The Second Sunday of Advent – Peace

2ndSunday-AdventUnity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Pharr celebrates the Second Sunday of Advent this week at 10:30 a.m.  LUT Michael Scales will share a lesson on Peace.

Jesus of Nazareth, whose arrival on the world scene we celebrate during this Advent season, was [Christians believe] a complete and perfect expression of the Christ – God individualized as a human-spiritual being.

He was the great Way-shower and Master Teacher who demonstrated to humanity how to allow God to express fully through us.

When we turn to the Christ presence within us through prayer, meditation, worship, loving service and/or any other form of spiritual practice, we experience God’s presence within us, and we experience our oneness with God.

It is then that true peace, which is a quality of God, permeates our hearts and minds and then flows through us to appear as harmony, tranquility, and visible peace in our world of affairs.

When Jesus was preparing his Disciples for his physical departure, he was really teaching them that he was the embodiment of the same Infinite Presence that was within them.

Whenever Jesus speaks in the Bible, it is the metaphysical representation of the Christ, the I AM, the higher, spiritual self of you speaking to that human part of you that is striving to consciously unite with the Christ.

Make plans to join us this Sunday and learn more.  Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr.  Find us on the web at  Join us on Facebook live at 10:40 a.m.  We look forward to seeing you!


ball-sm The Board of Trustees meets this Sunday after the church service.

ball-sm Nina Thomas is still working with the Pharr Police Department to coordinate UOV with their “Blue Santa Program.” Bring your new, unwrapped gifts (children’s toys) to the church for donation and distribution by the Police Dept. We do not have a pick-up date from the Police as yet. We will let you know as soon as we know.


ball-sm Sign- up sheet for “The Five Principles” is in the bookstore. The class requires 4 or more attendees before a new series can begin. This is our basic class, a required introduction to Unity belief for anyone interested in becoming a new member, but it is also available to anyone wanting to refresh their memory.


ball-sm From Rev. Ivery: “Thanks to everyone who attended the Prayer Chaplain Orientation last Sunday. We are moving forward with Prayer Chaplain Interviews on Sunday, December 16, 2018 after service. There is still time to learn more and participate in the Program. Happy Advent Season!”

See you Sunday!-Sis G




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Faith and Working with the Law of Thinking

RevIvery02Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Pharr welcomes you to the Advent Season, the four Sundays before Christmas plus the intervening weeks. This is a time of growth, awareness and transformation in the collective human consciousness. This year’s Unity theme is “A World of Hope”. During Advent we reflect on the themes of Faith, Peace, Love, and Joy leading up to Christmas Day.

This Sunday our guest speaker, Reverend Ivery de la Cruz will also be continuing the series, Working with the Law: The Twelve Basic Laws of the Universe by Raymond Holliwell, an electrical engineer who had a life changing mystical experience that cured him of blindness and opened him up to a world not only of physical expression but inward expanse.  We gain insight into the Universal Law of Thinking and the role of faith in the transformation process.

There are many thoughts about thinking. Charles Fillmore, Unity Co-Founder, defined it as “the formulating process of mind; the inlet and outlet of all your ideas.” Mary Morrisey, Unity minister, said: “When we think, we are actually tapping into an invisible realm of pure energy, which we use to shape our lives.” For Holliwell thinking was “the ruling state of mind made up of various mental attitudes which you adapt toward things, events, and life in general.”

Both positive and negative mental attitudes (thoughts) shape our lives. Our predominant mental state will correspond to how we experience life. The Universe reads our intention by our attention. So wherever we place our attention, the Universe hears that as our prayer request, as in “You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” (John 14:14, New International Version Bible.)

In his book, If I Can, You Can: Transformation Made Easy, Dr. David Zelman asked, “Are you ready for a transformation of consciousness?” He challenges us to focus on the future rather than trying to alter the past or trying to get better at changing our circumstances. He offers the Transition Process, which is moving from where you are to where you want to be by having an Intentional, Committed, and Chosen Relationship with one’s future. Making a commitment to a great future takes faith. Faith is more than a positive state of being. It is the active energy that empowers our thoughts and brings them into manifestation in this human experience.

Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr. On the web at and live on Facebook Sundays at 10:40 am.


This Sunday, December 2, begins the 4-week celebration of Advent. Usually the first Sunday of Advent comes right after Thanksgiving, but T-Day was early this year, and some friends of mine began rushing the season and mentally shortening the calendar—thinking  that Advent began LAST Sunday. We still have time, folks, to get into the spirit of the season (and some of us need it.)

UnityLogoThe Unity Brand

Last week, Myrna brought up the subject of Unity Branding. This is a relatively new idea meant to unify the public’s recognition of the “real” Unity denomination of Christianity. We have been united (mostly) for many years in the Association of Unity Churches. Several years ago, new leadership began the process of overhauling the organizational structure, and we are now known as Unity Worldwide Ministries. Instead of the familiar “Wings”, we now have a simple logo that looks to some like a pineapple—and to others like a soccer ball—which is now shown on [some of] our churches, literature, and websites.

We are bigger than most people realize, and we have a lot to offer.

As returning Board President, Myrna expressed a wish for us to begin taking advantage of UWM services that most of us were unaware of. One of these was an opportunity for our church to send a delegation to the Annual Convention in June. It is not too early to start planning. Early-bird registration is already being talked about!

Want to get with the Program? Start by reading the current issue of “The Path,” Unity’s online newsletter, which is just full of plans and opportunities to participate more fully in the organization.

This is the URL of Unity’s main website:

And you can subscribe to the online Newsletter, “The Path” and get your own copy by email. Current issue:


Prayer Chaplain Orientation is this Sunday after church with Rev. Ivery in the Penrod Hall Education Room.  Everyone is welcome to attend to find out what it takes to be a Unity of the Valley Prayer Chaplain. Training begins on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Do you have a Fedora? Wear it Sunday! Sis G will be wearing one of hers.


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Christmas: The Story of Us

ChristmasIconUnity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Pharr welcomes you to our Sunday service at 10:30 am. Spiritual Leader and Licensed Unity Teacher Tommy De Leon will present a lesson titled “Christmas: The Story of Us”.

As we begin to prepare for the upcoming Christmas season, Unity teachings remind us that the true meaning of the story of Christmas is about the journey and unfolding (birth) of the Human Soul at the individual level.

“In Unity we turn to the ‘overflow’ of the Bible, not only for details about the observance of Christmas itself but to understand the long, challenging journey that brought us to the moment of birth.”

The figures in the Christmas story live within us, whether we observe Christmas or not. Christmas has an overwhelming energy of spiritual birth and new possibilities that lie within each individual, as well as in our collective consciousness. We can struggle to ignore or control it, or we can simply surrender to its magic.

The upcoming four weeks of Advent are intended to help us make that choice. Join us this week as we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Advent season and the birth of our spiritual consciousness, as well as pay tribute to members of UOV who transitioned into their next experience during this last year.

Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr. Find us on the web at Join us live on Facebook Sundays at 10:40 am.

Youth ages 13 to 18 are invited to the meet with our Youth of Unity group Sundays at 10:45. Everyone is welcomed!


Last Sunday we had a long and informative Annual Membership Meeting in which several questions were raised from the floor and answered by Board Members. Since there was an even match of candidates and vacancies, the 3 people running were elected by acclamation: Nina Thomas, Lupita Garcia, and Dennis McCormick.

Dan McGee volunteered from the floor to serve as alternate, and was nearly elected, but a question was raised about whether he could stand in (and vote) in place of a missing member, since he is married to another Board member, Luz Maria. It was finally decided that our bylaws prohibit married people from serving together, so the alternate position will presumably be filled at a later date.

**Newly-elected officers (elected by the Board after the Members’ Meeting) are:

President: Myrna Maurer; VP: Charles “Bif” Roach; Secretary: Lupita Garcia.

Members: Dennis McCormick, Nina Thomas, and Luz Maria McGee.

After the Annual Meeting, many people stayed for the Soup Luncheon and November birthday celebration. They were treated to 3 choices of delicious hot soups with garnishes, a beverage, and a portion of vanilla birthday cake.

(Sister Grumpy enjoyed chicken pozole made with pulled chicken and red corn.*)

*I had never heard of or tasted red corn before!

**The position of “Treasurer” seems to eat people alive in this church! After several attempts to keep one, it appears that the Board has chosen to either call it something else, or spread the responsibility among the officers. In any case, if the work gets done, the incoming funds get taken to the bank, the checks get written, the tax forms are submitted, and the records are kept accurately, there is apparently no law that says we have to have an officer solely named for the task.


This Sunday we are having a Holiday Meal after the church service.

Bill is preparing an entrée of turkey and ham!

Everyone is asked to bring a side dish.


Do you think we will see the sun this weekend???

Love, Sis G



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Giving and Receiving

            Power-WithinUnity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Pharr welcomes you to our Sunday service at 10:30 am.  Licensed Unity Teacher Michael Scales will share a lesson on “Giving and Receiving”.

The law of giving receiving is one of the fundamental spiritual principles that govern the universe. The basic principle upon which all other spiritual laws are based is the law of cause and effect. Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, wrote: “[the law of cause and effect is] the law of sequence; the balance wheel of the universe. This law, like all other divine laws, inheres in Being and is good. ‘Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ (Gal. 6:7). Man lives in two worlds, the world of cause (the within) and the world of effect (the without)” (The Revealing Word, p. 31).

If we accept the principle that we reap what we sow, it follows logically that when we give, we receive in return. On the surface this would seem to mean that we will receive in return exactly what we have given. We must remember, however, that we are discussing a spiritual law, and one of the characteristics of Spirit is the principle of increase. Because we are operating a spiritual principle when we give, we are participating in a process that actually results in our receiving more in return than our original gift.

Mr. Fillmore explained: “It is necessary to give freely if we are to receive freely. The law of receiving includes giving. The knowledge that substance is omnipresent and that man cannot, therefore, impoverish himself by giving (but rather will increase his supply) will enable man to give freely and cheerfully. ‘Freely ye received, freely give’ (Matt. 10:8)” (The Revealing Word, p. 82).

The “substance” to which Charles Fillmore refers above is spiritual substance—the infinite living energy of which everything is made. Our gifts are finite because we are giving on the three-dimensional plane, but our gifts are unlimited because we are receiving from the infinite realm of existence.

It is the consciousness with which we give, rather than the amount, that determines the nature of the return we receive.

Join us this Sunday and learn more.  Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr.  Find us on the web at  Meditation time is at 9:45 Sunday mornings.  Our Facebook Live is at 10:40 am.  We look forward to seeing you!


The 3rd Sunday of November was set aside months ago as the date of our Annual Membership Meeting. It will take place immediately after the morning service. All voting members are urged to attend! It may be raining, but we will be warm and dry inside the buildings.

New candidates will be elected to the Board of Directors. The financial report will be read. And any new projects will be brought before the membership and discussed.



After the meeting, everyone is invited to a Soup Luncheon prepared by Unity of the Valley’s YOU Chapter—a perfect meal for the kind of day it may be, with a cool front passing through!

There will also be a birthday cake to celebrate November birthdays, and plenty of hot coffee.


CONGRATULATIONS, TOMMY!—Those who attended last Sunday’s service know that our Spiritual Leader, Tomás “Tommy” DeLeón has completed his studies towards becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher! He received his certification November 8th.

Tommy Deleon LUT

And finally, here is a picture of a beautiful handmade cross that a friend of Sis G’s received from an artist friend of hers. Sister Grumpy was so impressed by the combination of textures, colors, and materials that she had to save the picture (posted on Facebook) since the cross, itself, is one of a kind. Isn’t it unique and beautiful?

Handmade Cross by Shannon


See you Sunday!–Sis G ❤

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Co-Creating Our Lives… with the 12 Universal Laws

OurTwoSidesUnity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Pharr welcomes you to our Sunday service at 10:30 a.m. This week’s speaker will be Rev. Ivery de la Cruz with a lesson titled “Co-Creating the Lives We Want by Working with the 12 Universal Laws”.

If someone could give you the 12 basic laws of the universe, and give you an idea of how to apply these laws in your life, and you had an understanding of those 12 laws [which] would open the doors and windows of the whole universe to you to anything you would love to create, be, do, have or give, you would want to know what these 12 laws are, right?

Raymond Holliwell, an electrical engineer, had a mystical experience and a tremendous awakening, that cured him of blindness and opened him up to a world not only of physical expression but inward expanse. After that experience he wrote Working with the Law, Twelve Basic Laws of the Universe.

This Sunday we will be working with the first law, “Learning to Work with the Law.” Holliwell defines the Law as the outside reflected reality of an inward vibration.

We have two sides to our nature. Our spiritual nature is the invisible side of us. The other is the expressed side, or physical side of our nature. We are constantly mediating between the invisible and the visible through our thinking. It’s not a matter of if we’re doing it, it’s just a matter of if we are aware of what we are doing. Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, called it being proactive instead of being reactive– like a button waiting to be pushed [when confronted] by circumstance, situations, people, places or things. We learn to be proactive, make decisions about what we want to create, how we want to be, what we want to do, and how we are going to do it.

The other Laws governing the Universe are: the Laws of Thinking, Supply, Attraction (parts 1 and 2), Receiving, Increase, Compensation, Non-Resistance, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Obedience, and Success. Join us for this series on defining, exploring, and using these Laws in our lives.

Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr. Find us on the web at Join us live on Facebook Sundays at 10:40 a.m.

The “Kick-off” of our New Fiscal Year

RudiHarst-sm.Wednesday’s Musical Evening with musician, singer-songwriter, and humorist Rudi Harst drew a crowd equal to those attending our Sunday services. He had with him an acoustic guitar, 2 harmonicas, a mountain dulcimer, and a Native American ”love flute,” all of which he played with ease and familiarity, and punctuated his songs (when appropriate) with his trademark 100º left kick.

Rudi has a gift for rhyming with reason, and now at 66, he has only gotten better than he was when I saw him perform at Unity retreats back in the 80’s. His wife, Zeta, was also there, smiling as always.

Several door prizes were awarded, many to children, and Sis G got the last one: a short lavender candle in a glass vase.

Rudi travels to the Valley at some times of the year, and says he will be back to entertain us if we ask him! Thanks to Myrna, Dan & Luz, and Bif & Bill for their work in arranging this event!


Use this link to learn more about this first-ever event for Marisa DeLeon’s Music Therapy business in Mercedes this Saturday:

Tickets are $10.Walk-n-Roll Ad



Coming up, on the 3rd Sunday this month: Unity of the Valley’s Annual Membership Meeting, immediately after the morning service!

**Have you renewed your membership? (If you just arrived here from your summer home, maybe you have not done this yet!)

**Have you completed your requirements if you plan to run for a position on the Board?


AvatarBlessYou For those of you who don’t yet know, Sister G’s family member is home from the hospital and getting around well on her own!

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes!


Khalif Luis Mulholland-recruitOne more thing—Sunday is Veterans’ Day! How many of us knew that last Sunday’s speaker, Khalif Luis Mulholland, was a veteran? He posted a very young-looking, but recognizable picture of himself in what looked like an Army uniform to me, on Facebook this week! I’m sure we have many veterans (including Rev. Ivery)in our congregation, and/or in our families. Thank You!

See you all Sunday!–Sister Grumpy ❤


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Turning Over a New Leaf”

NewLeafAre you ready for a new season in your life?  Then join us at Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center this Sunday when special guest speaker Khalif Mulholland returns with a lesson on “Turning Over a New Leaf” at 10:30 a.m.

Autumn is here and with the season changing so do the leaves in some trees. Change has challenges and seeing these as opportunities can benefit us. These changes are our work for our spiritual and physical growth. Change brings to mind the Ugly Duckling story.

“The Ugly Duckling” is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author, Hans Christian Andersen. The story is known around the world as a tale about personal transformation. Join us this Sunday, in rediscovering ourselves in the midst of this thing called change and digging deeper into this story.

Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr.  Find us on the web at  You can also join us live on Facebook Sundays at 10:40 a.m.


Mark your calendar for Wednesday November 7th for a light-hearted musical event featuring Rudi Harst, singer-songwriter and humorist at 7:00p.m.  Doors open at 6:15.  $7.00 adults and $3.00 age 15 and under.  Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!


AmazonSmileAd02The website is donating 5% (10 times its regular percentage of your purchase price) to the charity of your choice—which we hope is Unity of the Valley Pharr. TX—for the rest of today, Nov. 2. Sister G just made some purchases which qualified for Amazon’s donation. It was easy, and automatic once you have signed up at


And finally…don’t forget to turn your clocks and watches back one hour Saturday night before you go to bed. Your phone may change time automatically, and so will your computer. Daylight savings time is over until next April, and you get to sleep an extra hour!

See you Sunday!–Sis G ❤



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Jesus, the Pioneer

Our scheduled speaker, LUT Michael Scales, was unable to deliver the Lesson last Sunday, so our Spiritual Leader Tommy DeLeon stepped in with a Lesson on The Lord’s Prayer.

Michael will speak THIS Sunday on the subject , “Jesus, the Pioneer.”

“…The second teaching of Jesus that was revolutionary was the meaning of heaven.  The prevailing belief was that heaven was a far-off place up in the sky where God resides; as a matter of fact, this is the prevailing belief about heaven now, isn’t it?

“The Aramaic word shmaya, used in the Lord’s prayer for ‘heaven,’ can mean ‘sky,’ ‘universe,’ ‘cosmos,’ or, by implication, ‘everywhere.’  This shows that Jesus was teaching that God is omnipresent, and that God is wherever you are.

“Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven, is wherever you are, in fact, he taught that the Kingdom of Heaven in within the individual.

“If we remember these teachings of Jesus, we can achieve conscious oneness with God.”


Join us this Sunday and learn more.  Unity of the Valley is located at 301 E. Polk Ave. in Pharr and on the web at  Our YOU youth chapter Sunday at 10:40 am.


Dancing notes

Special Event!  A Fun-filled Musical Evening on November 7, 2018 from 7 pm. to 8:30. Singer-songwriter, humorist and author Rudi Harst will perform live at Unity of the Valley.  Suggested donation only $7.00 adults and $3.00 for children under 15.  Doors open at 6:15.  Refreshments served.  Make plans to join us for all the music and fun! This event will be the “kick-off” of our new fiscal year.


The second part of Rev. Ivery DeLaCruz’s class on Affirmative (or Positive) Prayer will be held on Sunday November 4th, after the church service at 12:15–2:15. That gives you time to go get a quick lunch before the class.



Our “New” Sunday Potluck

In olden days, people kept a large kettle simmering over the hearth fire. Starting with just water, the cooks would add whatever they had to the slowly simmering stew, whether it be meat, fish, vegetables from the garden, or greens and herbs. Some salt and pepper here and there, and there was always something to eat for the family, and even for the traveler stopping by.

When it was gone, they started over. In good times there was enough to fill everyone’s belly, bread to sop up the juice, and some left to feed the pigs. In hard times, maybe it was just potatoes or rice, with bits of this & that, but filling.

In any case, you got the luck of the pot. And thus, we have the term, “potluck.” Our erstwhile “Amigo Sunday” meal has been renamed in honor of this time-honored tradition, to “Sunday Potluck.” We are all friends, anyway, and we know who makes the best salads, meat dishes, breads, side dishes, and desserts, or do we? Show us! We invite you to bring, for this Potluck Sunday, the 28th, whatever you have, or if you prefer, what you bought at the store on Saturday.

NO entrée (meat dish) will be provided on most 4th Sundays, so we are on our own to make a meal that we can all enjoy together. (If you have nothing to bring, you can place a small donation in the offering basket to help us keep a supply of coffee, cream, and sweetener.)

See you Sunday!–Sis G ❤




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