Kim Cowperthwaite, President
When I attended my first Unity service in 1995, I felt a connectedness back to truth and spirit that I had not felt since I was a child. The Unity principles quickly became for me a practical, healing, and dynamic way to live my life. I began attending every Sunday with my young children and soon after directed the Youth Education program. My husband and I attended classes and starting learning more about metaphysics, prosperity, and new thought.
As our children grew and we moved a bit farther away, we did not attend regularly on Sundays, though we kept the Unity principles alive in our home. Seven years ago, I returned to Unity Center for Spiritual Growth for “Round Two.” When I walked through the doors again, I found Rev. Pat and Rev LeRoy at the helm, a new paint color on the walls, a few old friends and many new ones. But most of all I found the same familiar energy of love and peace that I believe is deeply rooted in this place.
It is my pleasure to now serve on the Board with such a wonderful and capable bunch! I view my Board position as a precious responsibility to hold the vision of those who came before us and to help carry us forward into a new and even brighter tomorrow.
Carolyn Sanford, Vice President
Unity has been my spiritual home for the past 12 years. During this time I have grown spiritually in direct relationship to my serving of the community. I first started by serving on the Prayer Team, where I hold each person on the weekly prayer list in love, light and prayer. I then added to my service by also becoming a facilitator on the Healing Team, where at the monthly Healing Service I share my many years of healing training/studies by facilitating each person’s ability to heal themselves. I then added to my service by also becoming a Prayer Chaplain/Prayer Partner where I am privileged to pray with members of the community one-on-one after service, and now I am also saying “yes” to serving on the Board. Each service that I perform enables me to grow even more deeply in my relationship with the Divine within me and in relationship with the Unity community. In this new role of serving as a Board member I am looking forward to further spiritual growth, connections and service to this Community.
Erin Conway, Secretary
From a very young age, I was attracted to the concepts of soul centeredness, non-violence, and leading a life of service. I grew up in a more traditional church and loved the community but didn’t always feel the church teachings spoke to me. Years of independent study and connecting with a variety of spiritual circles led me to understand that elements of truth seemed to exist in many disparate paths – I found that fascinating and still do. I love that Unity recognizes that.
I know that living through our struggles often leads us to our own expansion and growth; this has been true for me and has brought me to a deep understanding of forgiveness and gratitude.
When I first began attending Unity, I was struck with how the five principles articulated how I endeavored to live my life. It’s truly a spiritual home for me. I appreciate the rhythm of reviewing the principles every Sunday morning. It’s like a reset button. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and grow in this community.
Michelle Neas, Treasurer
I was introduced to Unity through a friend as I had been searching to find something more in my life while struggling with an ending of my marriage. Upon visiting the church’s website, I reached out immediately to Rev. Pat and she drew me right in with her wisdom and encouragement. Once I made the commitment, this community welcomed me with open arms and filled that void in my life. As I became more involved and more involved, I jumped in and joined some incredible groups to further strengthen the bond as a member of Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. While 2020 has been so challenging for so many of us, I faced the biggest challenge of my life with a cancer diagnosis. Again Rev. Pat and members of this community held me up so I could move through everything with grace and ease. USGC arms me with the tools I need to navigate my life on this Earth. I’m so grateful for UCSG, Rev. Pat and our community.
Sue Vittner, Member at Large
I am a lover of life and adventure. My life is a balance of travel and exploration, inside and out.
I have lived and worked in Antarctica and traveled to India, Bali, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Europe, and extensively throughout the states. I love yoga, meditating, painting, journaling, singing in the car on road trips, being in nature, and philosophizing. I love living in Portland, Maine, “the way life should be!”
My hand analysis says that my soul’s purpose is to be a butterfly and follow my heart, while also being a spiritual teacher. So that’s essentially what I strive to do each day.
During a time living in Texas, I began attending a Unity church where they teach (which was new to me) the concept that we create our own reality. I discovered the teachings of Abraham Hicks and the Law of Attraction, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and many other inspirational thinkers. Then The Secret movie came out. I soaked all of this up and put all of what I learned into practice. My life was totally changing and improving, and I discovered the freedom and power that comes when we live a life with purpose and intention.
It is powerful to know that we can attract whomever and whatever we want into our lives. We are amazing beings. YOU are amazing and perfect and creative.
Do you know how magnificent you are? There are many that doubt this, so it is my intention to help those that doubt see the truth of who they are. I believe that if everyone truly knows how special they are and that we are each here for a purpose, there will be so much love and harmony in the world.
Sue is the author of From Your Vision Board to Your Bedroom: Using the Law of Attraction to Find True Love, an artist, and so much more!
Betty K. Lewis, Member at Large
Hello, my name is Betty K. Lewis, playfully known as “Betti Lu,” and I want to introduce myself as a board member.
I am a native Vermonter who moved to Maine in March 2020.
I am happily married to Jennifer Greaves, and we live in Portland.
I am a retired medical SW and I served in the Vermont Air National Guard for 20 years, where I was a firefighter and served as the 1st sargeant of my squadron for the last six years of my military career.
One of my passions in life is paddling with Dragonheart Vermont, a breast cancer survivor and support organization, which has a huge commitment to making a heart difference by giving back to the community.
Like many others, “I felt like I was home” after my first visit to the Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. I became a member through the Independent Study Program during COVID.
I am presently involved assisting in garden care and the following church groups: Women Empowering Women, Spiritual Exploration. I also serve as a member of the family committee for the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing.
I look forward to deepening my spiritual growth by being of service to our church community and lovingly holding the vision for our church
Carol Holt, Alternate
My name is Carol Ann Holt. I’ve lived in Ocean Park, Maine since I retired in 2005.
I came to Unity during my time with Bill French from 2012 until his passing in 2019.
Prior to my retirement I lived and worked in Washington, DC as a bookkeeper for the Child Welfare League of America. I moved to DC following my divorce in 1986 to join Church of the Saviour, inspired by a previous visit years before and renewed by The New Community, a book by Elizabeth O’Connor.
Even though my college degree was as an art major at Skidmore College, 1969, I had taught myself bookkeeping in a family construction business for 15 years. Just before moving to DC. I worked part time for one year as a bookkeeper for the Albany, NY Presbytery, where I found Elizabeth O’Connor’s book in the office library. The Executive Director wrote a reference letter praising my work, which helped me secure a position with CWLA in DC.
I raised four children, one of whom was adopted, and I have four grandchildren and one great grandson.
My move to Ocean Park was prompted by my son, who was living and married here. We had vacationed regularly in Ocean Park since my youngest was in diapers, so this was where he chose to live and raise a family. My daughter has settled here as well with her wife.
Now I live in my condo with my 27-pound cat (aka Mr. Fuzzy Paws), who wakes me each morning by stroking my cheek and gentle head butts, often in time for morning meditation with Elizabeth Peterson.
Unity is the closest community I found much like Church of the Saviour, so it feels as if I have come home.
Jack Cole, Alternate
Throughout my life I have actively sought a deeper relationship to the divinity in many different communities. Some of these communities have been very strong in their opinion of what that should look like and how we are all to believe and practice our beliefs. Some of the communities I’ve attended did not match the relationship that I already had with the divine, so I felt a bit uncomfortable. I found the closest understanding of relationship that I found with God came from studying Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Then in 2009 I heard a nearby church was going to show his movie, and I wanted to go see it. So, I went. And I recognized somebody I had met previously through business connections who said I would be welcome to to come and attend the church service on Sunday.
I came to Unity and I found there people who seemed very accepting of the fact that my journey with the Divine was a little different than theirs – an openness to other paths and hearing about what mine had been like. I also found that the minister’s message was helping me go deeper into my own journey than I had ever been before. This to me provided a feeling of safety and acceptance of my own unique way of connecting with the Divine. I felt a true sense of coming home to this community and to myself.
Since that time, I have participated in many of their programs and have shared some of what I’ve learned and continue to learn. I also have shared what strength and energy I had to devote to this community. When I was afflicted health-wise, they came to my support, with prayers, healing treatments, and friendship. Having this kind of supportive community has made a world of difference in my own personal healing process. When you have this kind of loving and supportive community, you know you are home again.
Nowadays I may not be able to do all the things physically that I’ve done for them in the past, but they’re very accepting of what I can do, whether that is praying with people, listening to them, or supporting them in whatever way I can. It has become my spiritual home, and I hope others will find this, too. It is too great a secret to keep to myself. This community has so very much to offer to those who are seeking a spiritual home.