2019/20 Annual Report

2019/20 Annual Report

Dear Friends:

I think we’d all agree that 2020 has been quite a year! Looking back, none of us could ever have imagined then what we would be facing today.

Fiscal Year 2019/20 started on July 1, 2019, with a bustle of people and activities! Our Sunday and Wednesday worship services were well-attended and received, and our usual strong offering of spiritual education classes was met with enthusiasm.

Our strong chaplain program and new summer “Circles of Affirmative Prayer” session led us into a successful World Day of Prayer, which we combined with a beautiful “Gong Sound Experience.” We supported non-profits with monthly tithes, and reached out to our community with blood drives, PB&J events to feed the homeless, a school supply drive and Christmas gifts for kids at Palomino and OCJ (which supports teens in foster group homes). Our strong YFM program continued the great work of educating and uplifting our children with spiritual teachings and practices, as well as a variety of fun family activities.

Congregants enjoyed connecting at our community events like our business fair, tailgate party, ballgame outings and ice cream socials. And we moved through a very successful 2019 Christmas season with our standard offering of popular and sacred services and activities.

January 2020 – mid-way through our fiscal year – began on an even stronger note! We conducted a congregant survey and received feedback that was overwhelmingly positive. We also launched a new “Path to Awakening” course of study featuring a checklist of classes and activities for congregants who wished to build a strong spiritual foundation or re-engage in their spiritual exploration.

A pinnacle moment was the March 2020 sale of a strip of land on the west side of our property for $1.3 million.

The proceeds of the sale allowed us to pay down a huge chunk of our mortgage, and put us in a great position to do some long-overdue maintenance to our 20+-year-old buildings and campus, including A/C units for the sanctuary, repair of the administration building’s elevator, security alarm upgrades, electrical improvements and more. We were even looking at possibly putting some money toward the new chapel we have all been anxiously awaiting.

In the wake of this blessing, we were gearing up for two huge events at the end of March: a workshop by world-renowned visionary Panache Desai, and a fun-filled sock hop to celebrate my 15th anniversary at Unity of Phoenix.

But then COVID-19 hit, turning all of our lives – and plans – in an unexpected direction.

The virus forced shifts in how we all do life, and our ministry was no exception. Our campus closed down effective March 22, and we were forced to move from our large, live, joyful indoor gatherings to pre-recorded services that could be viewed online.

As a staff, we worked creatively to maintain as much community as possible during this “virtual” period. We scheduled every worship service to premiere on our YouTube Channel, where congregants could watch “together” and chat with one another during the service. After the premiere, the service videos remain on both YouTube and on our website, where congregants can view “on demand.”

We also offered a large number of online classes through which congregants could still connect and learn in virtual classrooms from the safety of their own homes, and we took our Lenten Circle Groups virtual, with all the groups communing via Zoom.

Our staff and prayer chaplains have reached out to our members with phone calls and support. And we’ve worked diligently to stay in touch with congregants through frequent email communication and Facebook posts.

While it was truly a blessing to be able to continue serving, uplifting and supporting our church community in these alternate ways, there is no doubt that – despite our best efforts – congregants were missing the warmth, love and connection of our live activities and worship services. Subsequently, attendance and giving dropped significantly.

We reduced our costs to everything but the bare minimum, and furloughed or cut back hours for many staff members. Still, even with these extreme measures, we’ve been losing approximately $30,000 a month over the pandemic months.

In spite of this unprecedented challenge, Spirit blessed us abundantly with our land sale proceeds, the forgiveness of our government economic stimulus loan, and the continued giving of those who could, which all helped us to remain functional through this difficult time. I’m proud of how we – as a staff, Board, congregation and community – have kept our faith, stuck together, and practiced our spiritual principles ... which have, and will, continue to guide us.

I have absolute faith that we will come out of this stronger, and with a deeper faith and appreciation for our amazing lives and all of our wonderful blessings. Thank you to each of you for you prayers and support of Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center! Because of our love of Unity, we finished this tough year on a high note, and are positioned well to have a fabulous 2021!!

Please join us in our intention to begin “rebuilding” our regular attendance and weekly giving so that we are able to run our ministry fully as the thriving, energized, loving spiritual community it has always been!

God bless you all!

View our BOARD CANDIDATES

2020 Annual Report - Printable Version

View our 2020 FINANCIALS

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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