2018 Inspirational Keynotes
Monday, June 11, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Opening Celebrations with Rev Richard Bunch
The first Sunday I attended a Unity center and heard the words “God is unconditional love and accepts you as you are,” I felt at home. I had been looking for a church home for ten years with my wife, Vicki. Since that first Sunday at Unity of El Paso in 1997 until the present, I have been committed to my inner spiritual journey and developing leaders around me.
I have found that my past career as president and founder of a multi-corporate financial company, my experience as an active member of other Christian denominations and life experiences have prepared me as a Unity minister.
In my undergraduate work, I focused on Bible and history. In my graduate work, I focused on finances. My post-graduate work was completed at Unity Institute and Seminary.
I served at Unity of El Paso, Texas, as spiritual leader from 1999 to 2004 and as minister at Unity of Richmond, Va., from 2006 to the present time with a high-tech/high-touch perspective of growing and building spiritual community through live-streaming out into the greater world.
On the regional and international levels, I have served on many boards and teams to support the Unity message of positive, practical and progressive Christianity, including serving on the international Board at Unity Worldwide Ministries. I continue to grow and evolve as an instructor at Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, reaching many students through our global online teaching platform. My life continues to be transformed as I “Grow in Spirit” and experience “Transformed Lives… Transforming the World.”
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:00 a.m.
Keynote: Rev Erin McCabe
Rev Erin McCabe is the senior minister of Unity Village Chapel, Unity Village, Mo., the local and livestream spiritual community located at Unity World Headquarters. She is a graduate of Unity Institute and was licensed and ordained in 2005. Prior to Unity Village Chapel, Erin was the minister of the vibrant and diverse Unity center in Montclair, N.J., for five years.
Erin is a singer-songwriter with multiple albums including Meditations and her original song "Deliver Me" has become a staple congregational song in many spiritual centers. In her raw and soul-filled music, she weaves a union of the secular and the sacred. Erin spent two years on the road speaking and sharing her original music with Unity centers from coast to coast. At the Village, she has supported the expansion of creative arts through the development of The Village Mic, Acoustic Alcove, Summer Film Series, as well as the Unity Art Gallery.
She is the founder and director of Campaign for Consciousness, annually uniting an online global community in conscious intention and unified affirmation as the foundation for global transformation and spiritual social action. With a passion for sustainable, healthy living and environmental advocacy, she honors nature and the interconnectedness of all life as a fundamental spiritual practice. Erin brings to the table a passionate flair. She calls people to a higher consciousness and encourages them to cast their vote, as the Dalai Lama said, "The world is a spiritual democracy, you vote with your life."
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Keynotes: Bishop Carlton Pearson & Rev David Ault
In 1977, Bishop Carlton Pearson founded Higher Dimensions Ministries (now New Dimensions), in Tulsa, Okla., which grew from a traveling evangelistic team in ‘77, to a multi-faceted global ministry, which included a local church of over 5,000, a home for unwed mothers, one for ex-offenders returning to society, a full service licensed counseling center, prison and nursing home outreaches, a national Purity With Purpose Discipleship Program for men and women, with graduates nationally and internationally, a 645-acre horse ranch for troubled youth and teens.
After a shifting to what Carlton calls “Expanded Consciousness” and the broader hope that all humanity would come to an ultimate end of good and God, rather than eternal damnation, his entire ministry was transfigured to one of radical Inclusion. This shift caused the re-inventing, re-positioning and re-branding of himself and his ministry.
Today Pearson's ministry targets specifically and primarily the "un- or less-churched." He makes his appeal to those who feel spiritually unresolved. His ministry now addresses issues of spiritual, social, moral, cultural, religious and political significance in a practical, yet provocative manner relating faith to culture. He likes to call himself a Sacred Activist and Spiritual Progressive and is a strong proponent of Justice and Peace issues.
Pearson feels the mandate to help enhance the possibilities of peace on the planet through his emphases on a more inclusive approach to spirituality, encouraging interfaith dialogue and fellowship. Pearson teaches that we don't have to go along to get along, that we can mind many of the same things without necessarily having the same mind about everything. His work towards racial reconciliation, bridging the gap between ethnic groups, nations and denominations, has given him audience with kings, presidents, other government officials and people of influence, both in America and abroad. He has been welcomed in and invited to speak in synagogues, Islamic groups, atheist and agnostic organizations. He developed relationships with faith communities outside the Abrahamic faiths and fostered links between his Pentecostal/Evangelicals and other faith disciplines and traditions, as a means of fostering cooperation and respect and bridging the gap both in and outside of Christianity. The ministry and message of Carlton Pearson is a commitment to reconciling our differences, celebrating our diversity, and acknowledging our oneness in the world and in worship.
For over 30 years Rev David Ault has been involved in the human potential movement as an unwavering crusader for spiritual evolution, global literacy and social justice. Whether through teaching, coaching, facilitation or musical artistry, David’s singular intention has always been in bridging our collective forgetfulness into our great collective reawakening. As an award winning author, spiritual teacher, minister, leadership coach and global education advocate, he loves leading through example and abides by the motto that people would rather see a sermon than hear one.
Currently, as an ordained minister through Centers for Spiritual Living, David is the senior minister for Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, Ga., a thriving and inclusive New Thought center teaching ancient wisdom/new thought principles that center on the mind, body, spirit connection as the pathway to renewal. David’s weekly lectures, YouTube broadcasts and podcasts are viewed and heard by thousands.
Through his stateside non-profit, Kaleidoscope Child Foundation, David has established an ongoing fresh water well building facilitation project in the Siem Reap area of Cambodia, as well as creating two non-government regulated schools (NGO’s) that provide free education, medical/hygiene assistance, agricultural and life skills training–all against the odds of poverty and bureaucratic restriction. The schools, named Future Khmer Child, annually serve 480 children and young adults. The success of the Cambodian schools has inspired David to start replicating this education model in other third world environments with the spiritual mecca of Bodhgaya in the Behar region of India as his next venture.
An adventurer at heart, David has hiked the Inca Trail to the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, trekked across the entire country of Spain on the ancient pilgrimage known as the Camino de Santiago and summited Kilimanjaro in Africa. He regularly takes groups on sacred site journeys and continuously marvels at the wisdom gained through cultural immersion. As a respected teacher, writer and columnist, David is the author of the bestseller, Where Regret Cannot Find Me and the multi-award winning, The Grass Is Greener Right Here.
Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:00 a.m.
Keynotes: Rev Howard Caesar, Rev John Strickland, and Rev Joyce Fischer Pierce
In 2017, Rev Howard Caesar celebrated 41 years in Unity ministry—quite a milestone! Howard’s ministry longevity far exceeds the average minister’s tenure, and his history involves both growing a small ministry and then going on to lead one of the larger ministries in the Unity movement. He retired from Unity of Houston, Texas, in September of 2017.
"My vision of ministry has always been like what our mission is at Unity of Houston. We say we’re here to teach, to love and to inspire people into being all they’re created to be. I believe, at the core, there is a divine blueprint of who we are but many have gotten in the way of that. So we have to awaken to the perfect idea that we’re held to be in the Mind of God. We help people get there by the teachings—spiritual principles, universal in nature—and we create a feeling of unconditional love, acceptance and safety that people come into—regardless of what they are facing and whatever they currently believe.I’ve always felt the thing that drew me to Unity was: it was inspiring, uplifting and positive. It wasn’t beating you down. It was taking you beyond fear and guilt. That’s always been my vision. Then, when we would bring speakers in, I’d always evaluate them to ensure that they were known as people that had a transformative, helpful, uplifting message that would help people succeed in life. So, that vision trickles down all the way through to your classes, seminars, workshops, guest speakers, counseling and everything. You try to have it be as loving and inspiring and principled in its teachings all the way through."
Rev John Strickland, born in College Park, Ga., attended seminary at Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Mo. While there, he worked for the Association of Unity Churches (now Unity Worldwide Ministries), as the International Youth of Unity and Young Adults of Unity coordinator. John graduated and was ordained a Unity minister, in 1976, at the age of 23 ... one of the youngest in Unity history.
Rev John served as vice president of Unity World Headquarters and as director of Silent Unity, Unity’s worldwide prayer ministry. He has served as Chair of the Board of the Association of Unity Churches, and, in 1999, was appointed Unity's delegate to the Parliament of the World's Religions, in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 2001, Rev John returned to the city and church of his childhood, as senior minister of Unity Atlanta. In 2003, John received the Light of God Expressing Award, the highest honor within Unity. In 2004, he was honored to serve as one of Unity's delegates to the Parliament of the World's Religions, in Barcelona, Spain. He graduated from The Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta in 2004. Presently, John serves as Chair of GANT (Georgia Association for New Thought). John retired from Atlanta Unity in September of 2017.
Rev Joyce Fisher Pierce is the minister of Unity of Bon Air, Richmond, Va. As an expression of God, Reverend Joyce combines prayer and faith with her joyful energy and love of people to help others awaken to the presence and power of God within, and transform their lives.
Rev Joyce has been a New Thought Unity Truth student for 35 years. Before moving to Richmond in 2000, she served as the part-time leader at Unity Center Las Cruces in New Mexico from 1995-1998 while working full-time as Public Relations & Financial Development and Education Director for the Humane Society in El Paso, Texas.
Rev Joyce is a graduate of Unity Institute’s Ministerial Education Program located at Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Missouri. She was ordained as a Unity minister by the Association of Unity Churches, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Rev Pierce authentically lives her philosophyof spreading fun, joy and love. Through her strong everlasting love and communion with God, she has been able to live a miracle.
Friday, June 15, 2018 9:00 a.m.
Keynote: John Petersen
John L Petersen is considered by many to be one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises—wild cards—and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future.
He has led national non-profit organizations, worked in sales, manufacturing, real estate development, and marketing and advertising, mostly for companies he founded. A graduate electrical engineer, he has also promoted rock concerts; produced conventions; and worked as a disc jockey–among other things.
In 1989, Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The “think tank” serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.