Hi Friends —
What’s new. If you go here you will see how the Smithsonian Institution publicizes their Events so that the twenty million visitors they attract each year are kept informed about talks, tours, exhibits, and performances provided by their several institutions. It is a first class system for a first class organization.
If you go here you will see the exact same software now publicizing Events and Classes sponsored by Unity ministries so that you and other visitors who go to the Internet each day seeking Unity resources are kept informed about classes, discussion groups, book studies, bible groups, prayer meetings and other events provided by Unity ministers and teachers, primarily online, but also onsite.
What’s more is that you don’t even need to visit TruthUnity to get this information. Note the “subscribe” button in the upper right corner of the Events calendar. When you click on it and add your name you will receive an email at 3am each Sunday morning that has a list of events for the upcoming week.
You can add the event to most calendars, including Google, Yahoo, Outlook, Microsoft and Apple. You can forward the event to friends and share it on Facebook and Twitter. As I said, this software is first class.
Why is this important? What is the benefit of a central platform for publicizing Unity events and classes, providing Unity teachings, sponsored by Unity ministries and delivered by Unity ministers and teachers?
I’d like to tell you that the purpose of this system is all about publicity and marketing. That is so for The Smithsonian Institution. But it is not so for a spiritual movement like Unity. We are not in the business of selling tickets. We are in the business of raising consciousness, healing people and expanding prosperity.
Let me share with you a few stories. A few years ago I got an email from a teenager. His little infant brother had died and he was looking for something to console he and his parents. I think it was a Unity tract which had got him to TruthUnity. When he found my email address, he wrote to me, asking if I could recommend something that might help his family with their grief.
Sometime after that I got another email from a guy whose son was incarcerated in Folsom prison in Sacramento, California. You may not know that family members of imprisoned people are often suffering as much or more than those who are incarcerated. The father said he was looking for something to send his son. But the man was hurting tremendously and I knew his need was far more than for some pamphlets. It just so happened that I found out about a Unity minister who happened to be a licensed therapist—and who also herself had a son who was incarcerated.
In both these cases the Internet seeker needed a minister. The saddest thing about doing TruthUnity is attracting a seeker and not being able to help them find a minister who can guide him or her to wholeness and prosperity. And the greatest joy I’ve had in doing TruthUnity has been connecting these two people with Unity ministers who could help them.
The purpose of this system is connecting Internet seekers to Unity ministers and teachers who can guide them to the next step in their spiritual journey. I call it “closing the circle.” TruthUnity can attract seekers, but spiritual growth and finding one's pathway typically occurs in a group or individually with a minister. By directing visitors of TruthUnity to ministers and teachers who are teaching interactive classes, we have an opportunity to help others in a big way.
What I’m asking for. So I'm looking for ministries to sponsor events and classes which minister to people who have unmet spiritual needs. For example, if a ministry were to ask a retired minister or licensed teacher in their congregation to facilitate something for grieving parents or for family members of inmates then the two people I have mentioned would have found a precious ministry. Their Internet search would have changed them from being a seeker to being a finder. The circle would have been closed.
I am grateful to each ministry, minister and teacher for their willingness to teach. The people you see here are senior leaders of major ministries and I am grateful to each of them. Senior ministers, know that Internet seekers need you and your talented ability to communicate Unity teachings. You speak for the movement.
But I’m proposing something more. I’m proposing that we also have a variety of events and classes which are much more focused on specific seeker’s needs, such as grief or family stress. And I’m inviting under-utilized ministers (retired and inactive) to step up and into the world of digital ministry. And, finally, I’m nudging Unity ministries to be more outward looking by supporting those under-utilized ministers and teachers with technology and training.
My guess is that there are about 100 Unity classes going on in any given week. And there are probably another hundred ministers and teachers, many retired, who would be open to facilitating specialized events dealing with particular needs, such as grief and prison ministry.
The criteria for getting listed here starts with a Unity minister or teacher who wants to help people. It continues with an event or class being facilitated where Unity teachings are provided. Third, it is sponsored by a Unity ministry that supports the minister/teacher and promotes the event on a distinct page on their website. Last, and most important, is that the event or class be delivered in an interactive way.
That last point is important: is the class interactive? Can participants interact with the group or minister enough so that needs are addressed, questions are answered, and some sense of group community is experienced?
One more thing. The class can be online, via Zoom/Skype, or onsite. See the “Map” button at the top of the event listing. Click on it and you will see where onsite events are shown as markers on a Google map. We only have one onsite event right now, but we all know that will change after vaccinations roll out. Many years ago when I travelled regularly, I wanted to know if Unity events were happening in the city I where I was working. I’m finally getting my wish.
Click here to see what an Event Submission Form looks like. The form sends in the details of your event and lets me easily add it to the listing. In order to submit your event or class, you will need to have your sponsoring ministry enabled in the system. To do that, email me with your ministry name and website address and, if you have it, the web page that provides more information about the event or class. One more thing. I’ll need a nice portrait photo of you as the minister/teacher. I’ll size and crop it, but no one gets listed without a photo. We may not be selling tickets, but we are selling ministers ;)
The big picture. There is much talk about “hybrid” forms of ministry today, where spiritual services are provided in a balance of onsite and online content. All that is good. But there is only so much that one church can do. And I have found out, after many years of doing TruthUnity, that there is only so much that a website can do. We, as a denomination, need to share the task of ministering to Internet seekers who are looking for a better way.
This system is outward looking. Few websites want to add hundreds of links that direct people away from their pages. But it is absolutely essential for TruthUnity, as well as Unity World Headquarters and Unity Worldwide Ministries, to enable interaction of Internet seekers with ministers and teachers who can help them. As I affirm in Ministry in the Digital Age, “to be sustainable over the long run, successful ministries must be in creative alignment with other ministries who share the same unique vision, mission and values.” I am open to sharing the administration and display of this world-class system with UWH and UWM.
No one ministry can serve the needs of everyone. But, perhaps 100 classes and 100 retired ministers will offer enough variety to get many on their way.
Sunday, January 10, 2021