by Bob Charpentier
I have taken about 25 small group courses classes since I started coming to Unity of Palm Harbor in 2014. To qualify to become a Licensed Unity Teacher, a student has to take a required 23 courses. Although there are several outlets where you can take these courses, I have taken all but one, here at Unity of Palm Harbor.
When I started taking these courses, my goal was simply to learn about Unity’s brand of Christianity. I thought that the next ten years will go by, whether I take classes or not, so I decided to record my completed classes toward some kind of goal. Most of the courses consist of five classes and some consist of seven classes. In addition, Unity of Palm Harbor also conducts a Seven-Week Fall Program of seven classes. Sometimes, there’s a one-event class.
Not only does the subject of each class contribute to your spiritual awareness, but you also give yourself the opportunity to make new acquaintances. Any subject matter will help engender personal experiences or beliefs that you can share. And, no one is there to “fix you.” You are your own best teacher! You slowly build new awareness through personal enlightenment that may re-adjust your thinking of and orientation to the world. That’s self-healing. If your enlightenment solves an issue for you or brings you peace, you have met your goal.
Your sharing thoughts are the most important aspect of participating in small group classes. It’s said, ‘confession is good for the soul.’ But don’t worry about revealing your anxieties, because the group honors confidentiality. No one in the class will approach you outside of class, about what you shared in class. Each participant listens with understanding, from the viewpoint of ‘oneness’. Your experience may be similar to another person’s experience, and we learn from each other, as well as from a textbook. There is no interrupting or ‘cross-talking or side-conversations during the class so that we can maintain order, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a kindred soul with whom you found ‘oneness.’
Self-care is a Unity value, as well as a required course for a Unity license. During this time of the coronavirus epidemic, you may not feel safe attending in person. I feel the same way, so I facilitate the Zoom class that meets on Tuesdays at 2:00p. We are currently studying the strategies in “The ‘I’ of the Storm”, about embracing conflict and creating peace. We have already completed 3 of 7 classes, but you can still join in. If you are shy about participating, just listen for a while until the spirit inside you moves you to share your beliefs. There’s truth to Jesus’ idea that the more you give (ie., share), the more you receive.