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A Volunteer - April 1, 2018
April 2018 Volunteer of the Month
From Series: "Ministry of Service"
More From "Ministry of Service"
April 2018 Volunteer of the Month:
Our April Volunteer of the Month began attending UCOH back in 2012. She started volunteering almost immediately in the bookstore and has been there
Maxine says that volunteering in the bookstore “increases the personal connection with people and allows one to see the beautiful shining spirits who attend UCOH. Volunteering decreases loneliness and offers you the opportunity to make lifelong friends.”
Maxine goes on to express her gratitude for her Spiritual home, a community that is, “accepting of all and so upbeat while at the same time preaching the word of God in a loving way, rather than preaching guilt and blame.”
Thank you Maxine for brightening our bookstore and our lives. You are a beautiful presence here at UCOH. We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!
The 2018 Elliott Lifetime Volunteer Award
Bob Heinrichs is one of the founding members of Unity Church of the Hills. He not only found the beautiful 14-acre parcel of land that the church now sits on, but also negotiated the sale. He worked with the architect as a member of the design committee to determine the design of this beautiful building. He led the task force to wire the building for special media and designed and contracted the construction of the music room behind the sanctuary.
Bob has supported UCOH not only as a volunteer, but financially, as well – generously supporting the music team, sound , & media teams, as well as the screen and projector assembly, to name a few. He shared his time and talents to work in conjunction with Bethany Methodist Church to have a traffic light installed at the church entrance! We can also thank Bob for negotiating with Williamson County to obtain the land where our sign board now sits, welcoming us all each time we enter the campus.
To call him a volunteer angel doesn’t even begin to describe Bob. In addition to his more than 22 years volunteering with Youth & Family in the toddler room, he has been instrumental in the construction of building two playgrounds, landscaping, countless hours on his tractor clearing and leveling the grounds, paving and sealing our parking lots as well as volunteering as a parking usher.
Although there are many special “volunteer memories,” the most meaningful is the creation and construction of the Arch. Bob had a vision to create a landmark that could be easily seen and recognized from a distance, one that would invite people of all persuasions to enter. From that vision and dedication, we now have the beautiful Arch that now greets all who enter the grounds. It represents passage into the UCOH campus that is built with peace, love and understanding. A beautiful granite monument dedicated to his parents resides at the eastern end of the Arch.
Bob believes that volunteers are the backbone of UCOH. Volunteerism is a way to pay it forward for that which we receive spiritually. It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill—it becomes bigger and bigger the farther it goes; the more one gives of their self to the church, the greater the rewards. As Bob puts it, “Congregants oftentimes don’t realize what is required to keep this church operational—staff can only do so much. Unquestionably, volunteers are the pebbles that make positive ripples that reach out to our church community and our world.”
There are so many reasons to adore Bob. All you have to do is spend a little time with him to understand how much he loves this place and why he continues to support UCOH. Today, we want to share our love with him and let him know how much he is valued as a leader of Unity Church of the Hills. Thank you, Bob Heinrichs. We love you!
February 2018 Volunteer of the Month:
Our February Volunteer of the Month began attending UCOH with her family back in May or June, 2012 and became a member in November 2012. Lisa participated in setting up the Endowment Fund at UCOH and is currently an active member of the Endowment Team and the Budget & Finance Team. She also participates with the Youth and Family Ministry when the events are for Tweens (e.g., Board Game night). When the opportunity coincides with her schedule, she enjoys painting houses with the iACT organization. She and her children enjoyed packing pajamas for last year’s pajama drive and backpacks during back to school time.
This is what Lisa has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “Volunteering at UCOH is a great way to get to know fellow congregants. I have received so much joy from other people’s stories and from working toward the common good of our Spiritual Home.
“Christmas Eve 2017 was a very special day for me. Diego had been invited to play the piano at the Youth service. As I sat in the pew, snuggling with Silvia, and looked around, I saw Martina sitting with her church BFF Eva and Diego sitting amid the perfect tetrahedron of love and support – on one side was Linda Hancock, on the other our dear Ministers, in front of him was John Fleming and behind him was Darrel McPhaul. Words cannot describe the feelings of peace and joy I felt knowing how loved my children and I are at UCOH. ”
As a mother of three active children (cue Diego’s backflip), Lisa enjoys spending her free time with her children and supporting them in their activities. These include art, piano, basketball, gymnastics, choir and Scouts. She also organizes the Skate Nights for the school PTA. When the kids are not at home, she enjoys long walks in nature with our dog, Apollo, catching up with friends, and travel.
Thank you Lisa Landry for your contributions to your UCOH family. You and your three beautiful children are a delightful presence here at UCOH. We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!
January 2018 Volunteers of the Month:
Tony Barnes & Murray Michener
Tony Barnes & Murray Michener, our January Volunteers of the Month, have been members of Unity Church of the Hills since Spring of 2015. They both recount the loving acceptance that they felt from their first Sunday Service and the overwhelming sense of belonging that they continue to feel today. When they decided to get married, they knew they wanted their ceremony here at UCOH and were the first couple to be married on our Labyrinth.
Both Tony & Murray volunteer with Hospitality and with Rainbow Friends. In addition, Tony serves through our Music Ministry, singing in Inspiration Choir and Murray helps out behind the scenes with our Tech team.
“Volunteering has been a heart-warming experience and a means to meet other members of the church,” says Murray. “It is fulfilling to see your efforts helping others and is also a way to spiritually ground yourself.”
Tony echoes Murray’s sentiments. “Volunteering in the different groups has given me a sense of belonging, a sense of family as well as being spiritually uplifting to me. Singing ministers not only to the congregation, but also to me and that helps to keep me grounded.”
Outside of Unity Church of the Hills, Tony loves to travel, shop and work on his car. He’s looking forward to starting to ride his bicycle again. Murray loves gardening and tending to their house plants as well as spending time with friends and playing board games.
We are grateful that Tony & Murray answered the call to volunteer! Thank you both for your light and love!
December 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
The December Volunteer of the Month is Amy Katkic. Amy has been attending UCOH for only three years. She took the “Path to Discovery” New Member Class very soon after arriving at the Church, and once she completed the Path Class, jumped right into volunteering.
She is currently a Sunday usher, works in Youth Education, and serves as Team Lead for our InReach Team, which helps UCOH congregants when they need help with meals and transportation due to illness and hospital stays.
“Volunteering gives me the opportunity to give something back to the Church,” Amy says. “It makes me feel more connected to the Church family.”
Amy particularly loves working in childcare because it “means I get to hold babies,” she says. “I love the little ones and having a chance to play with them and see them discover the world is exciting.”
Thank you, Amy, for bringing your beautiful giving energy to UCOH. You personify the true spirit of volunteerism!
Congratulations on being named the December Volunteer of the Month!
November 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Karen Memrick, the November Volunteer of the Month, has been a part of Unity Church of the Hills since 2000, when Revs. Ron & Lenore Scott were the ministers. She admits that early on she was not involved in volunteering.
“Although I have been a member of UCOH over a decade,” Karen states, “it was easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and not commit to volunteering at Unity.” She goes on to say, “After spending many years on the sidelines, I redefined my busy lifestyle, made my every day spiritual influences a priority and chose to volunteer…”
Karen currently serves on the Hospitality and Labyrinth Teams. She also helped with and participated in this year’s Ladies High Tea.
Why did she choose to begin to volunteer?
“I stepped into a regular volunteer position because I felt so many blessings in my life, and wanted to give back to my spiritual community where love, blessings and prosperity are manifested every day and available to all. Spirit moved me, and I hope that others will pause and find time to help Unity Church grow by volunteering.”
We are grateful that Karen answered the call to volunteer! Thank you, Karen, for your light and love.
October 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our Volunteer for the Month has been a member of UCOH since October 2014. He serves with the Youth & Family Ministry, is the co-founder of our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, and is known to quietly help out where needed.
This is what he has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “I have found working with toddlers very rewarding personally. And, volunteers are essential in any community organization that is not-for-profit. I grew up as the son of a Methodist minister, but never felt comfortable enough with any church I attended to want to become a member, until finding UCOH. The reasons for that are numerous, but it has to do with a climate here that is accepting and non-judgmental. UCOH has principles that it teaches, but there is lots of room for varying beliefs within that framework. At its core is the recognition that no matter what, we share a common humanity. It is from that place that anyone can feel truly welcome.”
Thank you, Robert Adams, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You share your gentle kindness with toddlers and your UCOH family with such grace. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
September 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Rev. Belinda Lightheart
Our September Volunteer of the Month first became involved with the UCOH ministry in 2007 and became a member in 2013 after completing the Path to Discovery class. She has served on the Usher, Ambassador, Music, Pew Fairy, Youth & Family, Speaker, and Counting Teams, as well as serving as Prayer Chaplain Coordinator, Workshop Facilitator, Small Group Facilitator, and leads the Wednesday Evening Meditation Service. She currently serves as a Licensed Unity Teacher and Prayer Chaplain Emeritus, as well as on the 8 a.m. Service, Labyrinth, Special Events, Pastoral Care, and Hospitality Teams.
This is what she has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “On the surface, volunteering may seem to be a giving of one’s time and talent. However, it is truly an opportunity to receive far more than we could ever imagine. Choosing to show up in such a loving place is met more than halfway by the infinite presence of God and the loving spirit of UCOH.
“A number of years before I joined UCOH,” she continues, “I took a few of my classes toward earning the Licensed Unity Teacher status I achieved nearly ten years ago. Since joining in 2013, I have been blessed with incredible support in discovering more about a corporate size ministry, the service of the dedicated staff and the steps in my most recent blessing, that of becoming a Licensed Unity Minister. God’s grace is present and active in the very fiber of UCOH, and everyone who chooses to show up and pay attention is greeted in pure love.”
Thank you, Rev. Belinda Lightheart, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
August 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our Volunteer of the Month for August began attending UCOH in 2015 and has been a member for two years. He serves as an Usher Team Lead at our 9:25 a.m. Service and on the Ambassador Team. He has served as Usher and Greeter for most of the Vision Core and Conscious Conversations, as well as serving as a waiter for the Ladies’ High Tea.
This is what he has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “I did not plan on volunteering at Unity. It was kind of laid in front of me by Donna and Bob Withrow and I just said yes. Now, it is a part of my life. What I thought I would never have time for, now I can’t think of what else I would be doing. I find it a joy to greet and meet people and it’s a joy to share doing whatever it is that needs to be done. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
“It is a blessing to be here at Unity and play a part in Sunday Service, even though mine seems like such a little thing. To witness so many people play a small part in making this grand event happen on Sunday is amazing. I encourage everyone who has never thought of being a volunteer to jump in. It truly is a blessing awaiting your discovery.”
Thank you James Bourque for your contributions to your UCOH family. You are a delightful presence here at UCOH. We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!
July 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our July Volunteer of the Month began attending UCOH in 2013 and has been a member for 3 years. She currently serves on the Youth & Family Ministry, Special Events and Outreach teams. She considered herself blessed to be on the Minister Magnet Team, and her family has carpooled with the sweetest Ms. Kate Seeley to Church Services.
This is what she has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “It’s all about the connection and being of service in some way. When I give care and attention to others in any capacity, I feel Love.”
“The people here are some of the most authentic and caring individuals I have ever met. They really do seek Love first and ground themselves in the bigness of it all before laying out particular agendas. I remember last year, my son was quite nervous about playing the piano in front of the congregation for the Christmas Service. I’ll never forget Tammy Lorraine telling him, “Being nervous is a good thing, it just means you care.” She was able to ease the fear without trying to get rid of his experience. There is always a higher way of seeing, and so many here have helped me tap into this superpower. I appreciate everyone so much.”
Thank you, Jennifer Albaugh, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
June 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our volunteer for the month began attending UCOH in 2015 and has been a member for 2 years. He jumped directly into serving on the Youth and Family Ministry and Special Events teams, and continues to serve on these teams. He is serving for his second year as Prayer Chaplain, and serves on the Ladies High Tea Waiter and Hands on Unity Teams. He has a wonderful way of seeing where help is needed and jumping right in to help!
This is what he has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “I love the variety of ways to serve here at UCOH. Just being me is welcomed here, and just being me serves. I get to be who I am and do what I love. That makes the difference I’m meant to make at UCOH. Come and be YOU here!”
I live to love and serve by supporting people in coming to know their own Divinity. Helping people connect to their own Divine Nature, and how to connect to that in others, so we can grow together. I can cry tears of sadness or joy here, I can hug people here, and love this place so much that I feel safe inviting others to come over and check this place out for themselves.”
Thank you Brian Kurtz for your generous contributions to UCOH. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!
May 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our May Volunteer of the Month began attending UCOH in 2010 and has been a member for 7 years. She has served on the Board Nominating, Landscape, Technical, Visualization, Music Ministry, and Rainbow Ministry teams; as well as serving as Celebration’s CD Art Director and Coordinator. She currently serves on the Minister Magnet, Music, Ambassador, and Pew Fairy Teams. She serves as Production Stage Manager for the Extravaganza and Music Fundraiser events.
This is what she has to say about volunteering and about UCOH: “When I first came through the arch and entered the doors of Unity Church of the Hills, I knew I was some place very special. The energy, the smiles, the hugs, all of it came from people I did not know at the time, and yet felt like I had known all my life. The community that is UCOH is very loving, and thus very powerful. The love and sense of community I felt was especially compelling to me as I had not been to church for almost 20 years. A Course in Miracles class got me in the door, but I wouldn’t have even come to that if the website hadn’t been so welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Once here, the music and the message encouraged me to keep coming. But the reason I stayed was the connection I felt to the people.
“UCOH has a strong volunteer culture. People here want to enrich and support others as well as grow spiritually and become better human beings. I was very inspired by that and began looking for a place where I might fit. It has never been in my nature to commit myself for things long-term, but for reasons beyond my understanding, I asked Spirit where I might be of some use, and in that Sunday’s bulletin there was a opening for a new Pew Fairy. I knew that would be right up my alley. It turns out that this is one of the most sacred and meditative times I spend at the church, not only giving service by making sure that the pews are ready for Sunday Service, but also getting the opportunity to spend time in the energy of it all. Soon after that, I mustered up the nerve to sing with the Fun Singers, and that’s where I started to really become a part of this community. This would later lead to my singing with Inspiration and dedicating a lot of my volunteer service to the Music Ministry.
“Volunteering is the best way I have found to become a part of something greater than myself. And there is something very unique about the members of UCOH that people can feel the minute they walk through our doors. It is a place of loving transformation. My experience with volunteering here over the last seven years is that I have been a part of this community that has transformed me on a spiritual level as well as on a personal one. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve with all of our amazing volunteers here at UCOH. Also, the staff of UCOH rocks! I so appreciate all you do.”
Thank you, Sheree Ross, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
April 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Rick Busby, LUT
Our April Volunteer of the Month began attending UCOH in October 2001 and has been an official member for over 15 years. He has served on the Board Nominating, Music Ministry, & Theater Ministry Teams. Currently serving as a Licensed Unity Teacher, he also lends his energy and talent to our Announcement, Audio-Visual Media, Holiday Extravaganza, and Communications Teams. He is responsible for creating the Coffeehouse Concert series as an extension of his work with the Austin Songwriters Group and Songwriter’s Ministry.
Asked about volunteering at UCOH, he offered the following: “When I first came to UCOH, I had never joined a church of my own volition, much less volunteered. I was astonished that I said ‘yes’ to joining UCOH so quickly and even more surprised when I began volunteering shortly after first attending. I never questioned either decision.
Volunteering at UCOH afforded me spiritual and creative opportunities that I otherwise would have never experienced, nor anticipated. My life is richer for having said ‘yes’ to volunteering my time, talents and treasure.
“I have felt at home at UCOH from the first moment I stepped inside. While our spiritual leaders set the tone of love and acceptance that UCOH embodies, it is the actual members of the community that make it a spiritual home for so many of us from diverse backgrounds. UCOH is, in my experience, a truly special community, which has helped me grow my own capacity for love and acceptance well beyond what I could (or would) have done on my own. It is a blessing, privilege and honor to be a member of the UCOH community, which is the primary reason why I am willing to give as much as I am able in volunteer service to support UCOH’s vision and mission.”
Thank you, Rick Busby for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
March 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our March 2017 Volunteer of the Month became a member of UCOH in 2006. She has served on the Events Team and with different UCOH women’s groups. She sings in Inspiration Choir, and received her Licensed Unity Teacher Certification in 2010. She has taught Quest on Sunday mornings for seven years, teaches Spiritual Education and Enlightenment classes, and serves on our Minister Magnet Team.
When asked about being recognized as a Volunteer of the Month, she shared the following: “I am humbled by such an honor. There are so many folks that do so much. Yes, I accept this honor, for you see: I am loved. I am appreciated. In addition, I make a difference by being given the opportunity to be part of UCOH, a Church that transforms lives.”
“I am keenly aware, that in all that I do, the wonderful folks of the Church give more to me than I have ever given to them—the gift of belonging, the gift of being accepted just where I am, and the gift of supporting me in my spiritual growth.”
Thank you, Linda Holmes, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are an amazing gift. We are blessed by your service. We love and appreciate you!
February 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our February Volunteer of the Month discovered Unity Church of the Hills in August of 2007, the same year Reverend Steve and Mary arrived. He became a member three months later. He has been a Prayer Chaplain for eight years, and serves on the Announcement Team. He was on the Prayer Chaplain Leadership team for four years, was active in the Men’s Renewals in 2006-2009, served on the Board Nominating Committee twice, and was on the Daily Prayer Service team for around five years.
When asked about volunteering and his love for his Spiritual Home, Tim had the following to say, “There is so much to do and so little effort to doing it. The reward of investing time and energy generate a tangible feeling of oneness with others of our congregation and community.
“I amplify what I’ve heard so many say about first entering Unity Church of the Hills: ‘I could feel the love…’. I came to hear Joe Vitale as guest speaker presenting his new book, Zero Limits (the ho’o pono pono prayer). The energy/love brought me back the following Sunday. I don’t recall anything about the lesson, the music, or the Service. I do remember it all felt good enough to bring me back the following Sunday. Repeat that “no-memory-but-brought-me-back” occurrence for the next 18 weeks. It had been more than 40 years since I’d attended church (Episcopal) that many Sundays in a row!”
Thank you, Tim, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. You are Love and Light. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
January 2017 Volunteer of the Month:
Our January Volunteer for the Month discovered Unity Church of the Hills in 2010 and became a member in 2013. She has served with the Rainbow Ministries’ Pride Interfaith Worship Planning, Usher Team and Abundance Teams (a group formed by a Board member). She also served on the Board of Trustee Nomination Team, and filled an interim role on the Board before being nominated to return in November 2016. She is currently volunteering as a UCOH Board of Trustee, on the Announcement Team, and working to support the Ministerial Search Team through its marketing and communications efforts.
Lara had this to say about her spiritual community and what it means to be of service:
“When I first attended UCOH, I came from Unity Church of Dallas, where I had been actively involved as a member for four years. Each Sunday, I just came into UCOH and sat down without much interaction. It was a time of challenge and transition for me personally, and I was okay being a wallflower. But over time, people began engaging me and seeing me. In many ways, UCOH found me. I was invited into opportunities to more fully express my gifts and talents through volunteering. Volunteering and serving UCOH has deepened my connection and my sense of abundance in that I am completing the circle. I am circulating the good that I have received from so many here.
Thank you, Lara Zuehlke, for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. Your enthusiasm and generous nature widens the circle. We are blessed by your service, and we love and appreciate you!
December 2016 Volunteers of the Month: Julie and Andrew McLindon
Our December Volunteers of the Month have been members of Unity Church of the Hills for seven years. Within the walls of UCOH, they have served with our Youth & Family Ministry, Prayer Chaplains, Events and Outreach Teams. He has served on the Board of Trustees and as a Server at the Ladies’ High Tea. She currently serves as a Prayer Chaplain, is on the Chaplain Leadership Team and dedicates her love and time to the 11:00 a.m. Daily Prayer Service.
When asked about UCOH and their experiences volunteering, they had the following to say: “UCOH holds a very important place in our lives. It is special to our entire family—for everyday life and learning, as well as for special occasions like weddings, christenings and holidays. We’ve also had some wonderful opportunities for fun and travel with the friends that we’ve made here. Volunteering is one way that we can be involved and supportive. It’s also a great way to get to know the Church and the people there.”
Beyond the walls of UCOH, these two beautiful souls demonstrate love in action on a consistent basis. While their most recent efforts extended to our brothers and sisters of Baton Rouge affected by flooding, their passion and caring shows up through the work of the McLindon Family Foundation, which has donated over 200 adaptive bikes to children with special needs in 27 states. You can learn more about this amazing organization at facebook.com/McLindonFamilyFoundation.
Thank you Andrew & Julie McLindon for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. Your love is felt deeply in our community and beyond! We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!
November 2016 Volunteer of the Month: Denise Teague
Our November Volunteer of the Month discovered UCOH in October of 1995 and is a Founding Member. She has been a member for 11 years and has served on the Youth & Family Ministry, Ambassador, InReach, Announcements, Meditation, and Pastoral Care Teams. She now serves as a Prayer Chaplain, assisting on the Prayer Chaplain Leadership Team, and assists with Pastoral Care. She was one of the first Prayer Chaplains and helped to establish the Prayer Chaplain Program in the beginning!
When asked about volunteering at Unity Church of the Hills, this is what she had to say: “I feel deeply enriched by serving, because it teaches me how to give unconditionally. I am blessed to be around people who see life from a spiritual perspective. UCOH has been a spiritual home for me for many years. I am blessed by the people, and the love that always streams in and through me when I am here.”
Thank you Denise Teague for your generous contributions to UCOH over the years. Your enthusiasm and generous nature are felt deeply in our community. We are blessed by your service and we love and appreciate you!