Community Update

Welcome to the Community Update page for Unity of Bon Air:

Your source for important community news, messages from our Senor Minister, and other essential and timely information.


 

Opening Anew

from Reverend Laura

Many of you have been asking with regards to recent news and government announcements, “When will we be opening again?”  This is to let you know that we, the Ministers, Staff, and Board of Unity of Bon Air are currently working on a plan that will include health and safety guidelines, as well as your input from our recent Reopening Survey.  While our goal has been to start by opening our 11 am Sunday Services to a reduced attendance of congregants wearing masks and keeping a safe distance by June 7th, this date may change.  We will open when we have the supplies, written guidelines, and volunteers available and in place to do so in a way that honors the health of all who attend.  In the meantime, our ministry is in full swing online and we welcome your participation and thank you for the gifts and offerings that make all of this possible.


May 4, 2020

Dear Unity Family,

The Unity of Bon Air Board sincerely prays you and your family are safe and well. We along with the Ministers and Staff have been trying to find ways to stay connected with our congregation and hope you have been able to join us on Sundays with our live stream services and participating in some of the classes.

Our Annual meeting and Board elections are normally held each year on the 3rd Sunday in May. However, with the Governor's Executive Order to shelter in place and meetings are limited to no more than 10 people we are going to hold our election by email/mail and the Annual Meeting by Zoom. The meeting will start at 12:45pm on Sunday, May 17th. (You will find instructions for joining our Annual meeting by Zoom below. )

The Board decided to extend the term of the current Board until July 1st and use the month of June to make a smooth transition. Rev Laura and the current Board will be organizing a training and orientation as well as an installation of the new Board during the month of June. This will allow the new Board to hit the ground running.

CLICK HERE to access the ballot for Board elections.

CLICK HERE to read about the candidates for Board elections.

You can vote three ways:
˜ Email a copy of the ballot to: info@unitybonair.org,
˜ Mail the ballot to UBA. (attention Rev Laura Bennett) 923 Buford Road, Richmond, VA 23235 or
˜ Drop the ballot off at church between the hours of 10am- 2pm on May 5-8, and May 11-15, or Saturday, May 16th.

Please read the information regarding the wonderful candidates running for the Board and vote for only two. The two candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the Board and the other three will be Board alternates.

Please review the minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting and the following Annual Reports:

CLICK HERE to review the 2019 minutes prior to the annual Zoom meeting so they may be approved.

CLICK HERE to read the Annual Report from the Finance Team.

CLICK HERE to read the Prayer Chaplain program Annual Report.

CLICK HERE to read the Communication Annual Report.

CLICK HERE to read the Garden Team Annual Report.

CLICK HERE to read the Annual Report from the Love in Action Board.

CLICK HERE to read the 2020 President's Report.

CLICK HERE to read the 2020 Education Report.

CLICK HERE to read the 2020 Minister's Report.

Thank you for your continued support of our ministry. We look forward to your participation in the election and at our annual meeting. If you have questions, please feel free to call the office at 804-320-5584.

As we carefully consider plans for re-opeining our facility, please CLICK HERE to provide your input using this survey by 12Noon on May 20th.

Sincerely,

Rev Laura and UBA Board

Topic: Unity of Bon Air Annual Meeting Time: May 17, 2020 12:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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May 1, 2020

Hello!

This is to let you know that our church will be closed at least through May 31st, and for as long as our state government tells us to stay home and not to congregate in groups of more than 10 people. 

In May the members of our ministry will stay connected in several ways including sacred, business, and social activities online that bring us together in spiritual practice and community – as well as help us in supporting our friends and families in the greater Richmond area.  Please read through our weekly eNews, and check our Events Calendar and Community Updates.

In the meantime, be compassionate and caring with yourself and those you love, and enjoy the glorious springtime beauty of nature!  The Ministers, Staff, Board, and Prayer Chaplains of Unity of Bon Air continue to hold you and your loved ones in prayer.  We see you surrounded by the protecting light and filled with the healing love of God.

Peace and Joy!  Rev. Laura


April 17, 2020

UPDATE – April 15th Congregational Meeting

The April 15th Congregational meeting was held by Zoom and the Unity of Bon Air Board is pleased to report the congregation approved two action steps which will assist the ministry during this COVID-19 crisis.   The congregation voted to allow Unity of Bon Air to apply for a $100,000 line of credit to be used in case of emergency and also voted to accept a Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Plan Loan which was approved by the bank on April 14th.  This loan if used as stipulated in the guidelines will be forgiven and not have to be paid back. It is considered a Grant.  YEA GOD.! Thanks to all of the members who supported these recommendations

WHAT WE HAVE DONE

In alignment with the Spirit of God, our Divine Source of abundant ideas and infinite good, we are grateful to everyone on the Finance Committee and Board for the excellent work in creating a Budget that honors the rich resources of everyone’s contributions and uses them wisely to serve in the present and build a wonderful future.

In moving our ministry forward, we have been working to manage costs for the coming year, and continue to do so in the awareness that the Covid-19 outbreak has shifted our way of doing ministry.  Here are some of the actions we have done or are doing.

·        Reviewing existing contracts for our facility and utilities and making reductions where we can.  For example, we have discontinued Lawn Care and are doing that with volunteers.  We are getting competitive bids on other maintenance contracts as they come up for renewal as well.

·        Looking at utilities contracts and services and reducing costs where we can.  For example, we are looking at reducing the number of phone lines to what is more efficient and less costly.

·        Reviewing and altering Staff positions and hours to work in closer alignment with our current cash flow, while at the same time providing services necessary for the spiritual well-being of the people we serve, and the greater connection of our community.  This has included eliminating the Office Manager position and morphing the necessary duties into other staff and volunteer positions.  Also, we have temporarily reduced the Facility Manager hours and put the Office Assistant on furlough while the facilities are closed. 

 

In addition, other Staff and volunteers are working well above and beyond their paid hours or normal duties to create new forms of connection and ministry, and to keep us going in this time of healing and closure. These evolving forms of ministry include, but are not limited to the following:

 

Facebook Livestream

·        11 am Sunday Services

·        8 am Daily Prayers with Rev. Laura

·        Wednesday Noon Meditation

·        Other Special Events and Services that have been, and continue to be on our calendar.

Zoom

·        Sunday Fellowship following the 11 am Service

·        Weekly Groups and Classes, including Unity credit courses with Rev. Valorie or Cheryl Fare

·        Fund Raising Dinners (in May and June) for Community Outreach

·        Team and Group Meetings for planning and development of current and future services and events.

Prayer and Counseling

·        Quick Response Prayer Chaplain Services via voicemail on the church phone

·        Counseling Services of Revs. Laura or Valorie via email or voicemail request.


April 10, 2020

Dear Unity Family;

The Unity of Bon Air Board of Directors sincerely pray that you and your loved ones are safe and well. Hopefully you have been able to stay connected with us by watching our live streaming Sunday Services and also by taking advantage of classes being offered via Zoom.  Rev. Laura, Board members, and our Trustees are beginning to call our members to say hello and continue to seek ways for us to stay connected. If you have a prayer chaplain, we know you are getting their prayers and support as well.

We find ourselves in a unique time in history for our church and for people everywhere.  We, as your Minister, Board, and Trustees, have the responsibility to be stewards of not only your continued health, spiritual growth and healing, but to protect and preserve the church grounds, building, programs, and ministries.  We want to perpetuate the survival of what we have created and built over the years.  We have a strong and vibrant community which will survive, thrive, and see the God/Good that will come from this.

With this in mind we are looking to the future and with your continued love, support, and prayers, we see a bright future for Unity of Bon Air. We are also cognizant of the reality that our bills, like yours, continue to come in and need to be paid.  We are exploring and implementing ways to reduce our cost and expenses by reviewing all contracts as well as by reducing staff hours. 

In order to continue the growth of our ministry and to be proactive in case this crisis lingers on into the summer the Board is recommending we acquire a line of credit. We think it prudent to acquire a line of credit in the amount of $100,000. We have financial reserves but without the continued ability to hold services and classes in person, to grow our membership, we need to be prepared to maintain this wonderful community, our facilities, programs, and staff.  The line of credit funds will not be used unless absolutely needed.  Every expense will be reviewed and approved by the Board if the line of credit is to be utilized.

Unity of Bon Air bylaws state that any financial transaction over $25,000 is to be shared with the membership and must have a vote of approval.  As a first step, we are asking for you to join us in a virtual meeting to discuss this proposed action and to answer your questions.  This meeting will be held Wednesday, April 15th 2020 starting at 7:00pm by way of Zoom. However, you can sign onto Zoom as early as 6:30 to make sure you can get connected.

Below is the information you need to join the meeting.  There are several options.  Using your laptop or tablet, use the link to join.  If you have never used Zoom, plan to link as early as 6:30 p.m. to insure you can.   When you link you may get messages about downloading or launching Zoom.  Please allow or click yes.  Once that process concludes you will be placed in the meeting.  Be sure you have your audio/speakers turned on so that you can hear.

You will also see below options to use your mobile device or simply call in from your telephone.   There is a dial in number below.  You do not need to dial this unless you are only able to join by telephone

Please know that If you don’t have the ability to access Zoom and you would like to ask questions and/or vote on this proposal, call to speak to the Board President, Howard Green at 804-305-3999 by April 15th.

Your participation is important and we appreciate your loving support of our Unity of Bon Air community. We recognize and know God as our Source, while taking practical steps to be good stewards.

Blessings!

Unity of Bon Air Board of Directors

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April 6, 2020

We've been running the Scam Alert below in our weekly newsletter for 2 weeks, and there is news today of a fresh scam using an email that appears tocome from our Senior Minister, Reverend Laura Barrett Bennett.

Here is an urgent message from Reverend Laura, April 6, 2020:

Hello!

This is to let you know that someone is using my name for an email scam.  I do not use the address laura.laurabennett@gmail.com – so if you see any emails from there, please delete them immediately.

Thanks!

Laura

 

SCAM ALERT!

Unfortunately, reports of scams involving emails, text messages and phone calls are on the rise. Please be mindful, and double check before responding to any unexpected messages.

EMAILS
If you receive an unexpected email - even if it says “Unity of Bon Air”, or includes the names of people you know - check the sender’s email address to see if it has come from a legitimate source. If you are unsure in any way, call the UBA office or the person named in the email directly. Do not reply or engage with suspicious emails in any way, simply DELETE. The UBA computers and systems have security in place, but scammers find many ways to masquerade, so be sure to verify all messages.

PHONE OR TEXT
Please know that local or national authorities will not use phone calls or text messages to relay essential information. If you receive a call from an unknown number, allow the call to go to voice messaging. If it is a real person, they will leave a message, and you can return the call.

If you receive a call or text requesting that you reply with personal data, do not reply in the moment. Contact the organization directly to verify that the request is legitimate.

 

 


April 3, 2020

Holy Week, Healing Week

From:  Rev. Laura Barrett Bennett

 

“For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”  

(1 Corinthians 15:53).”

 

Holy Week is an amazing and auspicious time!  It is amazing because it is filled with reminders that life is so much more than physical existence.  It is auspicious because through its prayerful reflections and activities, it teaches us to remember that we are one with all that life is and has to offer.

As I write about this special time of year in 2020, the human race is moving through the life cycles of a virus that is sweeping our world and taking with it the physical existence of many whom we love, whether we are closely related, or namelessly connected through our shared humanity.  The heart feels tender in its remembrance or concern for people dear to us.  In that tenderness, we find a deep and abiding grace that assures us that love is present and life is eternal.

In his book, Keep A True Lent, Charles Fillmore wrote the following:  “The first step in the realization of life is always to know that God is life, abundant, omnipresent, eternal, and the second step is to make connection with God-life by declaring oneness with it.”  Holy Week is our journey to this realization and declaration.  It is a journey of healing.

You are invited on this journey at any point in time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday as we move through each day, united in Spirit and sharing the path that heals us in mind and body through the realization of who and what we really are.  Following are the stepping-stones of each day’s events that lead to this great awakening.

 

Palm Sunday

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “Prepare the Way”
  • 10:05 a.m. Unity Foundations with Licensed Unity Teacher Cheryl Fare via Zoom 
  • 11:00 a.m. Spiritual Communion Service via Facebook Livestream. “Journey to Wholeness” with powerful music, meditation and message, as well as a brief and empowering intergenerational talk.
  • 12:15 p.m.  Sunday Fellowship via Zoom

Holy Monday

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “Cleansing the Temple.” 
  • 7:30 p.m.:  A Course in Miracles Study Group via Zoom with Dan O’Neal

Great Tuesday 

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream. Raising Your Inner Lazarus. 
  • 1:00 p.m. Science of Mind Study Group with Rev. Thelma Smith via Zoom
  • 6:30 p.m.  Wellness Practices with Rev. Valorie Kay Gunsch via Zoom

Passover Wednesday

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “The Depth of Stillness”
  • 12:00 p.m.  Noon Passover Meditation with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “Spiritual Food for the Soul”
  • 7:00 p.m.  Women of Unity via Zoom.  Moth Night Storytelling:  “I Overcame…”

Maundy Thursday

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “12 Powers Prayer”
  • 7:00 p.m. Unity Prosperity Class with Licensed Unity Teacher Cheryl Fare via Zoom.

Holy Saturday

  • 8:00 a.m. Lovelight Novena Prayer with Rev. Laura Bennett via Facebook Livestream.  “The Activity of Life”

Easter Sunday

  • 6:30 to 6:45 a.m. Easter Sunrise Meditation via Livestream with Rev. Laura Bennett
  • 11:00 a.m. Easter Healing Service via Facebook Livestream. “Wake Up” and smell the flowers with powerful music, meditation and message, as well as a brief and empowering intergenerational talk.
  • 12:15 p.m. Easter Fellowship via Zoom

March 28, 2020

Beloved Friends,

Another week has gone by and we miss the opportunity be with you in our beautiful building.  We are looking forward to the time we all come back together.  In the meantime, we are keeping each other safe and healthy.  In alignment with current guidelines recommended by our governor and the CDC – we have the following updates.

  • Sunday Services are livestreamed only through Easter Sunday, April 12th.  Our future schedule will be updated before Easter.
  • Also on Livestream – 8 am Prayer every morning (including Sundays) with Rev. Laura; and Noon Prayer and Meditation with Revs. Laura and Valorie. 
  • Holy Week will also be Healing Week with special and safe activities online and in the gardens.  More details will be shared in this coming week’s eNews.  
  • The Office is closed through Easter Sunday.  The Staff will be checking emails, snail mail, and phone messages Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • For further information on the virus and the recommended guidelines go to coronavirus.gov. 

While physical distance is being maintained, spiritual unity brings us closer and closer together in ways that are not limited by time or space.  Thank you for being with us, as we are with you!

With God’s Blessings!

Reverend Laura


March 22, 2020

Beloved Friends,

You are amazing in the love, generosity, courage, and strength you have demonstrated in these challenging times!  Thank you for your prayers, your continued financial gifts, and your thoughtful words and gestures to encourage and support others.

  • Below are updates to the schedule for Unity of Bon Air:
  • Sunday Services are livestreamed through March 29th
  • The church and its offices are closed to all activities and to the public through Saturday, April 4th.  The Staff will be there to manage ongoing church business, and to answer the phones from 10 am to 4 pm Monday, March 23rd through Thursday, March 26th.
  • Future Office and Activity Schedules will be announced within the week.
  • For further information on the virus and the recommended guidelines got to coronavirus.gov. 

Though we may be apart, we are in this together.  In our prayers we can hold the vision of our world, restored, renewed, and connected in love

With God’s Blessings!

Rev. Laura

 


March 18, 2020

Great news for fans of Unity of Bon Air who are not Facebook users:

Recordings of the Sunday livestream videos will now be posted to the Unity of Bon Air YouTube channel!!

Because it takes some time for the videos to be archived on Facebook, and uploaded to YouTube, look for videos to be available by around mid-day on Mondays.


March 17, 2020

The following information is now displayed on the front door of the Unity of Bon Air facility:

Thank you for coming.  Please read the following:

Coronavirus timeline, March 16 through April 1

New guidelines for next 15 days

The US Federal government announced a series of guidelines for all Americans to follow over the next 15 days:

  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Avoid discretionary travel like shopping trips and social visits
  • Avoid bars and restaurants and food courts -- instead use drive through, pickup and delivery options
  • Do not visit aged care facilities
  • If you work in healthcare, pharmaceutical or food supply, "you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule"
  • If someone in your house has tested positive, the entire household should stay home
  • Older people and those with underlying health conditions should stay home

In cooperation with keeping our population as healthy as possible, Unity of Bon Air is closing this building to gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days.

We will be livestreaming our 11 am Sunday Service each week, and we recommend your group observes alternative ways to get together by phone conference, zoom, or another electronic connection.  We will open again as soon as possible for your important group meeting.  In the meantime, we hold every person enfolded in healing light of Divine Love!

With God’s Blessings!  Rev. Laura


March 16, 2020

Hello!

Welcome to this week at Unity of Bon Air as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of Spring, and discover a whole new normal by which we can not only live, but thrive in the light and love of Spirit!

Thank you all for your wonderful prayers and support for our work at Unity of Bon Air in these unusually challenging times.  I feel each one of you in my heart and envision the beautiful and shining being of light that you are!  Be patient and love yourself through all of your feelings and experiences.  Know with me that we are strengthening our connections with God, with each other, and with the spiritual principles that heal our minds and bodies, expand our growth and prosperity, and deepen our inner peace.

First – we must do what we need to do to move through these weeks.  Following this week’s Board Meeting on Wednesday evening, I will be posting updates regarding our upcoming church schedule and plans for keeping ourselves and our spiritual community healthy and strong.  These will include a nine-week prayer vigil, and staying in alignment with CDC recommendations.

In the meantime, please see this week’s handout from the Sunday talk and focus on the affirmations under “Revelation of Faith”.  I also invite you to join me each day in a moment, or more, of prayer - holding yourself, your family, our Unity of Bon Air community, our greater community, and our world, in the light of Divine Love.

Today’s Daily Word for Monday, March 16th, says “Rooted in Community, I grow and evolve.”  Let us grow and evolve together by knowing the following Truth from this week’s affirmations:

“We are renewed in mind and body by the healing light of Divine Love.”

With Great Love and Divine Blessings!

Rev. Laura


March 15, 2020

Here is the handout from Reverend Laura to go along with the message for March 15th:

 

Click here for a PDF file to print.


March 14, 2020

 
Update from Reverend Laura Barrett Bennett, Senior Minister

As you may have read on our previous announcement, we have been planning to hold our services and to have a Congregational Meeting this Sunday, March 15th.  Since then, more news has emerged from our region, our country, and our Unity movement.  I have had conversations with some of our church staff and leaders and prayerfully contemplated what is best for the safety and well-being of all of our congregants.

Knowing that God works through our inner guidance and wisdom, I am making the following announcement:

  • We are cancelling our 9 a.m. service this Sunday, March 15th, as well as our congregational attendance at the 11 a.m. Service.
  • We will be conducting a full service via livestream via Facebook Live at 11 a.m.
  • Prayers to go along with Sunday services will be posted on the new Community Update page on unitybonair.org.
  • The Unity of Bon Air activities that will be cancelled or postponed through Saturday, March 21st are as follows:
  • Wednesday, 10 am Qi Gong is postponed until further notice.
  • Wednesday, Noon Prayer and Potluck Lunch – Suspended for this week. Prayers will still be held at noon for attending staff. Please take a few moments to join us in prayer wherever you are at that time.
  • The Board Meeting will take place Wednesday evening.Information regarding the logistics for this will be shared with the Board early in the week.
  • Saturday, March 21st:UBA Leadership Meeting is postponed until further notice.
  • All other groups and meetings that use our facilities will receive communications regarding the current health crisis and safety precautions.Suspension or postponement of all unnecessary meetings will be encouraged.
  • The office will be open during regular office hours to serve you and respond to your questions and inquiries.
  • Our Meditation Gardens will remain open from sunrise to sunset as a place of spiritual renewal and refreshment.

Thank you for reading through all this important information. If you know of anyone who is not likely to see our digital updates, please consider calling them on the phone to let them know. Phone calls of encouragement will help us all stay connected as a community.

We hold in prayer all of those whose health or peace of mind has been affected by this virus.  We dwell in the heart of the Infinite from which flows the healing light of Divine Love, and we know the Truth of the following affirmation for each individual:

I am renewed in mind, heart, and body by the healing light of Divine Love.

And so it is!


March 13, 2020

Friends,

In response to the current international health crisis, we will be having a congregational meeting this Sunday, March 15th, after church at 12:45 p.m.  If you have concerns about the vulnerability or current symptoms of your state of health, please stay home and know our love and healing prayers are with you.  If not, we urge you to be with us after the service for sharing our prayers, our concerns, the actions currently being taken by our ministry, and any ideas you may have for what we can do as a community for our individual and collective health and well-being.  Highlights from the meeting will be sent out next week.

With Healing Love and God’s Blessings!

Rev. Laura Bennett, Senior Minister


March 12, 2020

from Unity Worldwide Ministries:

Please Join Us in Prayer Surrounding the Coronavirus Outbreak

We know that our consciousness makes a difference and one of the greatest gifts Unity offers is to stay positive and pray.

We invite you to join in the following prayer or one of your own choosing.


We know that God is a Love that has no end and a Power that knows no bounds. God’s healing power of Divine Life is restoring, healing, and revitalizing our world in this very moment. We let go of any fears or anxieties, and we affirm that all are safe, healthy, and protected. We bless all those who support us in maintaining vibrant radiant health. We express Divine Life in all we think, say, and do. We bless our global family with radiant health, peace of mind, and abundant love.

CDC

Here are informational links to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html#readiness-resources

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf