UnityCR has a NEW Minister!
Join us in welcoming Rev. Debra Carter-Williams on January 5, 2020!
2020 Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of Unity Center of Cedar Rapids is dedicated to a consciousness of the highest and best good for UnityCR. Our leaders are deeply invested in sustaining a spiritual community that is dedicated to Principle and to our mission. Our Board of Trustees is about the business of shared leadership. All congregants are welcome to attend monthly board meetings.
Licensed Unity Leaders
UnityCR is blessed to have three Licensed Unity Leaders in Janith Griffith (left), Susan Liddell (center) and Barb Buchanan (right). They are licensed by Unity Worldwide Ministries and the first in UnityCR’s history to achieve this distinction.
Each licensed leader has a specific passion and responsibility. All licensed leaders serve on our spiritual care ministry team, providing spiritual support for congregants. Janith serves on Unity’s Great Lakes Regional Board and is an Enlightened Living facilitator. Susan serves on the Cedar Rapids Inter-religious Council, supports our Ministry Team Leaders and is an Enlightened Living Facilitator. Barb serves on the Unity Worldwide Earth Care Team and monitors the care of our building.
For more information about the Licensed Unity Leader/Teacher program, see Unity Institute.
Qualifications to Serve on the Board of Trustees
Section 4.04 – BOARD OF TRUSTEES – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTION
(A) Qualifications. Any person elected to the Board of Trustees must be a member of Unity Center of Cedar Rapids. This person will:
- Demonstrate leadership qualities and desire to serve on the Board.
- Endeavor to live in accord with the Unity Principles.
- Further the work of this Ministry through interest, love, and support.
- Be a sincere and continuing student of Unity, conversant with its teachings.
- Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- Be pre-qualified by the nominating ministry team, according to standing ministry team procedures.
January 2020 Candidates for the Board of Trustees
Paula is a 30 year member is Unity Center of Cedar Rapids and has served as the Executive Director of the Catherine McAuley Center (CMC) for almost 9 years. She is passionate about service and believes she lives out her faith by serving the CMC mission and her spiritual community.
She is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian with three adult children, Marie, Megan, and Morgan and four grandchildren, Jack, Lucy, Leona, and Vivian.
Paula is committed to working with others to create an inclusive community where everone feels valued, and empowered to be their best selves. She serves on the board of the Housing Fund for Linn County, the Economic Development Innovation Council at teh Metro Economic Alliance, and is a member of the Leadership for Five Seasons Class of 2020. In her “free” time, Paula is a musical leader and sings bass in the Metro Mix Chorus to which she has belonged for 30 years.
Thank YOU for serving on the nominations committee!
Born and reared in Des Moines and have lived all my life in Iowa except the few years in college in Missouri. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a social worker for thirty years working for the state and in the private sector. For the past twenty years I worked in the funeral industry and represented funeral homes throughout Iowa.
I am married and have two children, a son in Chicago and a daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in Dubuque. Actually, my granddaughter Elsa is a sophomore at the University of Iowa.
I have always love to cook, which is one reason I was so excited to learn UCR had a brunch team which I immediately joined and have received so much more than I have given.
I am honored to be considered for the Board of Trustees
Unity Center of Cedar Rapids has been a tremendous spiritual home for me and my family since 2012. To say that my time at UCR has been transformative would be an understatement; I’ve grown so much in my overall awareness, my leadership skills, my confidence to contribute something of worth, and most importantly, in my spiritual seeking for my Truth as I know it. I do not take the work of the Board lightly, and will give my best at all times. To that end, I have served a 3 year term on the board as Vice President and President two years ago, and am excited to help serve again as UCR writes a new chapter in its long history.
By way of a short biography of myself, I came into the world at Washoe Medical Center in Sparks, Nevada, in 1974. My dad was a travelling salesman with Kellogg’s cereal, and they would move him, along with me, my Mom, my sister, to cities in Michigan, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado. I gained a wide range of experiences, for sure, but have also come to know what it’s like to grow roots in one area as my family and I have been here in Cedar Rapids the past 15 years. I’m an educator, and after 19 years teaching high school Language Arts, I’m currently a literacy consultant for GWAEA. Most importantly, I truly enjoy being a “family man”, walking alongside my wife as we raise our twins, and in my spare time I can be found hiking, biking, reading, playing piano/ukulele, and continually seeking to become a better person each day.
Unity has been my spiritual home since I entered the door 19 years ago, and I have been active in various positions from the beginning. The last 3 years as a board trustee have been full of inspiring events, frustrating issues, beautiful spiritual moments and some difficult decisions to be made. As a board, we worked diligently through them all to serve our Unity family.
We searched for a new minister, after Rev. Brenda’s retirement, working together and following a rigorous process. I am proud to have been a part of it as a member of the search team and the board.
We sustained the spiritual focus for over a year without a full-time minister. We worked hard to keep all of the processes flowing, especially inspiring Sunday services. Laura and our Unity Licensed Leaders worked diligently in this area and we are all grateful.
At the same time, we grew our congregation with new members that have jumped right in to serve and grow with us. I felt this UCR family become even more cohesive, sharing, caring and serving the center and our spiritual focuses the past year. We are very proud of the wholeness, love and perseverance that is UCR. And finally, our efforts were fruitful.
We are now blessed to have our new minister, Rev. Debra, joining us. She will be amazing for us and we all will welcome and support her as the spiritual leader of our family.
During my term, while all this was happening, I have always tried to be fully present for planning, discussions and decisions, and to keep my ego outside the door. Mindfulness and the well-being of our Unity Congregants and the Center as a whole, was a guide through all our and my work. I try to keep
positive and collaborative on the board and in other activities and service.
If you so choose, I will continue to serve on the board for the next three years. My experience with a board as several new members come on, will be helpful and I can assist Rev. Debra and our UCR family through the transition as we adjust to this next adventure.