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.

Joni Floyd, Co-Secretary

Joni has been affiliated with Unity Center of Light since 2016. Her volunteer activities include: Kitchen Clean Up, Sanctuary Beautification, Moving Sunday, and Greeter. The classes she has taken are: Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts, Lessons In Truth, and You Were Born Rich. She has attended numerous Sunday Lesson Series.

Joni says this is how she would explain Unity to someone who asked about:

“Unity is a spiritual movement that examines the life and teachings of Jesus Christ primarily (but other teachers/models are appreciated and explored) to illustrate the principals of practical Christianity. Unity is a way to grow in awareness of your own spirituality. This deeper awareness helps to release you from the prison of self-limiting thoughts. It is way of (thinking, which leads to believing, which leads to knowing) that we are all one, that we are all individual expressions of that one, and that we are divine.”

When asked to describe some of the ways in which Unity principles are working in her life, she answered: “I use Affirmations and Denials to curb my habit of worry and negative self talk. I have a greater appreciation for experiences that come my way because:
1) I have learned that I am the architect my experiences; I choose how to feel about them.
2) In truth, I attract experiences based on where I am in consciousness.
3) Even those experiences that I perceive as less than desirable, I realize that these are my perceptions–not reality; moreover, even if I still can’t “flip the script” of a negative perception, I take comfort in the Unity principle that this experience is here to teach my soul something that it needs to learn.
4) Each day brings with it the potential of awakening more to The Truth.”

When asked to explain what the Mission of Unity Center of Light means to her, she answered:

“It means that UCL, through teachings, programs, projects, and collective conscious, seeks to support those wishing to listen more closely to that ‘still small voice’ inside each of us. At UCL, we learn the divine nature of that voice and grow to trust it.”

When asked how, as a Board Member, would you see your talents and skills helping fulfill the Mission of Unity Center of Light, she answered:

“My talent with project management would be useful for planning and evaluating events. Further, I enjoy tasks that others find tedious, such as writing and reviewing policies and procedures. My skill with editing could be useful when a pair of fresh ears is needed. I am willing to take minutes as well.”

Joni’s experience and background:

  • Writing, editing, research (MA and PhD in English)
  • Adult education (former professor of English composition & rhetoric and American literature)
  • Program & project management; leadership – Gov. O’ Malley joint appointee – cultural heritage commissioner director & museum director
  • Organized, detailed-oriented; library, archives, preservation work (MLS specializing in Archival Administration)
  • Gifts: Even-tempered and pleasant

Previous Board Service:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Arundel Community Development Services, 2007-2014
    ACDS is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing affordable housing and community development services, such as federal, state, and local grants, to residents and nonprofit organizations in the county.
  • Vice President, Severn Improvement Association, 2003-2009
    SIA is a nonprofit organization devoted to community revitalization in Severn, MD and to improving community relationships across the county.
  • 1st Vice President, The Ann Arrundell County Historical Society, 2006-2009
    The AACHS’ mission is to collect, preserve, and promote the rich history of the county. My focus was on spearheading the objective of increasing diversity in membership and content in order to create a more inclusive historical narrative.

Kathleen Bailey, Co-Secretary

Kathleen Bailey has been affiliated with Unity for 30 years and with this church 12 years, since 2008. She has completed seven credit classes toward becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher (LUT) and is currently taking Metaphysics III. She has also taken numerous non-credit classes, including those required for membership, Capon Springs programs, Modules 2 & 4 of Creating Dynamic, Thriving and Sustainable Ministries, and has both taken and facilitated Prosperity Plus. Her volunteer activities include being on the flower team and serving as a platform assistant. (She is also a bike leader for Washington Women Outdoors, and a driver for the Takoma Park Village program and Meals on Wheels.) 

When asked how would you explain Unity to someone who asked you about it, Kathleen said,

“I call it Christianity without the hellfire and brimstone I grew up with in the Baptist Church. We still look to Jesus as our primary teacher and way-shower, though also honor other religious/spiritual paths to know the Oneness we call God. I was raised to think I was born a sinner. Now I know I was born with an all-loving God, which I think of as a Divine Essence (not a guy in the sky), in every cell of my being – indeed I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I now believe we’re all here in our ‘earth suits’ to help each other learn and grow in support of our Divine unfoldment.” 

When asked to describe some ways in which Unity principles are working in her life, Kathleen responded,

“I have had a daily meditation and prayer practice for over a decade and have found that connecting first thing in the morning with Spirit has brought me an inner peace that helps me hear and trust that ‘still small voice’ within, live in the NOW, and better address life’s challenges. I have learned ‘self observation without condemnation’, and that where my attention goes, energy flows. Intentions are powerful and I have learned to say only positive things when making I AM statements, because that is what I am affirming, e.g. I am well. I chose to live by design, not default – and have goals for Health/Well-being, Love/Relationships, Work/Service, and Time & Money Freedom. While I affirm and work toward these goals, I also pray, ‘these goals God, or something better’.” 

Kathleen explains what the mission of UCL means to her, “UCL is my spiritual gym, I come to ‘work out’ and gain spiritual strength, e.g. by taking in the messages of Truth, praying/meditating, singing, providing sacred service, and being in fellowship with others who take personal responsibility to better understand and live their inherent Divinity.” She goes on to say, “I know I’m spiritually, and in every other way, much stronger than I was when I walked in the door in 2008 after a major life crisis, and would like to have a hand in continuing to make UCL a place where others can be uplifted and supported in expressing their indwelling Divine Potential and building peaceful, balanced lives.” 

Here is how she sees her talents and skills helping to fulfill the mission of UCL, “I believe in continuous improvement/unfoldment for people and organizations and am usually looking for ways to make things better. I’m a ‘people person’ who is strongly guided by the heart and also has a brain for business. I’m also interested in using my knowledge of the natural environment to find ways to encourage ‘creation care’, as man’s collective ‘dominion’ of the earth has resulted in a rapidly changing climate and being closer to a sustainability tipping point, which is an especially critical issue for the younger generations we want to attract.” When asked to discuss her talents, gifts, skills, and experiences, “I have had substantial professional experience working with groups of people with diverse perspectives to build consensus, find common goals and work toward them. I also enjoy helping others learn and grow, while also doing so. I retired 2+ years ago after over 40 years of leadership/management experience in the Federal government (27 years at the US Environmental Protection Agency), Fortune 500 and small businesses, and nonprofit agencies. I’ve also taught part-time at two colleges. I have a BS in Community Leadership and Development from Springfield College and a MAS with a managerial and behavioral concentration from The Johns Hopkins University.”

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.

Pamela Paul, Trustee

Pamela Paul has been affiliated with Unity and Unity Center of Light since 1997. She has participated in numerous spiritual classes and workshops including Prosperity Plus I, II, and III, The Trip to Bethlehem, Affirmative Prayer and Leadership Training.
During her 23 years Pamela has also participated in various volunteer activities at UCL including teaching within the Youth Ministry, serving on the Board of Trustees, Pastoral Care Team (chair), Prayer Chaplain, Women of Unity, Thanksgiving Baskets, Backpacks for Kids.

Pamela explains her understanding of Unity Truth Principles as follows:

“Unity focuses on Practical Christianity, meaning that we try to live each day by the example set by Jesus who we consider to be our way-shower. Unity believes everyone is inherently good because God is in everyone. Through affirmative prayer, we create our own reality, as co-creators with God.”

When asked to describe some of the ways Unity principles are working in her life
Pamela says,

“I use affirmative prayer and denials, and ask for divine guidance in all areas of my life; I use a practice of gratitude daily to affirm the good in everyone. I work to stay aware of my thoughts and actions to avoid slipping into negative patterns and I ask to learn spiritual truths constantly and to put my learning into practice.”

Pamela explains what the mission of UCL means to her, “The UCL Mission is an
ongoing reminder for me that I am a spiritual being with the potential to live beyond physical and mental limitations. It encourages and reminds me to seek ways to use my Divine Potential for good.”

Pamela says much of her professional experience has been in leading and
managing organizational change and she believes this is relevant for the UCL work of keeping the congregation active, engaged, and growing in membership as we continue to grow spiritually.

For almost four decades, Pamela has helped organizations be more inclusive and
equitable for everyone. Her experience and skills include: effective listening; accessing, organizing and presenting information to inform and motivate change; effective writing, presenting, and training skills. She says, “ I provide support, assistance, and coaching in a compassionate manner, and I am reliable, dependable and mature in my interactions with others.”

Roderick Mitchell, Alternate

Roderick Mitchell has been affiliated with Unity and with this Unity church since 2015. Classes he has taken include Prosperity Plus I, II, and III, Leadership Training and the Eastern Region Conference. His volunteer activities include helping set up and clean up on Sundays, and serving as a greeter and on the video team.

When asked how would you explain Unity to someone who asked you about it,
Roderick said,

“Unity is a church where one can enjoy the freedom and journey of getting in touch with the power of the Christ within.” When asked to describe some ways in which Unity principles are working in his life, Roderick responded, “Unity has broadened my perspective in many ways. It has helped me to release fears of the past. It offers practical ways of thinking and behaving. It supports continuing spiritual growth in ‘real life’ times.”

Roderick explains what the mission of UCL means to him, “It offers the freedom
and power to believe in and produce the God within versus a power outside of myself.”

Here is how he sees his talents and skills helping to fulfill the mission of UCL,

“I have a genuine concern for the personal development of every willing and able individual. I commit to engage and participate in carrying out the mission of UCL.”

When asked to discuss his talents, gifts, skills, and experiences, he said, “I have
the gift of kindness. I have developed the skill of speech delivery and good listening. I have the talent of humor. I have 28 years of experience as a team member of one of the finest organizations in our nation: DC Fire/EMS.”