Unity.
She was calling other spiritual traditions, too. Her intention was to provide options other than traditional Christianity to women participating in a spiritual program. She asked if I could bring inspirational publications, too. “Of course” I told her. Creating publications are a part of what I get paid to do as a UCSA staff member. Public speaking, outreach, and marketing are also in my bailiwick.
I’d never spoken in front of people experiencing homelessness, however. I was not worried. I was sure there was someone else in Unity that did something like this. I sought a mentor in the movement. I made a few calls. I could not find anyone else teaching any spiritual topics to people experiencing homelessness. But, Unity Worldwide was absolutely willing to send extra publications for me to use free of charge. They included a dateless Daily Word, and the “Getting through the Hard Times” booklet. I called the volunteer and explained to her this was new to me. She suggested I bring individuals from our Recovering in Unity (RIU) group with me to help. Recovering in Unity was pleased to be of support.
I created a packet for each person in the class that held a combination of the publications from Unity Worldwide, and publications that were created as part of my work here at UCSA. Recovering in Unity was happy to send a member.
That first class went remarkably well. I shared about Unity principles, history, and Silent Unity, the 24/7 prayer ministry available to them. The participants filled out prayer cards for our prayer chaplains to hold in prayer. I told them about our church, how they were welcome, and the classes they could take here for free or by donation. I provided feedback forms so they could tell us how they liked the class- they gave high scores on a scale from 1-5.
As that first class ended, the participants started to give me the packets back. “No. no, those are for you.” I said. I will never forget hearing, “We get to KEEP these? Thank you!” My heart was so full.
We now go to Haven for Hope once a month to teach about Unity and affirmative prayer. Sometimes an RIU member will come with me, but I’ve gained confidence and often go by myself now, too. This outreach is part of my job. It’s one of the many ways your Intentional Giving dollars are spent.
It is my hope you have enjoyed this glimpse “behind the scenes” at UCSA. We are doing one of a kind outreach in the Unity movement thanks to your generosity. I love my work: it feeds my soul. Thank you for entrusting your precious resources to the work of this CommUNITY so that this work can continue. Click here to become an Intentional Giver.