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Rev. Heidi Alfrey Named Senior Minister at Unity of Ventura
Alfrey was previously senior minister at Unity of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
After its previous minister retired in 2019, Unity of Ventura started its search for a replacement. Soon after, COVID hit and the search was suspended. Alfrey applied at the end of August and met all the criteria.
"We were looking for someone with a strong sense of community," says Sharie Lieberg, president of Unity of Ventura's Board of Trustees. "Rev. Alfrey brings energy and enthusiasm and was very well received by the congregation when she was a guest minister. She gives lessons that are very relevant to the congregation. People feel they can relate to her."
The Unity movement was founded in 1889. The founders researched all the world religions looking for similarities. Unity has become known worldwide as a spiritual community that welcomes all lifestyles, faiths, genders and ethnicities, and believes positive prayer makes a difference. Unity of Ventura was established in the 1950s. Alfrey is only its third minister in the last 30 years.
"So many people feel their early religious upbringing doesn't fit for them today and don't know where to go to feel spiritually connected," says Alfrey, who, besides being an ordained Unity minister has a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. "When I first attended a Unity center 38 years ago, I experienced an immediate sense of welcome, acceptance and peace. Unity teaches that every person is a spiritual being, it is the essence of being alive. Life doesn't happen to us; it happens through us. One doesn't need to look outside of one's self for validation."
Alfrey hopes to expand Unity of Ventura's spiritual community by offering a series of ongoing Sunday morning teachings that offer relevant and practical solutions to navigate the ups and downs of life. Community events and wellness classes in 2023 will focus on creating and sustaining fulfilling and joyful lives. Unity will continue to be involved and support local non-profits.
On Sunday, October 30, Unity is hosting a "Spooky Bingo" fundraiser at noon—in person and by Zoom after the morning services. "Spooky Bingo is a fun way to get to know our congregation,"
"Especially in the current-day world, people are looking for a spiritual place where they can be inspired, be valued and be celebrated just the way they are," says Alfrey. "Unity of Ventura is that place."
Unity of Ventura holds services on Sundays at 10 a.m. at Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. For more information, call 805-653-1059 or go to www.UnityofVentura.org.