SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE SOUTHWEST REGION OF UNITY MINISTRIES
1. Youth and Family Consultant – One of the functions and expense of the regional system throughout our movement has been to provide for regional training for Youth Directors and events for the YOU and children.
The Southwest Region has one consultant on our payroll who is charged with this responsibility. Our youth consultant offers many teen events, a youth educator’s weekend training, youth director’s forum, multiple teacher-director area training, church visits, phone support, consultations, activities and camps for both children and teens. The major expense of providing these services is the salary for the consultant, which is entirely funded by regional income. Regional funds also provide for the general operating and administrative expenses such as phones, internet, travel, etc. In addition, the majority of the costs involved in the training for the children’s program directors and teachers have been covered by the Region. (Note: the YOU (teen) event costs are covered by the registration fees of the participants, as well as scholarships provided by The Alhambra Foundation.)
2. The Annual Regional Conference – a necessary event required by the State of California for corporations registered in the State and provides for the required annual business meeting.
The conference provides an excellent time for gathering and renewing friendships with colleagues and friends, for relaxation, and for spiritual renewal. The business meeting brings conference attendees up-to-date with activities in the Region, so that new-to-the-Region ministers, newly licensed teachers, new ministries, newly ordained ministers from the Region, and new enrolled ministerial students (both Institute and Field Licensing) can be introduced and celebrated.
The Licensed Teacher Representative, the Regional Representative and the Judicatory Representative report on new developments and on the activities in various ministries throughout the year.
Financial Statements for the previous year are presented by the Treasurer for Conference body’s approval.
Members of the SW Regional Board of Trustees are elected and installed.
The keynote speaker provides an opportunity for ministers and licensed teachers to obtain post graduate credit, to update their credentials to teaching credit classes, and to be exposed to new ideas relevant to ministry.
Conference reports are presented by the CEO of Unity Worldwide Ministries and the CEO of Unity©. The Director of Admissions for Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute presents updates and the President or a representative from the UWM Board of Trustees comes to share information.
During the conference the licensed teachers and those training to become LUTs have an opportunity to meet and discuss issues important to them and elect their Licensed Unity Teacher Representative.
Note: The registration fee is calculated to cover the actual cost of the conference and it is not intended to generate income. The Region attempts to keep the fee as low as possible, yet it must guarantee a certain number of attendees staying at the facility in order to avoid the cost of renting meeting space in the facility. Currently 70 people must be in attendance and a food agreement is also involved in the negotiation. By contract, we cannot have food brought in from the outside. These agreements are standard at most every conference site.
3. International Tours – There is a built-in amount from the fees that goes to the SW Region.
4. Regional Representative – attends the two yearly meetings of the Standard’s Team. The Region covers the expense of travel and lodging. In the past, the Region has also covered the expense of the Regional Rep attending UWM Convention; however this has been discontinued in an effort to operate within a balanced budget. To qualify as a Regional Rep, one must have and keep current Ethics Review System and Peacework training, for which the region covers the travel and lodging expense.
5. Judicatory Representative – is a regional member of the Ethics Review System with the responsibility of assuring that allegations of the Code of Ethics and Sexual Behavior Policy violations are examined and addressed appropriately, by a team of ERS members. A secondary responsibility is interviewing ministers who have been absent from ministry for an extended period of time, to assure they are equipped to succeed as they re-enter their ministry of choice. The Region provides the funds for Ethics Review System training, travel and lodging on an annual or every-other year basis to keep skills and understanding of the system current.
6. Licensed Unity Teacher Representative – supports the Licensed Teachers, LUT candidates and ministers in the SW Region with advice and prayer. They assure that communication between the teachers, students, ministers, SW Region, UWM and Unity Institute is occurring. They try to inspire teachers and students to become aware of their own personal greatness. They encourage LUT involvement in the regional conference and other activities. They advise the Regional Board, UWM and Unity of any relevant issues regarding teachers. They preside over the LUT Meeting and election at the SW Regional Conference. The LUT Representative serves on the SW Region Board, as a Board member, the regional conference is paid by the Region.
7. Board of Trustees – is to attend to the health and well-being of the SW Regional Ministries; to oversee and administer the services and the finances of the Region; to provide a link with Unity Worldwide Ministries and the Unity School of Christianity
The Board has 3 mandatory board meetings at the Regional Conference. Conference fees are paid for the Board. It had been a courtesy to the volunteer board members to also pay their travel costs – however, in order to work within a balanced budget, this is no longer feasible. The 2012 Fall Board session was held at a church to eliminate costs, and board members stayed with congregants or paid their own lodging and expenses.
8. Regular Regional E-mails and Website Maintenance – includes news updates, useful information for ministry, inspiration, sparking ideas – and entertainment. The contact information is kept current on the website with other pertinent information. This position is an expense of the Region with a small salary paid.
9. Development Support – In the past, and we hope to be able to resume once again, there was financial support for Unity growth within the Region. We have intentions (and policies) established to offer the following:
Ministerial scholarships for students at Unity Institute, as well as those selected to Field Licensing
First year conference scholarships to ministers new to the Region
Pioneering ministry grants, after the group has received approval to be in the expansion program
Sponsorship of church board training
Sponsorship of peace work or healthy congregation training
Minister training in the area of financial reports – how to read them and understanding their implications
Training for both ministers and boards about how to conduct background checks (and to evaluate what you hear), how to interview (for the board) and be interviewed (as a minister) for an open pulpit. What are some of the best questions to ask, for example: How do both parties select the best fit?
* SW Regional LUT students, ministerial candidates, and pioneering ministries and others are fortunate to be the recipients of scholarships provided by The Unity Church of Alhambra Foundation, annually. These scholarships are chosen and distributed by the Alhambra Board, rather than the Southwest Regional Board. (Thank You Alhambra)