Interviews with Our Members

Every other month or so, we will interview a member of our congregation.  The columns will appear here on the website and in our e-Newsletter. 

Interview with Maria Tapia - November, 2016
Maria Tapia came to the White Mountains in 1996. In 2008 she was working in White River as a nurse practitioner. Her existence was one of daily drives, home to work and back home. She was feeling that her life was out of balance. On one of her drives she spotted the Unity Church and decided to find out what it was about. She found acceptance, openness and connection. She found a place where her healing skills were needed--The Midweek Renewal. Here she was able to use her skills. She offered healing and found healing for herself in the form of friendship and kindness. She shared in the Unity message of oneness and love and acceptance of all people.
 
Maria began attending A Course in Miracles. The group and the lessons provided more healing. Reading Marianne Williamson helped her when the Course was difficult to understand. She felt that the Course was "magically" speaking to her beyond words. She now leads a guided meditation on Thursdays at 2 PM. at Unity helping people to get in touch with their angels, spirit guides and healing their chakras.
 
Healing is Maria's passion which is evident in her attendance at many conferences, workshops and classes always seeking to improve her craft, finding ways of connecting with those she serves. As she heals others, she feels herself healing, and as she heals herself, she heals Mother Earth. The Holy Presence of connection in one another is what heals.
 
Maria is a member of the American Nurse Association and is certified by the Midwifery Board of Arizona. She is also a Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner. She has been practicing CranialSacral techniques since 2011 and recently achieved the first level of Cranial Sacral certification. In the spring of 2017 she will move her practice--Restore Energy and Balance--to the upstairs of The Pinetop Coffee House on White Mountain Road in Pinetop.
 
Interview with Julia & Frank Edens - September, 2016
In 2009, Julia began her search. She was seeking the church that fit her belief system. After several trials she came to Unity and found the openness allowed her to retain the beliefs she had already formed and to explore new ones.
 
Earlier, Frank  had come to Unity finding that he agreed with the philosophy but felt that some politics might be at work influencing the Unity movement. At times Julia felt she was struggling with things she was experiencing along her spiritual path, but Frank kept encouraging her to come back. When she did, she found that her questions were answered. Julia finds that she is drawn to the mystical aspects of spirituality also, and loves that it is her decision to choose what she believes and what she wants to study and pursue, without the "rules and rituals" of other religions. She feels Unity allows her to delve into those things she connects with, learning how those things affect her, and at her own pace.
 
They both found ways of sharing their talents ranging from positions and offices on the Board to building clothes racks for the yard sale. Julia currently has a goal of helping to increase awareness of Unity within the local community.
 
If you had missed seeing Julia and Frank for awhile, they had temporarily relocated to the Valley where Julia worked again in new home sales. They attended Unity of Mesa during that period but would still watch the videos of Unity of the White Mountains and looked forward to returning. They are thrilled to be back, happy with the changes but missing some of the "old" as well. They are so glad to be back home here with their "peeps"!
 
Interview with Linda Hoy - July, 2016

Prior to moving to Arizona, Linda Hoy was a professional actress having performed in 150 plays--many award-winning--during her 35 year career. She went on to teach theater, putting her two Masters Degrees to another use.

For 8 years she and her husband Bill traveled border to border and coast to coast seeing the US in its entirety. They spent last summer in Lakeside to escape the heat, and Bill, who loves to explore, discovered a Unity church nearby. Having previously belonged to Religious Science, they decided to visit Unity. The music was instrumental (pun intended) in attracting them, and the warmth of the people they met made them feel at home. So they purchased a home in the area and became members of Unity.

Now Linda serves as a Prayer Chaplain, is Fellowship Chairperson, and has shared her theatrical talents by creating and directing choral speaking theater, giving members of the congregation the opportunity to develop talents they didn't know they had. How did we get along without her?

Linda wants to leave you with this thought: "She loves the White Mountains and Unity!"

 

 

 

Interview with Geoff Mullen - "My Path to Unity:  A Pathway to Joy" June, 2016

Geoff Mullen first attended a Unity church in Nevada while vacationing last Christmas. He looked for a Unity church here when he returned and after his first visit he immediately felt he was part of a family. The joy he feels keeps him coming back. He knows he is in the right place when he finds he wants to give of his time as he frequently does so willingly.

He moved to the White Mountains in '99 and wishes he had found Unity sooner. He says, "You can't help but feel the joy in Unity when you know God loves you and you can trust in God's unwavering love."

As a child Geoff lived a life of blessings and love. As a young adult he lived a life of adventure -- skiing, sailing, flying and including extensive travel while serving in the Marine Corps -- but as an adult he lost sight of the adventures and blessings. Now he finds Unity has helped him remember all his past blessings and joy. It has put things back in perspective. Geoff is now looking forward to not yet imagined adventures and joy because of being part of the Unity family.

Geoff didn't grow up as a hugger. "But," he says, "Unity has given me lots of practice!  If you ever notice that I don't look like I'm happy, I'm lost in my own thoughts, and I welcome you to coax me back into the present with a big hug." Geoff says that he has spent too much time sweating the small stuff and now realizes it really is all small stuff and that God doesn't require us to fret and worry and is always ready to help if we only ask.

Geoff's first experience with Unity of the White Mountains was the White Stone Ceremony. He now finds that the word chosen for him keeps coming true again and again and can't wait for what this year brings.

We are all so happy that he keeps coming back and sharing that joy with all of us!

 

Interview with Sheryl Eaton - "My Pathway to Unity" March, 2016

After a lifetime of rejecting established religions and their concepts of god yet thinking philosophically and feeling spiritual, especially about nature, Sheryl Eaton found that several of her friends on The Mountain were inviting her to attend Unity. She started attending - enjoyed the Sunday messages and the music and the people. When she learned the Unity Principles, she saw that they could be part of her philosophy. She found Unity’s emphasis on love, peace, and acceptance, rather than hate and fear, appealing. The Course in Miracles study group on Thursdays has inspired her with ideas about daily living, through both the book and the sharing of the people in the group.

She “accidentally” became a member of Unity of the White Mountains…then an alternate to the board who wrote the minutes of meetings…then a full member of the board…then secretary, all in a very short time. She thinks that working on the yard sales is great fun. As she walks her pathway, she continues to be grateful for the prospect of a positive future with our new minister, for the music, for the people of Unity of the White Mountains, and for Unity’s embrace of all people and philosophy of oneness and peace.