Unity Church of the Valley FUN-raiser lives up to its name

Photos by Shana LiVIGNI Money dudes on stage at Unity are (from left) Alfred Becerra and Robert Burnam.

By Shana LiVIGNI

Last Saturday, Unity Church of the Valley held its second annual FUN-raising event, “Broadway with a Message.” This musical featured eight talented singers performing various songs from the stage to Elvis, from Monty Python’s “Spamalot” score to a piano solo of Haydn’s Concerto in C by 10-year-old Keavin Ly. UCOV’s long time music director Larry Evans produced this entertaining evening not only accompanying the artists but also singing a duet with the amazing Sarah Moore. The three piece band included Tom Pedrini on stand up bass and Kenton Harris on drums. Tom Harris acted as the special master of ceremonies, decked out in a tux and top hat and setting the stage for the musical selections throughout the evening.

The variety of performances by Jacquie Donley, Tod Macofsky, Moore, and Robert Bowman kept the audience experiencing romance, insight, longing and laughing.  Bowman and Moore paired up, in cowboy outfits, and had everyone laughing at their back-and-forth banter of Irving Berlin’s, “Anything You Can Do.” Evans surprised Rev. Jeri, who had asked him to find some more contemporary music for the services, with a funky version of “Money (That’s What I Want).” Singers Alfred Becerra and Robert Burnam dressed as rappers – complete with wild glasses, major “bling” and “attitude” – singing and bopping down the aisles throwing fake $100 bills. “It was totally unexpected and very funny,” she recalled. “Thank God I have a sense of humor!”

After an intermission which offered donated pastries and beverages, special guest performer Heather Lundstedt took the stage. Lundstedt completed her vocal performance degree at Azusa Pacific University and has been working at numerous regional theatre companies in the area. She has also played major theatrical roles in “My Fair Lady,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “The Sound of Music,” Oklahoma!” “Phantom,”  ”“The Scarlett Pimpernel” and “Les Miserables.” It was an evening of flawless performances and declared a huge hit by the audience. Extremely entertaining, incredible vocalists, tasteful production and a successful and true FUN-raiser!

A performance by singers (from left) Jaquie Donley, Tod Macofsky, Sarah Moore and  Robert Burnam kept the audience smiling.
A performance by singers (from left) Jaquie Donley, Tod Macofsky, Sarah Moore and Robert Burnam kept the audience smiling.

“Broadway with a Message” is one example of the type of outreach that Unity Church of the Valley provides. It is promoted as a sanctuary of peace, love and healing. It claims to “honor the Divine Christ within all people and hold all forms of life in prayer.”

Unity Church of the Valley (UCOV) respects every seeker’s privacy and understands what it is like to look for a spiritual community in which to feel comfortable. Unity does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age or sexual preference. This church is open to all spiritual seekers on the Path and supports everyone in discovering their own indwelling Christ and spiritual expression.

Unity is known as a church of Practical Christianity and its followers are called Truth Students who realize that life is eternal and souls are always in the process of growth and expansion. The church provides spiritual instruction and support in the teachings of Jesus Christ, as interpreted by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, co-founders of Unity. Meditation and prayer is considered to be the best way to connect with a person’s Higher Self. Unity’s Sunday lessons and classes use the metaphysical interpretation of the Bible.

Reverend Jeri Linn was ordained in 1978 by Unity School of Christianity and the Association of Unity Churches and became the senior minister/director of Unity Church of the Valley in September 2007. She is a charismatic and popular prosperity seminar leader and guest speaker for women’s retreats and meditation retreats and is well known for her guided imagery meditations, having practiced daily meditation for over 35 years. Rev. Jeri says that it is her mission and purpose to teach spiritual principles with authority and professionalism, infused with a healthy dose of humor. Her personal goal is to be known as “a woman of wit, wisdom and wealth!” Unity Church of the Valley is located at 2817 Montrose Ave. in La Crescenta.  For more information, go to www.unitylacrescenta.com or call (818) 249-4396. Spiritual counseling sessions available by appointment.