August 2016

Michael speakingThis past Sunday, we had our quarterly Community meeting. These gatherings are a great time to share, brainstorm, and catch everyone up on what we are doing and how we are doing. We update everyone on many things, including our finances, the amazing community that we are creating together, and how that is achieved in a spirit of collaboration and co-operation.
 
OPENING COMMENTS
*The Board was introduced, as well as several individuals who do a great deal to make Unity of Sedona the great place that it is.
*We were reminded that we are one of the top two spiritual centers in Sedona and that we are now going to embrace this and make it known–greatly with the assistance of our new social media crew.
*Our Chaplain program is doing very well and we are very happy that our Chaplains are beginning to play larger and larger roles in our services and elsewhere.
*We acknowledged all of our Sponsors at Unity of Sedona.
*It was announced that it’s time to gather Volunteers for our next Sedona Winter Solstice Festival and several people responded.
*We greatly thank everyone who is a sponsor or supports Unity of Sedona in any way.
 
FINANCES
We then discussed our finances and how each year we are clearly doing better. We also discussed how I (Michael) fit in financially. Everyone was/is so supportive of me and my work and although most of these kinds of details are usually open to the Members only, we opted to share with everyone the exact details of my position–financially–as we reviewed the following:
 
*Even though our attendance is twice as much as the average Unity Church, I am paid around 1/3rd less than the average Unity minister makes per year.
*And, unlike Unity ministers, there is no allowance for housing, car, and/or insurance.
*I am paid approximately $45,000 per year and have been given only one raise in my 5-6 years.
*I tithe back $12,000 per year, which is approximately 25% of my salary.
*After my 1st year or two (when I was paid only $35,000) we began thinking of ways to create bonuses to compensate for the low income. The Board came up with some ideas but they are mostly contingent on our income, for example, we have to be in the black-which we often are not.
*It is our hope that we can create a second raise OR some other type of financial alternative that brings my pay up to par with the National average.
 
SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS
*We now have two Sponsorship Programs. One is for sponsoring all of our many programs such as the café, the children’s program, and so forth. The other is more like an annual “pledge” wherein people can commit to a one-time donation or a monthly donation that can be applied wherever it’s most needed-such as our largest bills.
 
MM PERSONAL
*I will continue going on tours for one week per month-as that is how I make my primary living, since tours pay me more than Unity can.
*I am committed to being here for a few more years and plan on helping to continue taking the energy and learning to whole new levels.
 
FUTURE EVENTS & PROJECTS
*Psychic Sunday is coming up soon. 
*Deva Premal will be back to Sedona in the Spring (with Unity of Sedona as the sponsor).
*Special guest speaker–Marilyn White (wife of Maurice White–leader of Earth, Wind, and Fire) will be joining us on August 21st.
*The Sedona Winter Solstice Festival is being held on Sat. Dec. 17th.
 
A FEW OF OUR CLOSING COMMENTS FROM ATTENDEES
“I have come here because of the consistently beautiful love I feel and have received here. It is alive here, and I know it goes out to millions of others…”
 
“Thank you so much for what you do for musicians.”
 
“Before I came here I had been in a community for 10 years. But I have received more love in the short time I have been here than those years elsewhere.”
 
“I attend here because of what we are doing to impact the world.”
 
“I see being at Unity as being one of the highest aspects of my life.”
 
Love & Light,