NOVEMBER 5, 2017, PRESIDENT’S REPORT
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES! First and foremost, I want to recognize the Board of Trustees for their countless hours given to keep Unity of Harrisburg operating this year. And, a huge thank you to all the leadership for their tireless work. Most importantly, a deep gratitude to everyone for the continued support of our wonderful spiritual community.
Our year began with lots of lessons and opportunities to look at who we are at Unity of Harrisburg. And the Board had lots of various decisions to make for the betterment of the community.
Our first big decision for 2017 was to consider a substantial mortgage payment to lower the mortgage interest rate and the monthly mortgage payment. We opted to give Unity of Harrisburg a Christmas present by cutting the mortgage in half. This endeavor would redirect funds to cover a minister’s salary when the time arrived.
Our next big decision was to research for a workshop on transition with the assistance of Unity Worldwide Ministries. The Board spoke with Rev. Dr. Steven Colladay and he explained the successful program entitled Honoring the Past; Creating the Future or HOPCOF for short. In January of 2017 we contracted with Rev. Colladay for a weekend workshop open to the entire congregation.
From our HOPCOF findings, we began a series of town meetings to continue working through issues where everyone could participate and discuss their thoughts. We were guided through the process by Dr. Darla Henry as she provided her facilitation expertise. In May, Dr. Darla provided a report to the Board on the success of the 4 town meetings. We expressed our sincere gratitude for Darla’s facilitation and everyone’s involvement for making the HOPCOF experience very worthwhile.
The Leesa Crnogorac Trust has been a blessing to us. Currently, we have used trust monies for capital improvement, maintenance, the sizeable mortgage payment, and upgrading numerous technology needs. In October, the board voted to make the tithe from the trust directly to Unity of Harrisburg’s spiritual development. That amount will be kept in the minister retention savings account.
Midway through the year the Board appointed a new search team to continue the search for a minister. To help with any minister interview process, we scheduled Rev. Claudell County to provide a weekend workshop on better communication and questioning skills.
In early May, the congregation had the pleasure to meet Rev. Dan Landis while he was visiting the area. The Board asked Rev. Dan to return as a guest speaker on May 28th. His minister mentor, Rev. Joy Wyler at Unity in Lehigh Valley, suggested he contact the Board about the minister position. And, so began our new journey.
In the spring, we hired a new Administrative Assistant for the office. And, we are so grateful for Barbara Beam. She provides a wonderful energy in the office and is a joy to be around. A huge thank you to Barbara for all she does. Additionally, we hired a part time bookkeeper, Meagan Cassel. Meagan is a mother of 2 small children and she is studying to be an accountant. She is another joy to work with, providing several hours each week to handle check writing, tax preparation, and bank reconciliation. A contract was offered in July to Rev. Dan Landis to be our full time senior minister.
Rev. Dan has brought many new opportunities for the Unity teachings. The congregation has provided input on book studies and we begin the new year with a new members class.
Over the past year, the Board approved a number of special outreach events. We offered faith scholarships to the East Pennsboro Youth Soccer Association to help support over 500 youth in the area with a summer soccer program. We plan to continue the support to the association this year.
We participated in July for the second time at Pride Fest in Harrisburg to spread word about Unity of Harrisburg. In October, we participated at Spirit of Oneness also held in Harrisburg. We are planning to participate at both events in 2018.
If you have not seen a recent copy of Natural Awakenings, please take a look at it. Unity of Harrisburg has a contract for articles and event listings to market who we are to the local community. We are featured as the only Spiritual Center in the area. The magazine has over 50,000 readers.
With our September tithe, each of you turned it into a substantial amount to help Unity on the Bay in Florida with their hurricane relief. They in turn raised funds to help Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Unity of Harrisburg was blessed within weeks with a chain of events that brought StoweGood to us to share their story and incredible music. As a result, we are on their schedule for September 2018 for a full concert and workshop event. We have continued to forward our tithes to the Mennonite Relief Fund in Lititz for their continued work in Puerto Rico.
We have reached another year and celebrate 35 years of officially incorporated. The Board will be working in 2018 to update procedures, processes and bylaws with the help of formats from Unity Worldwide. That information will be shared with the congregation as we move forward with the work.
This year has presented many opportunities and exciting potential. It has been an honor to serve as board president over the last year and again this year. The position brings many tasks that are rewarding. I have a deeper respect for all past presidents that have served our community.
May your new year bring much excitement, expectancy, and joy for you, your family and friends.