Find Out What Motivated These New Unity Congregants to Volunteer
“I didn’t just jump in to volunteering; I leapt in!” Wendy Manley said. “I came to Unity for the first time in January 2009 … primarily because I wanted to find a church for my kids. I wanted them to know that they don’t walk alone in this life.
“I came here for my kids, but ended up staying for myself. My business was failing and I was very stressed, but when I walked in the door, I just knew I was home! Unity gives me the tools that I need to open myself up to good. After only two months, I started taking classes, beginning with the 4T (Prosperity Program). I’ve also taken Prayer Basics and a meditation class that gave me practical tools to deal with what’s going on in my life. Tithing my time and talents is just a small way for me to give something back for the peace of mind I’ve gained from Unity. “I serve on the Marketing Committee and have helped with the Social Committee and wherever else I think I can contribute. When you give something in love — whether it’s time, talent or treasure — it comes back to you 10-fold. That’s proven universal law. And volunteering makes me feel great! Even when there’s hard work involved, I know I’m doing it to perpetuate good.
“I’m on a spiritual journey, and anything I can give in love to bring myself closer to God, I will do. And that love has been returned to me! The more I dig into this, the more I realize that it is because of my spirituality that I have discovered the karmic goodness (of the universe).
“For example, a week after I closed my business, a friend asked me to help him start a company that will truly make this world a better place. I know that the spiritual good of what I’m doing with my life now is because I opened myself to God’s good by giving in love … This opportunity was handed to me exactly when I needed it. Now I’m doing what I’m meant to do; I’m being paid to do work that truly makes a difference in the world.
“That’s the gift you give yourself by giving of yourself. Right now with two jobs and two kids, it’s hard to give more than I’m currently doing. But I will continue to give as much time as I can to Unity, and I look forward to a time when I can give even more. I will always be as involved as I possibly can in this loving spiritual community. It has changed my life.”
Heather and Chris Jones
“We immediately started volunteering only two or three Sundays after we started coming to Unity of Phoenix,” Chris said. “We felt a very strong connection right away; this community practices what they preach, and we fell so in love with Unity of Phoenix that we just wanted to give what we could.
“It’s really just the energy of the church and the people that we’ve met here; we want to be a part of this spiritual community, and that desire to help is what prompted us to volunteer,” Chris continued. “Unlike prior churches I’ve gone to, the people at Unity really put their beliefs in action, and it’s energizing to see that. We really just wanted to get more involved, to be a real part of this spiritual community, and that desire is what prompted us to volunteer. “Our first experience with volunteering was at the St. Mary’s Food Bank. We were sorting food, but it was so much fun! We got to meet a lot of people, everyone got along well, and we worked well as a team. It felt good to work hard at something and go home tired, knowing that our energy had gone toward something to help others.”
Heather couldn’t agree more. “When we started looking for a church, part of our intention was to find someplace where we could be active ... When we found Unity, there were so many opportunities to volunteer, and so many places – like Habitat for Humanity and Feed the Multitudes – where you can give back to the community. We just kind of jumped right in for no other reason than we wanted to!
“On a soul level, volunteering feeds my spirit,” Heather continued. “It fills my heart with love and joy to connect with others who are doing things from the heart. I can’t even express in words what it gives back to me: I have such a feeling of deep joy that I am in the right place and the right time, and it feels so good, I feel so supported and connected. How could you not want more of that?
“Volunteering is definitely something you can’t force someone to do … people have to come when they’re ready. But if someone were to ask me about volunteering, I would share the deep feelings and satisfaction that I get from volunteering, and how it warms my heart to give selflessly. I would share my excitement about what it’s like to get involved. At first you may think you don’t know enough about anything, but when you jump in, you discover that you don’t have to know anything … what’s important is just putting your love and energy there. With two hands and a willing heart, you can do anything. There’s always a place for you; there are no required skills, no pre-requisites. You just come from a place of love in your heart, dig in, help out ... and then prepare to receive a whole lot of love in return!”
Read About Why These Long-Time Unity Congregants Continue to Volunteer
“I began to volunteer shortly after I started coming to Unity about four years ago,” Pat said. “I’ve volunteered my entire life in the spirit of dedicating myself to God and service, but there was a special calling for me in Unity, because I received so much from this spiritual community that I wanted to give back as much as I could.
“I started with the Service Angels, and ended up running the group. I also took on the job of being a “Seat Angel” in the Sanctuary, and joined the worship team; I’ve been totally dedicated to both. I also pitch in to do various odds and ends, like watering plants … wherever I saw a need, I stepped up to help. “Volunteering is very rewarding to me, because it makes me feel that I have a purpose. Being older, I want to stay productive, and I have a lot of energy. I also get so much out of my involvement with the people at Unity, especially the staff, who are all so loving and kind and giving. I feel totally fulfilled and energized by that.
“What keeps me coming back is that I can feel my oneness with Spirit at all times and in every single area of the church. That, combined with all of the personal and spiritual growth I’ve gotten from volunteering, keeps me coming back again and again.”
“I’ve been attending Unity churches for about 17 years, and when I moved to Phoenix, I found this church,” Nancy said. “One time was all it took! I was sold; it was like no other church I’ve ever been to. I’ve been coming ever since.
“Before I retired, I volunteered mostly on weekends. I enjoyed being a Greeter on Sundays, but my work schedule prevented me from doing more. It was after I retired that I really popped in. I definitely have the hours to donate now, and I love being a part of this spiritual community. I love Unity so much! Everyone here is so nice, and you get to know people so much better when you spend time with them volunteering, rather than just coming Sundays. “As a retired person who lives alone, volunteering is definitely rewarding in that it makes me feel a real part of this spiritual family. I think as we get older we need each other all the more; we need to reach out and be a part of something. I love getting together with my volunteer friends. I like the socializing part of it, but I also do volunteer work where I’m all by myself; it’s still rewarding, because I know I’m contributing in a meaningful way.
“Everyone who knows me can feel my enthusiasm for this church. I love this ministry, and want to spend as much time here as possible. “Unity is very special … It’s not just about a certain Bible story, or a particular message ... it’s the way people at Unity treat one another … truly loving and living what we hear on Sunday mornings: smiling, greeting one another, holding open a door. It’s a way of life and thinking, and I couldn’t feel more blessed by a spiritual community.
“I started going to Unity six years ago, after I had gotten divorced,” Warren said. “Like most people, I kind of sat by the wayside for quite awhile, just coming for Sunday morning services. But they had a cookout one day in the Courtyard, and needed people to cook. I ended up volunteering to do it, and found out very quickly that you meet a lot of people when you volunteer! I thought to myself, ‘Well, I can sit in the corner and have a ‘pity party’ for myself, or I can volunteer and meet a lot of nice people.’
“I started by helping out at special events like the Halloween party and Easter Egg hunt. After noticing someone cleaning up between services one Sunday, I started going around picking up trash and straightening chairs. That led to becoming an Usher and then one of the Head Ushers. I love being an Usher, Greeter, Hugger and “chair straightenupper”! I also give hugs to everybody who comes by ... I’m just a big Huggy Bear!
“Church is the closest thing I come to family these days … It’s the one place I feel safe, the one place I feel completely comfortable. I love the message here, the people, helping others. I’m a nurturing sort of guy, and this is someplace where I know I can be of some real help to people. I feel good here.
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. I love this community, and really want to give back. I take a lot of pride in making sure I greet everybody, and if I see someone new, I make sure that I make them feel welcome, and try and introduce them to the person next to them. “I can’t tell you the number of churches I’ve been to where no one even said ‘hello.’ That’s a travesty! This is my home; it warms my heart to be here, and I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I do!”
“I get so much personal satisfaction from volunteering for Unity of Phoenix,” Helene said. “I feel that (my husband and I) have been so blessed by this church that I just need to give back. And I get so many rewards from the time I contribute. For example, when we worked on the Palomino Christmas project, the satisfaction of seeing the faces on those children on the day that we gave them the presents, you just can’t replace that.
“We get the same type of feeling on all of the volunteer projects. We’ve helped out at ‘Feed the Multitudes’ and a facility for abused women and children, served refreshments on Sunday, and are part of the Service Angels every Thursday … That experience is so great! All of us talk about every and anything while we’re doing our work. We so enjoy the company, and really look forward to every Thursday. Now that we’re older, we don’t get out as much … so we try not to miss a week! “The Service Angels all care for each other, and if one of us is missing, we’re checking up to find out why. I truly feel that, if I needed somebody to help me out, I could call one of the Service Angels.
“I really encourage people who haven’t yet volunteered at Unity of Phoenix to hop in with both feet and give it a try. I think they’ll be amazed at the friends they can make, and how much satisfaction and accomplishment it will give them. Everyone here really puts their heart and soul into whatever they are doing, and it’s wonderful to be a bigger part of this community.”
“(My partner) and I retired in March of 2004 and found Unity of Phoenix after moving here,” Wes said. “We loved the church; it was so open, energetic, enthusiastic and thought-provoking! I began volunteering heavily; I had the time, energy and a very good feeling for the church and people here. I found a family here! We knew absolutely nobody when we retired here, and this became our extended family. The spirit and quality of people we have volunteered with has been amazing.
“I found an outlet to contribute, not just financially, but also spiritually, physically and mentally. I pitched in wherever I could: coordinating volunteers, helping at the reception desk, organizing projects like Habitat for Humanity, serving at the Welcome Table, completing a wide variety of special projects, and serving as an electrician, painter, plumber, carpenter. “After discovering I had Parkinsons, I moved inside to the Bookstore. Volunteering there is every bit as spiritually fulfilling as the sermons. There’s an openness, acceptance, trust and warmth about working there, and Julia sincerely shows her appreciation. It gives you such a good feeling to know that you’re valued for what you do, and that you’re making a difference. That’s what volunteering is all about.
“If you’ve got the time, energy and drive to want to help, this is the place to start. There are endless avenues to help out. To me, that’s one of the best ways to grow spiritually; you get to do things you didn’t think you could, meet like-minded people, and have the satisfaction of knowing that you are really making a difference in the world.”