Rev. Lauri to Retire

July 9, 2021

Dear friends in Unity,

It is with mixed emotion that I am writing to inform you of my decision to retire from church ministry. I have loved being a church minister, but after 11 years and 2 churches, I feel that I have completed this part of my calling. Although the demands of the past 16 months in particular have been unimaginably challenging, I feel I was truly called to be your minister during this period. I have drawn on every ounce of skill and creativity built up over a lifetime. While some churches closed and others barely survived, Unity of Columbia is thriving. Our congregation made the decision that we are a living, vital community, regardless of where and how we meet on Sunday mornings. So many people stepped up in so many ways to lean into our mission to inspire the awakening and practice of divine love in every heart. This spiritual community is poised for the next phase of its growth and development. And…it is clear to me that my time here is complete.

Spirit is calling me in a new direction. Perhaps the experience of COVID has engendered in me a new sense of my own mortality. I have realized that I don’t want to reach the end of my life without ever bringing my passion for teaching and curriculum development off the back burner. This has been a lifelong passion of mine, which I set aside when I felt the call to church ministry. I have found ways to incorporate that calling into my church ministry as much as I could, and for a time that was fulfilling. However, Spirit is calling me back to my first love, and after about two years of waffling, I am finally ready to say yes. 

We all know the saying, “If money were no object I would…”. One reason I had not said yes before now was concern about financial stability. And yet, I know that God is my source and everything I need to fulfill my soul’s purpose is available to me. Predictably, two days after I said Yes and told our Board of Trustees of my plans to leave, I reviewed my retirement savings and realized that I am able to retire! I can move into the next phase of my calling without financial pressure. I am indeed blessed!

The members of the Board of Trustees have already reached out to the Member Services department at Unity Worldwide Ministries. Among their duties, they support ministries as they move through periods of transition. There is a well-defined process that many of you have experienced before. You will all be invited to participate in the process of calling your next minister. The board will keep you informed as the steps unfold.

My last day will be Sunday, September 26, 2021. In the meantime, I am still your minister and would be happy to connect with you personally as we move through this process. Our board members are also open to connecting and will need your input and support in the days to come.

It has been a joy and an honor to participate in your individual spiritual journeys and your journey as a community. I have witnessed your openness, your willingness, your wisdom, your compassion, and your creativity with wonder and awe. I am so proud of you all. And because of you, I have stretched and grown, going deeper on my own spiritual journey than I would have dreamed possible. I love you all and will miss you greatly. And, I clearly see us all moving toward our next good. I leave knowing that Unity of Columbia is thriving and growing and ready for its next phase of expression.


Rev. Lauri

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