Unity of Tustin
Celebrates 60 Years of Ministry
By Carolyne Mathlin

Has Unity of Tustin been a source of spiritual support for you? It has for many. It may have been through involvement in our spiritual community or through attendance at one of our excellent workshops or weekly classes. Perhaps you have taken time apart from your busy life to meditate, pray, or simply sit in our sacred gardens, or walk our Chartres-style labyrinth. Whatever your connection to Unity of Tustin, after 60 years of ministry in Orange County, we know there are many blessings involved in experiencing Unity of Tustin and it is time to celebrate. Won’t you join us?

On Sunday, June 22, we will celebrate 60 years of ministry beginning with our 9 and 11am Sunday services. The festivities will continue at 3pm with a reception, followed by a ceremony at 4pm, and concluding with dinner at 5:30pm. The reception and ceremony are open to everyone on a love-offering basis. Advanced ticket purchase is required for our on-site dinner.

The reception at 3 pm will feature highlights of our 60 years, including pictures of “Then and Now,” the theme of our 60th anniversary celebration. This will be the perfect opportunity to tour our newly-completed meditation gardens and amazing grounds. We will have music, light refreshments and activities for the whole family. 

Our ceremony at 4 pm will be on the lawn, facilitated by Dr. Marj Britt and Carolyne Mathlin. For those wishing to continue the celebration, our elegant dinner on the lawn will begin at 5:30 pm. Please contact the church for ticket information.

Unity of Tustin, once known as Unity Church of Truth, was founded in 1948 in a small white house on South Main Street in Santa Ana. In 1949, it moved to its first “real” church building in Santa Ana under the direction of co-ministers Myran and Estelle Key. As the church grew, it moved to increasingly larger quarters, ultimately selling a large property on Cambridge in Orange and briefly moving to rented quarters at the Ebell Club in Santa Ana.

In the late 1980s we purchased our current property at 14402 South Prospect Avenue in Tustin. Included in the three acres of orange trees were two older houses: the small white house (Hummingbird House) and the larger Victorian house (Victoria House). In addition to the orange orchard were various exotic, mature trees that we have preserved over the years.

Architect Joe Woollett designed and oversaw the building of our original sanctuary seating 85 people, two classrooms, an administration building, and a small parking lot. Even then, we planned to expand our buildings in the future as the need arose.

Dr. Marj Britt became our Senior Minister in the spring of 1993 and under her leadership the congregation grew in consciousness as well as in numbers. In 1993 there was an average of 30 people on campus. We knew it was time to build again when we were spilling out the sanctuary walls every Sunday, even with three services! In 1998 the sanctuary was expanded to seat 205 people. We also added more classrooms and expanded our parking lot.

Through visioning and listening to the guidance of Spirit, we saw there would be sacred meditation gardens and a pathway that was a visual representation of the teachings of Unity and Unity of Tustin rather than additional buildings.

Our community envisioned meditation gardens that would include eight sites which represent the seven days of creation based on Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore’s metaphysical and mystical interpretation. The original design of our Meditation Gardens was created by Ann Christoph, Landscape Architect ASLA, who also designed our recently-installed Children’s Garden.

In 1999 we laid a pathway for our yet-to-be installed gardens. As we walked through weeds and broken water pipes we prayed at each of the stations, invoking the energy of each and seeing it in its fulfillment. Since that initiation nine years ago, we have installed six sites.

On June 22 after the 9 and 11am services we will dedicate Site 7, the last one to be completed. At the 4pm ceremony, we will debut our newly-revised meditation garden booklet. All who attend our afternoon celebration on June 22 will receive a commemorative copy of the booklet as our gift.

In preparation for the celebration on June 22, our Senior Minister Dr. Marj Britt has been giving a Sunday talk series that is based on our Meditation Gardens and the stages of creation. She has also been weaving in experiences and teachings from her recent trip to Southern India with Andrew Harvey, who is a great friend of Unity of Tustin and has been here for many intensives over the years.

Over Marj’s 16-year tenure at Unity of Tustin she has inspired us to be a Campus of Consciousness. There is a thriving adult education ministry called the School of Light. We have hosted master teachers, modern-day mystics and the spiritual avant-garde including Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, John Gray, Jean Houston, Leslie Temple-Thurston, David Hawkins, and Don Beck.

Unity of Tustin’s mission is: “Healing Lives, Building Dreams, Realizing God.” Whether you come to pray and heal, create heaven on earth in your life or to realize God,

Unity of Tustin is a place for everyone.

We offer three Sunday services. Our 7am service is a contemplative service which includes a thirty-minute silent meditation. Our 9 and 11am services include music, meditation, and a spiritual message, lasting about an hour and thirty minutes.

We offer Sunday School for nursery school through the 5th grade at the 9 and 11am services and our teens meet at 11am. We host two Silent Meditation Retreats each year: a six-day retreat in May in Rancho Palos Verdes and a three-day retreat in November in Oceanside.

For more information about Unity of Tustin, visit us online at
www.unitytustin.org  For information on our 60th anniversary, please contact Mary Jeanne Hawes at (714) 730-3444 ext. 109 or lovinaction@unitytustin.org

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