Heart Thoughts: Ways to Give

A shout-out to Matt Purinton and Kim Cowperthwaite for their stellar job on Sunday. I am so blessed to be able to take time off and know that everything is moving smoothly. Thank you to Mimo Otis and all who helped with coffee and setup and cleanup for the potluck. This ministry is so blessed to have so many able hands to take the reins when needed. This is what I want to use this space for this week; however, I do want to acknowledge the Silent Retreat first.

This weekend I was at the last Silent Retreat that was held at Marie Joseph Retreat Center. There were nine of us there, with two folks who were new on this retreat with us. The retreat center will be closing as of June 30. For the last 10 years, beginning in May of 2013, we have had at least two retreats a year. Jack Seery has been leading these retreats and we are so blessed. Jack and I will be scouting out a new venue for the future. Jack is passionate about the importance of silence for the spiritual journey, and we will be led to the perfect next place for us.

I have a friend visiting from Hampton, Virginia and I was sharing the different things happening in the ministry and was surprised at how much does go on behind the scenes. So I want to bring them to your attention. I mention often that the ministry is funded by our own contributions. We do not have a large organization supporting us. Our expenses for the building and staff run close to $200,000 a year. Aside from your regular giving, and many of you have chosen to make automatic giving a way to be consistent, for which we are so grateful, we have other means where you can give. Through Staples Office Supply we can get credit for used printer cartridges. There is a cardboard box under the information table in the hall across from the office. Just drop them in there. We get a $2 credit for each one. Also, Staples will take back electronic devices that you no longer need and issue credit. These credits are used to purchase supplies for the office and children’s program.

Another stream of income for us is the Clynk program. Please pick up a couple of Clynk bags and when full take to Hannaford’s and each quarter we receive a check. These don’t seem like much but when enough people take part, it adds up.

Lastly, an update on the grants for our gardens. We found out after submitting the larger grant that the Fisher Family was no longer funding grants… however, we did a second grant application to New England Grassroots and I had an interview with them last week as they had a few questions after reading our grant application. We will be notified by mid-June if we are getting the grant. I feel after my conversation with them that we are in a great position to be funded.

We may have to scale back our program for this year somewhat with the loss of the larger grant, but I am confident Spirit will show us what we can do.

Lastly, lunches are coming back! Yay! I know how much folks enjoy staying for lunch and socializing. It is a very important part of the Sunday experience. We have a couple of cooks willing to do main meals for a couple of Sundays. If you enjoy cooking and would like to commit to a Sunday, please email Michelle Neas at redsandstone71@gmail.com. Also, we are looking for side dishes and desserts, so this is another place you can help. We will have a donation basket to help defray the cost of the food and paper products. Speaking of paper products… I stopped by the church on Friday and there were 3 large bundles of paper towels and paper plates. Whoever dropped them off, thank you.

Oops, one more acknowledgment… some of you may know that we had a break-in the weekend of April 30. The windows in the bookstore were broken and the bottom window was raised for the intruder to get in. Other than a mess of broken glass and books from the table in front of the window being strewn over the floor, nothing else was taken except our cash register… which at the time had about $100 in it. After checking with our insurance company, we have a $1,000 deductible, which is just about the cost of repairs and the money lost. We had a generous congregant who gifted us with $1,000 and we didn’t need to put in a claim with our insurance company.

My hope is that you see where you may be able to support Unity Center for Spiritual Growth in ways you didn’t even know were available. If you would like to begin doing consistent giving, please use this form or email Jan and she will help set it up.

Now, back to this past Sunday, if you missed hearing Matt’s talk on The Bridge Back, you can watch it here.

Have a wonder-filled week with some much-needed sun and warmth.

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey


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