Board

Willie Sutton, President

Willie has been affiliated with Unity Center of Light since 2004 and with Unity for 30 years. His volunteer activities include: Men of Unity (MOU), Usher Team Leader and Sanctuary Set up Team. He has participated in numerous Lessons series over the years as well as Prayer lessons.

Willie explains his understanding of Unity Truth Principles as follows: “Unity seeks a deeper meaning of the written word, rather than its literal interpretation.”

When asked to describe some of the ways in which Unity principles are working in his life, he answered: “The spirit of God working in and through me. I have inner peace. I am alive, alert, awake, joyous and enthusiastic.”

When asked to explain what the Mission of Unity Center of Light means to him, he answered: “To constantly call upon the indwelling divine potential.”

His experience and background: He studied Sociology at UMUC and understands the need for order, structure and discipline. He has dedicated more than forty (40) years working as a Chemical Addiction/Mental Health Therapist in the USAF and Arlington County, VA Department of Human Services. He is a National Certified Addiction Counselor II and a Certified Moral Recognition Therapist/Facilitator. Additionally, Willie worked at Family Health Center in Hyattsville, Maryland from 1999-2016 providing Addiction and Mental Health services to a diverse population. He is fully retired and enjoying many hobbies while continuing to give and assist others.

Afi Harrington, Vice President

Afi has been affiliated with Unity Center of Light since 2011. Her volunteer activities include serving on the Board, ushering, and delivering backpacks for the “Back Packs for Kids” program. She has participated in numerous lessons series over the years.

Afi explains her understanding of Unity Truth Principles as follows: “Unity takes us beyond the traditional Christian concept of being ‘saved’ by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and shows us that Jesus was an extraordinary ‘blueprint’ to show us how we can all ‘save’ ourselves by embodying his teachings at the deepest levels.”

When asked to describe some of the ways in which Unity principles are working in her life, she answered: “Since joining Unity, I have implemented the daily practices of prayer, meditation, and gratitude journaling. The more I use these practices consistently and authentically, the more I see their impact in my daily life. I have grown in true acceptance that God is the Source of my supply, and I can go through every situation truly knowing that all is well.”

Afi is a Mathematician by educational training having earned a PhD in Operations Research. She served for many years as an analytical consultant in various organizations and eventually founded and operated her own consulting company providing analytical consulting services to public and private organizations. Inspired by her entrepreneurial experience, she become a small business advisor and started her own advisory consulting business (AKEA Consulting). She also studied life coaching under Martha Beck and merges those skills in with her business advisory work. She serves as the Director of Government Contracts and Procurement Services at the DC Small Business Development Center and supports local small business owners in that capacity. She also continues her work through AKEA Consulting serving as a business success coach, life coach, speaker and writer.

Afi describes herself as innately responsible, analytical, and organized. Her life experiences have trained her to be an excellent consultant skilled at listening, problem-solving, and implementing solutions.

Maxine Gill, Treasurer

Maxine has been attending Unity Center of Light since 2011. Her volunteer activities include ushering, Daily Word reader, platform assistant, bring refreshments, and helping out with World Day of Prayer. She has participated in the following classes: Metaphysical Bible Study, Lessons in Truth, Discover the Power Within You, Prosperity Plus.

Maxine explains her understanding of Unity as a movement that provides resources and teachings that allow your spiritual light to shine in and out through you, transforming your personal self and interaction with others. Unity teaches the Bible from a metaphysical perspective/standpoint of one’s evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening.

When asked to describe some of the ways Unity principles are working in her life, Maxine says that she always know that God is the source and creator of all, but she didn’t learn how to tap into the source until she joined UCL. Prayer and meditation is paramount to anything else that is occurring in her life. Through her challenges, prayer and meditation have helped her overcome. Tap into the source, listen and follow the guidance.

Her experience and background: She is the current owner of College Nannies and Tutors. She has served as the Board President of Literacy Volunteers of America (DC). She has over 20 years experience in sales and marketing and an MBA in Marketing.

Herb Wolff, Trustee

Herb’s daughter introduced him to a Unity service fifteen years ago in Fairfax, Virginia.  After five years of attendance at Unity of Fairfax, Herb and his family relocated to northeastern Pennsylvania where he joined a small Unity group in northwestern New Jersey.  While attending a new member’s orientation, he was reintroduced to his long-forgotten thought of an intriguing early American naturalist, Henry David Thoreau.  Herb’s mind then raced from Thoreau to the European philosopher Wilhelm Hegel, and then to the book, ‘Spirits in Rebellion’ and its New Thought pioneers, including Emanuel Swedenborg and Phineas Quimby.  Herb had found a comforting new home for his thought.  Within a year of this reintroduction, Herb became a trustee at the Unity of Sussex County in New Jersey.  Periodically, Herb and his wife traveled to Owings, Maryland to visit their daughter and family.  ‘Our first few visits to UCL Sunday service provided just one more reason for us to again relocate.  And we‘re very happy to be here!‘  In all, Herb has been at home with New Thought and Unity Church for fifteen years.

Herb expresses to others that All is inherently Good.  We are inseparable from the Good, and are empowered to create or manifest what we hold in Mind.  This inherent power requires action and practice to create Good.  Without action or practice, we may err.  Paradoxically, error may also directly serve the Good as demonstrated by the evolution of mind, matter and universe.  Knowing that all is Good is peaceful.  It transform Herb’s experiences, particularly his experiences with Nature where he has flipped from being an observer and consumer of Nature to an admirer and believer in Nature as all that is Good. As an inseparable collection of individual(s), our Unity Center of Light is empowered to create Good within and beyond itself.  As with the individual, the inherent power of UCL requires action and practice to create Good, within and beyond its Self.

Herb has a B.A.in Mathematics.  He prefers to work with abstractions rather than numbers hence his personal interest in metaphysics, philosophy, and other pursuits such as large operating systemand network software development.

Herb spent nearly thirty years in software research and development, and had experiences in nearly every aspect of software product development, both as a line manager and as a software engineer.  Herb enjoyed these experiences because he could always count on learning something new, or being surprised, every day.  Herb then decided that he wanted to be a user rather than a developer of software products.  It was quite an eye opener for Herb to now be wearing a different hat.  Overcoming his initial dislocation in thinking, Herb gravitated towards a new career path in what isknown in business as an enterprise architect.  This architecture work doesn’t involve drawing buildings or bridges; rather, the work of the enterprise architect is to lead the integration work of several different internal businesses units (with their different hardware, software, and business processes) within a larger business.  It also involved research and evaluation of new products and technologies, tool acquisition and development, and RFI/RFPdevelopment and evaluation .  Herb retired ten years ago, and has since enjoyed his free time to develop his thought on the mystery of life and the purpose of the Good.

Herb is a volunteer for national outings/trip leader with the Sierra Club.  The purpose of the Club’s Outings Program is to bring more people into the fold of protecting the Earth’s ecology.  As the American Indians believe, Herb believes that Spirit penetrates All, including our Earth.  Herb is Training and Conservation Officer for the Sierra Club’s Northeast Region committee.  He is also self-taught on environmental issues, particularly human-made chemicals and their impact on life; and, he’s well informed on food and agricultural topics as they relate to health and life.  Herb believes that we can find wisdom within Nature to remediate our environmental ills, but we must first change our collective Mind’s attitude towards Nature.

Olive Sampson, Trustee

Olive was first introduced to Unity principles in the mid 1980’s through reading Daily Word – a gift subscription from her aunt. She has been a part of the Unity Center of Light family since 2002. For many years she served in various volunteer capacities in the church community, attended a variety of classes and was recently invited to serve on the Board of Trustees.

To her, Unity principles provide a foundation for a gentle and centered way of life. She continues to work on grasping the full meaning of Divine Order; to seek it in the ups as well as the downs that life brings and to find true joy in all of the small things that comprise each day.

In Unity Center of Light’s mission to “empower individuals to express their indwelling divine potential” Olive sees a warm and comforting message that every person is valued equally and that each of us has a very special place and purpose in the community of man. In a world of so many divisions, it is a mission and a message of healing and hope.

Olive has worked in International Relations for over thirty years and has had the good fortune to travel and meet wonderful people in many parts of the world.

Faye Dixon, Trustee

Faye has been affiliated with Unity Center of Light since the late 1990’s and with Unity for 38 years. Her volunteer activities include: Book Table, Pot Luck Dinner/Breakfast, Delivering food to the Bowie Food Pantry, Eastern Region – Unity Support Team and she has visited and assisted church members who were in need of assistance.  She has participated in numerous workshops including: Lessons in Truth, The Quest, 12 Powers/How to Use the 12 Powers, 4T, and Keep A True Lent.

Faye explains her understanding of Unity Truth Principles as follows: “Unity is a Christian-based religion that teaches us to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ in our lives. Unity is a practical, utilitarian religion that teaches that each individual is responsible for his or her own salvation and the life that we live on this earth.”

When asked to describe some of the ways in which Unity principles are working in her life, she answered: “I accept that God is always present in my life; that regardless of appearances, divine order is present. My prayer is that I remain steadfast in my faith and move through the challenges that I may encounter.” Thank God that I have been given the ability to see things “rightly”…the choice is mine.

When asked to explain what the Mission of Unity Center of Light means to her, she answered: “It means that I am empowered to live the life that I choose by practicing prayer and meditation and studying the teachings of Jesus. My life does not have to be shaped by that which is outside of me.”

Her experience and background: She worked as a teacher, social counselor, and academy director for 43 years. She is currently working with the Continental Societies, Inc. of Prince George’s County.  This is a group of women volunteers whose mission it is to bring positive experiences to students in the class rooms and to broaden and enrich their exposure outside of the classroom by taking them on field trips of various kinds.

Dana Hallman, Trustee

Dana has been involved in Unity since the late 1980’s and has been with Unity Center of Light since 2008. Her volunteer activities have included selling books, being a founding member of the Book Light Club, and most recently, choir. She has participated in various classes over the years.

 

When asked how she would explain Unity to someone who asked her about it, she answered: “Unity is an organization that encourages and supports individuals in their spiritual evolvement by teaching how to live a life that reflects the higher realms of consciousness. When we move from our higher being, we meet each day with love, peace, joy, compassion and faith, knowing there is only one power and presence active in our life and affairs, God, the Good, Omnipotent.”

 

Dana explained the way Unity principles are working in her life. She said, “I am living life mindfully. I know that I am co-creating with God and my thoughts are those things I am bringing into fruition. As such, I work to ensure those things I am thinking are truly the things that I want. If they are not, I mindfully turn to those things I wish to manifest.” When asked how she integrates her business knowledge with her spiritual principles, she said she feels her professional experience is an extension of who she is spiritually, and that her spiritual practice is reflected in how she approaches her work.  She said that she frequently takes time “to step back and get still.” Dana is a technical program manager and also facilitates a weekly meditation group, which she says “helps her in her practice of mindfulness.”

 

To sum it all up, Dana said, “Unity is my way of life. I walk it day-to-day.”