2020 - 2021 Unity of Oak Park Board of Trustees
Chairperson - Mike Nash
Vice Chairperson - Terri Iacopelli
Secretary - Patty Melgar Hooks
Treasurer - Lori Kozon
Trustees - Radelya Brownlee, Pam Doman, Susan Seavey
We meet on the second Monday of every month at 6pm at Unity of Oak Park. All are welcome to attend.
If you are interested in becoming a Unity of Oak Park Board member, please submit your application by Sun., Feb. 2 (for a copy of the application, click here). See Jo Crawford or John O'Rourke in Friendship Hall after the Sunday Services in January if you have any questions. Election of new members to the Board will take place in early March. Read More
April: We want to thank all of you who participated in our virtual Town Hall meeting on Sun., April 26. For those of you who were not able to be with us, the following is a recap of what was shared: Radelya, Kucha, Pam Doman and her husband Mike along with Doug have been cleaning and sanitizing our building from top to bottom. They have done a remarkable job. It has been a long time since the building looked so good. Lori and Radelya and Pam have cleaned and rehung the curtains in the office upstairs. Pam with some help has been working on the flower beds and grounds. This week our lawn care company cleaned up the grounds as well. Yahira, Radelya and Terri have been calling our congregants to check on them and offer our assistance and prayer. Patti has been working to put together some events we can share while maintaining social distancing. These include a virtual movie night. We continue to conduct our search for a senior minister. We are working on finding ways to allow the congregation to hear possible candidates. Gretchen, Doug, Carl and Chris (Youth Minister) are continuing to be paid. Chris is preparing lesson plans for the youth to complete at home. We were asked by congregants if we could conduct our own virtual Sunday service. We are working to make that happen soon. As you can see, we are working to keep Unity Oak Park serving our community while we are not able to be together. We ask that you continue to support Unity Oak Park with your tithes and offerings. Most of our fixed costs continue. With your continued support we will weather this time and emerge even stronger.
February: We hope you’ll join us this Sunday, March 1, for our Annual Meeting. We’ll be voting on the three open Board positions and sharing information and fellowship together. We are grateful that the Transitional Spiritual Leadership team is underway and doing great work. We are also grateful for the work of our New Minister Search team who is actively vetting and interviewing candidates. We hold in prayer that our new minister will be answering the call and will be joining us very soon. Thank you for your support and patience as we work together on our mission of a spiritual community creating a loving world through prayer, meditation, education and service.
January 2020: We are so grateful for the wonderful support from Rev. Kurt and Rev. Christina of Unity on the North Shore for their lovely messages and time connecting with us over the last couple months. We thank everyone for their responses to the surveys that you found in our bulletins the last two Sundays. We will compile and share all the survey results with the Search Committee (Mike Nash - Chair, Kucha Brownlee, Wayne Gurowsky, Angela Phillips-Price, and Susan Seavey) so they have this as they conduct interviews with prospective ministers. Please keep that process in your positive prayers as we affirm the arrival of our next Senior Minister to take us into our bright and exciting future. A special thanks to those who have stepped up to be a part of the Transitional Spiritual Leadership Team: JoAnn Murphy - Leadership Team Chair, Susan Doyle - Board Member Liaison, Chaplains - Pastoral Care, Marilyn Joy - Sunday Services, Mary Ann Provenza - Sunday Service Coordinator, Sheila Swann-Guerrero - Staff and HR Administration, Barth Riley - Classes, and Radelya Brownlee - Special Events. We know the important work that they do will make our transition period as well as onboarding of our new minister as smooth as possible. Please save the date of Sunday, March 1, for our Annual Meeting. There are three open board positions that will be voting on at that meeting. Should you have an interest in filling one of those positions, please reach out to John O'Rourke for the application. Thanks again to all of you for your support, commitment and connection. Here's to a prosperous and joyous February to all of us and to our church!
December: We hope you are enjoying many meaningful moments of joy, love, and peace this holiday season. We are grateful for visiting ministers Rev. Helice, Rev. Christina, and Rev Kurt who are providing wonderful lessons for us during this transitional time. Please note that Rev. Christina and Rev. Kurt are available in Friendship Hall for Coffee and Conversation after the service so pull up a chair and join us in fellowship. We are extending the time period for volunteering to be a part of our Transitional Spiritual Leadership Team through Dec. 29. We are so grateful for those of you who have already stepped forward. Please ponder how you too can contribute and talk to a board member in person or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you want to be a part of the team that will help make the onboarding of our new minister as smooth as possible. Save Sat., Jan. 11, for a transformative workshop with Rev. Christina on the Q Process, a powerful, multifaceted experience designed to energize individuals and communities to transform any circumstance into an opportunity to manifest their full potentials. Thank you all for your service, connection, and commitment to Unity of Oak Park. We are so excited to see all that is ahead as we move into the New Year furthering our important mission of staying centered in spirit and co-creating a world of love, harmony, peace and abundance.
November: Wishing everyone a very happy thanksgiving and blessed start to the holiday season. Thank you to Rev Kurt who lead a wonderful gratitude service to bless Rev. Jesse on his new path. Just a reminder that during this transitional time, it is important that the congregation takes ownership and participates in the process of bringing on our new minister. Please consider joining the Transitional Spiritual Leadership Team to ensure Rev. Jesse’s duties will be carried on until our new minister is in place. The purpose of the Leadership Team is to maintain ministry functions that were once handled by Rev. Jesse, to work in conjunction with an interim minister (should we hire one), and eventually transition these responsibilities to our new minister. The Leadership Team shall consist of members of our community who meet periodically to share, collaborate and support one another. While working as a team, each member will have a specific responsibility. The board’s aim is to be as communicative and transparent as possible and ensure everyone's voice is heard. With this goal in mind, we will be: holding a town hall meeting for congregants on Sun., Dec. 1, from 11:00 AM - Noon, encouraging you to reach out to our prayer chaplains--they are here for you and trained to listen and pray with you during times of uncertainty like this, connecting with local ministers to see how they too can help us with counseling and giving lessons during this time, and scheduling some time with a Unity Transitional Minister after the holidays to lead a healing circle and lesson that gives everyone sacred space to share their voice so we may move forward together with positivity and love at our core. Please feel free to email us at email@example.com or reach out to us in person on Sundays should you have any questions, ideas, or are interested in serving on the Transitional Leadership Team. We trust that everything is in divine order. Whatever comes up is teaching us to grow and to work together more. We look forward to working with you as we envision our bright future and bring forth our new minister.
October: As we move into fall, the Board continues to work hard on behalf of Unity of Oak Park. We are happy to remain on budget for 2019 and look forward to close out the year with continued abundance and prosperity. We've begun the budgeting process for 2020. As always, should you have any comments or questions, we encourage you to email the Board (firstname.lastname@example.org) or join us for one of our monthly board meetings held every second Monday of the month at 6:00 PM. Thank you for your participation in the many lovely events held here over the past couple months. We look forward to another community building event on Sunday, November 17, when we host a UOP Team Sign-Up day. We invite everyone to join us in Friendship Hall after service to learn about the many different teams at UOP, and we encourage you to find a team that is interesting to you and sign up to help out. Serving on a team is a great way for each of us to help carry out our important mission of a spiritual community creating a loving world through prayer, meditation, education and service. Thank you for your continued support, collaboration, and participation.
September: There is a lot of activity at Unity of Oak Park as we approach the Autumn Season. Please check out the website with all the upcoming events. From the Gail Minogue workshop to Open House Chicago to the Halloween Trunk or Treat—there are many opportunities to get involved and connect. We are excited to announce the hiring of a new Youth Education Director who will be starting in late September. Please join us in giving Christopher Manvel a warm welcome into this exciting new role. Interviews are underway for a new Music Director as well. Please keep this process in your prayers as we await the next right person to fill this important role. We encourage congregants to volunteer to bring food to Friendship Hour. Thank you for all you do an we look forward to all that's ahead as we approach Autumn and all the color and brightness it brings.
July: We are so grateful to have Rev. Dr. Jesse here now serving as our senior minister. His guidance and wisdom has already made such a difference in the work we do on the Board, and we look forward to all that is ahead for Unity of Oak Park. We hope you’ll join us at our upcoming special events at UOP: Comedy Night and silent auction on Sept. 21 and Gail Minogue on Oct. 6. We continue to make necessary improvements on the building and are actively looking for grants to help with some of the larger repairs that are needed with our beautiful, historic building. Please keep this process in your prayers. Thanks again to the congregation for all your support and involvement in recent months. Please see the team sign-up sheets located in Friendship Hall. If there is any area you would like to be of service, get in touch with the team contact listed on the sign-up sheet to see how you could help. Look ahead for more information and announcements from the teams. We thank each of you and wish you a restful, peaceful and prosperous end of summer.
June: We are delighted to welcome our new Senior Minister Rev. Jesse to Unity of Oak Park on July 1. He will give his first service on Sun., July 7. Please join us for a special gathering in Friendship Hall after service to greet him and his family and celebrate the start of this new chapter at Unity of Oak Park. We will be having a potluck and we encourage everyone to sign up to bring something to share. Sign-up sheet is in the Book Room. We wish Rev. Linda all the best as she moves on from her role as temporary minister. We are so grateful for her guidance and love and the wonderful messages she shared with us throughout her time here. We thank all the people who volunteer their time to Unity of Oak Park already. We extend thanks to Baba Tony and Ms. Kucha for stepping in as interim directors in Youth Education and hold in prayer the arrival of the next director to lead our youth and family. Thanks to each of you for everything you do and all the ways you support Unity of Oak Park making it the vibrant welcoming spiritual home of so many. We wish you rest, relaxation and sunshine this summer.
May: Thank you for everyone who participated in our second annual indoor garage sale. It was a success earning $1600 for Unity of Oak Park and we are so grateful for all the donations and support. We are excited for what's ahead at Unity of Oak Park as Rev. Dr. Jesse Tanner joins as our Senior Minister beginning July 1, 2019. Please join us in welcoming him for his first service on Sun., July 7. We will have a potluck after service in Friendship Hall. We invite you to bring a dish to share and join us in welcoming and celebrating him. Sign-up sheets can be found in the bookstore and in Friendship Hall. We are always grateful to receive healthy food donations for coffee hour in Friendship Hall. Please consider bringing in a food donation if you can. A special thanks to Rev. Linda who has served as our Temporary Minister. We are so grateful for her lessons and her leadership that helped us through this transitional period and trust that we are being joined by Rev. Tanner in divine right time. Thank you again, Rev. Linda. Wishing everyone a blessed and joyous summer as we look forward to all that is ahead for Unity of Oak Park as we embark on this bright new chapter.
April: So much excitement at Unity of Oak Park as we approach May and all the lovely blooms this season brings. As you are doing your spring cleaning, please remember that we have our indoor garage sale on May 4-5. Please consider bringing in your gently-used items for the sale. All proceeds of the sale will go to our garden. We are so grateful for the garden committee lead by Pam Doman for the wonderful work they do on our grounds. We wish Christine Randle all the best in her future endeavors in light of her resignation as Youth Ed Director. We are so grateful for her service over the past 27+ years. She touched so many and will surely be missed. We also are grateful for the positive feedback from the congregation following Rev. Tanner's visit and are so pleased that he accepted the position of Senior Minister at Unity of Oak Park. He will begin here on Aug. 5, 2019. We look forward to the start of our new journey with him as our minister. For additional information along with recent copies of the Board Meeting Minutes and Budget, please refer to our information board in Friendship Hall. You may also contact the board at BoardofTrustees@unityoakpark.org should you have additional questions or feedback for us.
March: Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Meeting. We thank JoAnn Murphy and Marilyn Joy for their service on the board and warmly welcome Radelya Brownlee and Lorraine Kozon as our new board members. We were delighted to have interviewed a new minister candidate, Rev. Dr. Jesse Tanner, on March 9. He came highly recommended from the Nominating Committee and upon our meeting him highly recommend him as our next minister. He'll be here on Sun., March 31, to give the message and to meet the congregation. We encourage you to attend so you have a chance to meet him too. We will have a Town Hall meeting the following Sunday, on April 7, after services in Friendship Hall. At this meeting, we'll provide overall updates and get feedback on Rev. Tanner's visit. We also will be reviewing all of our committees and asking congregants to step up and get involved in a committee so we can continue to to move forward in our mission as: A vibrant spiritual community creating a loving world through prayer, meditation, education and service. We'll be offering a website training as well. We plan to hold these meetings quarterly to provide updates and get feedback in our efforts to be a transparent as possible. Please continue to check unityoakpark.org for updates and information. We thank you for your support and service and look forward to our bright future together as members of Unity of Oak Park.
February: The Unity of Oak Park Board looks forward to seeing everyone at our Annual Meeting on Sun., March 3. We'll be sharing updates, reflecting on the past year and voting for new board members as we embark in this new chapter for Unity of Oak Park. We also would like to take a moment to thank those board members who will be moving on and remain very grateful for the service they have provided: JoAnn Murphy and Marilyn Joy. Now that our transition work with Rev. Phil is complete, we continue to look forward to connecting with any ministerial candidates that the hiring committee brings forth and trust that we will be connecting our new minister in divine right time. We thank Rev. Linda for her wonderful work as our temporary minister. We are grateful for her messages and her guidance. We hope you'll join us at the many events, classes, and opportunities to grow and connect that are taking place at UOP. Thank you for your commitment to Unity of Oak Park and wishing you all the best as we move into a brighter and warmer spring season.
January 2019: Hope the start of 2019 is a beautiful one. We are thankful for Rev. Linda being here with us as our temporary minister for an additional 6 months as we continue our search for a new minister. With our transitional healing work behind us, we continue to move forward with our search for our new minister and ask everyone to hold in prayer and faith that the right person will be here with us in divine right time. We look forward to our Annual Meeting on Sun., March 3, and we hope everyone can attend. Please consider completing an application to run for one of the three open positions on the Board of Trustees as we work together to open up this new chapter for Unity of Oak Park. More information can be found in the Board Membership section on this page. With the launch of the new website, we are trying to go green and not use as much paper. Please continue to check in on the website unityoakpark.org and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/unityofoakpark, as well as the information boards near the Book Room, Sanctuary and Friendship Hall, for updates and information on all classes, events, and any other activities. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please reach out to us anytime via email email@example.com. Thank you kindly and we look forward to serving Unity of Oak Park as best we can with light and love.
December: We look forward to a new year of peace, prosperity, and abundance for all at Unity of Oak Park and the world. Please note that we will be moving to one service at 10am beginning in 2019. We trust this will create more community and a positive vibe at our services and thank you for your support of this. This is an exciting time to be on the Unity of Oak Park Board and we encourage you to apply for one of the three open Board positions. We need people of all different skills and encourage you to serve and be a part of making Unity of Oak Park continue to thrive in the years ahead. We hold in our consciousness the arrival of our new minister and are excited to consider more candidates as we've finished our transitional work and are eager to find the right candidate for Unity of Oak Park. We thank Rev. Linda for her vibrant messages and work as our temporary minister during this transitional time. We hope you enjoy all the wonderful events of the season and have a blessed start to the New Year.
November: We are excited about a lot of forward movement at Unity of Oak Park. We thank everyone who attended our informal congregational meeting in early November. We are greatful for all the direction and insight Rev. Phil has provided us as the transitional minister. We will have our last workshop with him on Saturday, Decemeber 8, where will we focus on our mission, vision and values and we encourage all to attend. We are excited about the Cookie Walk and Bring a Friend to Church day on Sunday, December 9. Rev. Phil shared with us that 90% of new people come to church when they are invited by a friend. We ask that everyone consider bringing a friend and particiipating in this fun day. We are looking for volunteers to help in baking cookies and they can sign up in the book room. We will be moving to one service at 10am beginning January 1, 2019. We hope this will positively shift the energy at Unity of Oak Park and look forward to your support with this important decision. We hope you'll join us at our special holiday services that are scheduled. We warmly wish you and your families a healthy, happy, and prosperous holiday and joyous start to the new year.
October: We are grateful for the flurry of activity at Unity of Oak Park lately. From classes to workshops to Sunday services, we are grateful for all the involvement and dedication. We invite everyone to attend a Congregational Meeting with The Board on Sunday, November 11, after the 11am service in Friendship Hall. In an effort to keep up communication and transparency between the Board and Congregation, we will be holding meetings three times a year instead of just once a year as we've done in the past. We are moving forward with our updated website and look forward to sharing a preview of it then as well as an overall financial update and open Q&A. We thank you for your continued tithing that enables us to cover the building and operating costs to run our church, your support helps us remain a vibrant, abundant, and prosperous community and we are grateful. We hope to see many of you at our first ever Halloween Trunk or Treat from 1-3pm on Sunday, October 27. I believe we are still in need of volunteers so please sign up in the Book Room if you can help in any way. With light and love, The Unity of Oak Park Board of Trustees.