By Shana LiVIGNI
Unity Church of the Valley is a welcoming place for all who wish to worship regardless of race, sexual orientation or even other religious affiliation.
“Our focus is to be open to everyone. We do not discriminate,” said Reverend Jeri Linn, the church’s minister. “We don’t care if you go to another church; you are still welcomed here.”
The foundation of Unity’s mission statement is based on five Basic Unity Principals: 1) God is all good and active in everything, everywhere; 2) I am naturally good because God’s Divinity is in me and in everyone; 3) I create my experiences by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe; 4) Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life; and 5) I do and give my best by living the Truth I know. I make a difference!
“Unity is a philosophy of ‘Practical Christianity,’ where we encourage everyone to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply them to daily living,” explained Linn. “Unity honors all paths of enlightenment and healing, knowing that each one is filled with inspiration and wisdom for all of us. We teach prayer and meditation as the process of feeling connection with the One Power and One Presence, God, the Good and Omnipotent.”
Reverend Jeri Linn was ordained in 1978 by Unity School of Christianity and the Association of Unity Churches. She is a charismatic and popular prosperity seminar leader and guest speaker for women’s retreats and meditation retreats.
She is well known for her guided imagery meditations, having practiced daily meditation for over 35 years.
“It’s my mission and purpose to teach spiritual principles with authority and professionalism, infused with a healthy dose of humor. My personal goal is to be known as a woman of wit, wisdom and wealth!” she declared.
Meditation plays an important role at the church and is part of every Sunday worship. Linn explained that mediation has given her a calmer approach to life.
“No matter what is happening [in your life] you know that the greater good will come out it,” she said.
The church provides mediation classes that are open to everyone and just recently held its third Annual Health Fair where a variety of holistic healers shared their craft and knowledge.
“People really enjoyed this [health fair],” Linn said.
The public had a chance to get information and sample treatments such as chair massages, chiropractic, energy healing, and medical intuitive and Chinese herbal medicine. There was also a demonstration of Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.
The health fair was so successful Linn is planning on highlighting some of the more popular practitioners. Once a month one of the practitioners will visit the church to share their expertise and answer any questions about their particular healing field.
Music also plays an important role within the Unity Church of the Valley.
The church’s musical director, Larry Evans, began playing the piano at age 9 and since then has entertained audiences from the theatre to clubs,
according to the church’s website. In 1999 he released his first CD, which has been very successful.
“Larry is very talented. He is moving into his tenth year at our church,” Linn said.
Evans has a strong background in jazz but is comfortable playing in a variety of musical styles. All this he incorporates into the church service. Through his connections many guest soloists have joined him during Sunday services.
Linn is in the process of organizing a musical event that will be a fundraiser as well as a chance to introduce the musical side of the church to the public.
At the center of the church is a belief that everyone is a spiritual being, living in a physical body, learning valuable soul lessons in this Earth plane, according to the website.
Unity Church of the Valley is located at 2817 Montrose Ave. in La Crescenta and can be reached at (818) 249-4396. Sunday services begin at 10 a.m. and Wednesday classes are at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.