We are part of a great spiritual waking up! In the midst of this challenge we discover the true meaning of love and oneness.
We are spiritually connected though physically distant as we follow social distancing mandates
We face the facts of the covid-19 virus with peaceful faith and calm approaches. We keep our consciousness grounded in God’s protecting wisdom by following safe health practices. As responsible members of our larger community we do our part to stop the passage of the virus.
We here at Unity of Austin are following the recommended and mandated Shelter-in-Place order, social distancing guidelines and health measures. For that reason the church office and buildings are closed to all gatherings until further notice.
The health and well-being of our Unity of Austin Congregation and our larger Austin community is our highest priority. In alignment with recommendations of public health authorities the Board of Trustees decided at our May 25 Board meeting to leave the church buildings closed to in-person gatherings at this time. Denominational leaders of many faith communities, including Unity Worldwide Ministries, advise that opening church buildings to in-person gatherings at this time has a high possibility of contributing to the spread of Covid-19 and putting congregations, church staff, and the larger community at extreme risk. They advise the utmost restraint when considering re-opening buildings to in-person gatherings and strongly recommend heeding health officials’ guidance for one’s locale. In addition to official government information, there is a great deal of documentation in reputable media that churches, even when practicing social distancing protocols, have been hotspots for Covid-19 spread.
On August 25, the City of Austin and Travis County announced they are moving to Stage 3 of the Austin Public Health (APH) COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines. Nevertheless, it remains imperative that residents continue to practice all necessary precautions to continue to reduce the COVID-19 positivity rate.
“We are moving to Stage 3 because our key indicators are trending in the right direction,” said Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott. “As much as possible, though, we would like individuals to continue to act as if we are still in Stage 4 so that we can be in a better place as school starts.”
Please read the information on current conditions regarding Covid-19 in Austin. Also include in your reading Austin’s Covid-19 Risk Based Guidelines.
A sustained decline in cases over time is necessary in order to begin considering opening to in-person gatherings. Even at a sustained level of decline, there are strict safety guidelines for re-opening that must be followed. These include restricting number of attendees, social distancing, deep and frequent cleaning, protecting high health-risk attendees, restriction of socializing activities, ensuring excellent airflow and ventilation, and other essential considerations.
Our Board is staying aware of Austin’s public health recommendations and benchmarks for when it is safe to begin a phased opening of buildings to in-person gatherings. These benchmarks will guide the Board’s decisions. Please know that when building re-opening is possible it will be done in accordance with health officials’ best practices guidelines for maximum safety, and with the highest interest of everyone’s health and well-being.
Our staff members are working from home with computer and phone voice mail access. It is permissible under the city order for staff members to enter the office periodically when necessary. It is permissible for our small Worship Team to come to the church to live-stream the Sunday Service. In both cases we follow mandated social distancing and sanitizing guidelines. Phone 512-892-3000 x303 to reach our office. We’ve added sanitizing of all high touch surfaces in our buildings to our regular weekly cleaning by our contracted cleaning service.
We are Staying Connected – This is a challenging time and isolation can heighten feelings of anxiety. Staying connected to community is key to renewing our strength and keeping spiritually grounded so we can engage our faith thinking. We here at Unity of Austin are committed to recognizing the power and wholeness of God in the midst of this situation. We are choosing to be the light. That makes a difference to everyone! This health challenge is moving us to find new ways to stay in community. We are learning everyday how we can use the gift of the internet to gather without being together physically.
Here are some ways you can participate in Unity of Austin now – and we are developing new ideas daily. Let us know if you have additional ideas on this.
- Attend Unity of Austin Sunday Celebration on Facebook Live
At 11 AM on Sunday mornings, SoulSounds will bring their inspiring music, Rev. Anna an uplifting practical message, and Gayla or Marlowe our Worship Assistants their joyful consciousness. All of you will bring your love and sense of community! You can watch the live-stream even if you do not have a Facebook account. At 11 AM simply go to https://www.facebook.com/Unity-Church-Austin-116505701707897/
- Watch the Sunday Service later on Facebook or YouTube – and share it! If you miss the Facebook live-stream at 11 AM, the recorded video will be posted later on Facebook. Go to the Unity Church Austin Facebook page and look for the recording. The recording will also be posted later on Sunday afternoon or Monday at our Unity Church Austin YouTube page. If the latest video is from the previous week’s service, please try again later.
- Hear Unity’s Daily Word on our Unity Church Austin Facebook page. Rev. Anna shares the Daily Word at 10 AM, Mon – Sat, on the Unity Church Austin FB page. Put 10 minutes in your day to relax, hear the Daily Word, and join in silent prayer. If you can’t be there at 10 AM, you can always watch the video later.
- Wednesday Evening Prayer & Share Faith-Lift – 7 PM – Unity Church Austin Facebook – Put a Faith-Lift in the middle of your week! Join Rev. Anna for reflection on a practical spiritual idea and a peaceful meditation. Share your thoughts in the comment box. We wrap it up about 7:20. If you can’t be there at 7 PM, you can always watch the video later.
- See Familiar Faces! Second Sunday ZOOM Fellowship! The Second Sunday of each month we are hosting a Zoom Fellowship meeting. The Zoom Room opens right after the Sunday Service. The Zoom link will be sent out in the “Shine the Light” email and posted on the Unity Church Austin FB page. If you don’t receive the “Shine the Light” email, subscribe today!
- Watch your email box for your weekly edition of Shine the Light. It will be filled with inspiration and updates. Share it with you friends. If they contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will add them to our email list.
- Check in with the leader of any of our Unity of Austin groups or classes that you participate in. We have the capability for all groups and classes to meet through either phone/audio and/or video conference calling. We are staying connected!
- Reach out to fellow Unity friends for inspiration and prayer. Call our Inspiration Line at 512-892-3010 or all Rev. Anna at 512-892-3000 x303 if you need inspiration or prayer. Our Prayer Team is holding everyone in loving prayer and we can pass your name along to them if you want. Also, you can send a prayer request via our website – https://unitychurchaustin.org/prayer-requests/ You can also contact Silent Unity’s 24/7 Prayer Ministry – 816-969-2000 or https://www.unity.org/prayer.
- Continue your spiritual practice of financial giving. Thank you for your continued financial support of your church community in ways that are prudent for your current financial situation, through this time of change in our regular routine. Your consciousness of generosity supports the many spiritual growth opportunities and resources that Unity of Austin provides. You can continue your spiritual practice of financial giving in several ways: (1) You can donate through our secure website portal – https://unitychurchaustin.org/how-to-support-us/ (2) You can mail in your check or money order – ATTN: Administrative Assistant, Unity of Austin, 5501 West Hwy 290, Austin TX 78735 (3) You can set up an automatic payment to Unity of Austin through your bank.
Faith and Calm – Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of our Unity Movement wrote, “This health law is threefold: spiritual, keep a person assured of his God-given freedom from all anxiety, worry, fear, and lack; mental, giving him the intelligence that enables him to do that which promotes health and success; physical, forming those habits which keep him making the right use of his faculties, and powers, and the life energy and substance.” Join us as we here at Unity of Austin hold this consciousness of health in prayer, thought, and action.
Prayer – The first and most important step is always prayer. 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 bless with love, wholeness, and comfort all who are affected by the virus in any way. 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.