A positive path for spiritual living

Moving the Walls by Carl Nawrot, Board Treasurer

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 1:36pm -- ccousineau

  Unity of Oak Park, Illinois, spiritual  home is the home once owned by the Taylor family. It was constructed in 1912, and recently we have begun a major renovation. But it’s not the type of renovation that you might think. Oh yes, we are moving walls, but not physically. We are moving the spiritual walls of our center into the community by partnering with organizations enabling us to address the needs therein.

  So many needs exist within each of our communities, some known, some unknown, which can be an opportunity to be of service to those who may not be familiar with Unity or the Fillmore’s. Doesn’t this fulfill the message of Unity, in that we are never separate from where we are at both spiritually and physically? With just a little research a ministry can partner with organizations to increase its presence in the community. At Unity of Oak Park, we have committed our ministry to pursuing these partnerships to fulfill the Unity message.

  We actually started last year partnering with a local organization to purchase Christmas gifts for those that might receive anything in the season of caring. This has been done for many years with a variety of organizations serving not only children but those that might otherwise be forgotten. But that was only the beginning of our 2022 community activity.

  In April we hosted a bake sale benefitting Ukraine humanitarian efforts. June gave us the opportunity to host an outdoor music concert in which both our Youth department and a local children’s organization shared in the profits. In August we partnered with an educational organization contributing bookbags and school supplies for children in need. Each bag not only contained pens, pencils and tablets but also hope in those receiving the bag and confidence in their future.

  Unity of Oak Park also regularly invites outside organizations on specific Sundays to present what community needs are being met by their respective organization. Regularly scheduled movie nights are open to our community and are well attended. We dedicate the second Sunday of each month as “Friendship Sunday”, inviting friends and family to potentially find their spiritual home. We have extended use of our facility to a teacher who uses music for children to express themselves. Art classes for children are scheduled to begin in the near future. A room will be used short term as an art gallery for local artists. Soon we will be hosting our annual “Trunk or Treat” which last year had an attendance of 400, a new record.

   Each of these partnerships increases our presence within the community, thus giving each of us an opportunity to “walk our talk”. And all of it starts with a question “How can I help?”. Think about it.