Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Unity Center to offer classes on spiritual intelligence

NOTE: Flo Johnston has a new email address. Contact her at or call 910-361-4135.

Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell Road in Chapel Hill, has an ongoing Sunday talk series titled “Becoming Your Masterful Self” through Nov. 9.

The talks offer perspectives for understanding and expressing spiritual intelligence and will be held at the 11 a.m. celebration services, with related meditation and discussion at the 5:30 p.m. Sunday services. Either session may be attended independently of the other.

Additional learning opportunities will take place during five Monday evening classes through Nov. 17. These will focus on developing and recognizing the 21 spiritual intelligence skills known as “SQ21.”

Spiritual intelligence is defined at Unity Center as one’s ability to be courageous, wise, authentic, peaceful and kind.

“It allows you to think, plan and act with both wisdom and compassion,” says the Rev. Rosemary C. Hyde, a certified SQ21 coach and facilitator. “Your level of spiritual awareness has been shown to produce success at work, in relationships and in one’s inner peace and ability to handle stress.”

Unity Center of Peace is part of the New Thought movement that embraces a positive path for spiritual living. It is also a LGBT-friendly community.

Nicaragua mission

Since 1994, the St. Thomas More Catholic School and Church community has helped support the mission work of Fr. Rob Currie in Arenal, Nicaragua.

Funds are raised through collections after school Masses, sales of Nicaraguan coffee after all Masses, sales of ice cream treats every Friday during school lunch periods and parishioner donations.

With students, staff and parishioners working together over the past 20 years, more than $100,000 has been sent to the Arenal mission.

Currie recently visited the St. Thomas More Catholic community and celebrated Mass with the school community. He later met with students and faculty and spoke about the people of Arenal, many of whom, especially women, are victims of exclusion, inequality, poverty ad injustice.

“God doesn’t want anyone to suffer,” he said. “We must carry on the message that our God is a compassionate and loving God. We must defend the victims.”

Arenal, Nicaragua is a village of about 700 people 30 miles south of Managua. Health problems because of malnutrition and pollution are rampant. Violence, especially against women, is also rampant.

Annual IFC meeting

The annual meeting of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Those attending are invited to come early to see the new Community House now under construction.

In 2011, the Chapel Hill Town Council approved a special use permit for the $4.5 million homeless shelter. It will replace the shelter’s current location at 100 W. Rosemary St. in Carrboro.

The Community House will offer a transitional housing program to help residents recover from homelessness. The building will have 16,543 square feet on two levels. The first floor will house administrative offices, supportive living programs and emergency cots for overnight stays. Resident dormitories for 52 men and kitchen-dining facilities will be located on the second floor.

‘Adam’s Gift’

Jimmy Creech, the former United Methodist minister whose ordination credentials were revoked by the church, will speak and sign copies of his book “Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays,” on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham.

As a United Methodist pastor, Creech was visited one day by a parishioner who revealed he was gay and was leaving the church because of discrimination by the church against gay and lesbian members.

Following this conversation, Creech determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been dangerously distorted. As a Christian, he came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, in conflict with church directives.

Creech was tried twice by the United Methodist Church and after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked.

Creech, now retired, lives in Raleigh.

Contact Flo Johnston at or call 910-361-4135.