Unity in the Gold Country church moves to new location | TheUnion.com

Unity in the Gold Country church moves to new location

The smell of fresh paint fills the 3,500-square-feet sanctuary at the Unity in the Gold Country church’s new location on Cambridge Court off of Whispering Pines Lane in Grass Valley.

The church, previously located on Crown Point Circle, moved into its new facility a few weeks ago, said Jerry Farrell, associate minister at the church. The building had been occupied by Gray Electric Company, Farrell said.

“We’ve leased the space for three years (and then) we have the option to purchase it,” Farrell said. “We’ll be raising money toward the purchase price, which is about $1.1 million.”

Farrell said the church’s earlier location was cramped.

“It was a converted office space that didn’t have the feel of a beautiful sanctuary,” he said. “We wanted a long-term home for Unity in Nevada County.”

About 120 to 130 people attend the Sunday services at the Unity in the Gold Country church, Farrell said. The congregation donated $300,000 to renovate the new facilities for the church, Senior Minister Joe Sloan said.

Unity in the Gold Country is the local chapter of the Association of Unity Churches International, based in Kansas City, Mo., Sloan said.

“There are more than 1,000 Unity churches around the world,” Sloan said. “About 750 of them are in the U.S. Others are in India, Central America, Africa and England.”

The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in the late 19th century.

“We are open to people of all religions,” Sloan said. “We don’t tell somebody they have to believe a certain way. Charles Fillmore was greatly interested in eastern religions. So we like to encompass other religions.

“This Sunday, I used a quote from Buddha describing his take on suffering or ‘dukkha.'”

Unity churches also include women ministers as well as openly gay ministers, Farrell said.

The accepting nature of Unity is expressed in the secular decor of the sanctuary in Grass Valley.

No Biblical panels, crucifixes or pictures of Jesus Christ adorn the walls. A few perfumed candles, some non-religious sculptures and a vase of pale pink and white peonies stand on the alter.

On the wall behind the alter, there’s a 6-foot-10-inch by 5-foot-4-inch photograph of a local scenery.

“We wanted to use something local which would have a broad appeal,” Farrell said. “What’s more beautiful than the countryside here.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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