A positive path for spiritual living

Board Leadership

Unity South Church's Board of Directors meets monthly to manage all aspects of the community’s existence. Each month the ministers and six elected members gather to discuss plans, finances, and spiritual growth. Board Members are elected at the Annual Meeting each March to serve three-year terms.

Patty Tanji, President


Patty found Unity South Church around 9/11, 2001. On a flight to Toronto a fellow passenger noticed the book she was reading and said “You must go to Unity.” “What’s Unity?” she replied. And the rest, as they say, is history. 
She tells the story: “For the first 5 years I attended Unity services I found a spot in the back room and cried every time I opened my mouth to sing. I had no idea why I came each Sunday. I just knew the messages, delivered by the late Rev. Ken Williamson, were resonating with me. The message gave me hope of something better and bigger than myself. What? I didn’t know. I was suffering from some un-recognizable and indescribable malaise that has no name. I now know I was missing God in my life."

Slowly, over time, that God void all but disappeared as she connected to the whole and rediscovered her true nature.
 
Today, Patty pitches in at our spiritual center whenever possible, sometimes acting as platform assistant, finding inspiring speakers for our Sunday lessons, working on the website, or dishing pasta at Loaves and Fishes. Her spiritual guides expand beyond the walls of Unity and they are very much part of her everyday existence.
 As a board member she adds her entrepreneurial skills and spirit to the talented leadership team. She hopes that every person that walks into Unity South Church has the opportunity to transform, just as she does everyday, moment to moment.
 


In her other world she has a B.S. Business degree and a Master of Liberal Studies degree from the University of Minnesota. She is originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where three sisters, a brother, and many nieces and nephews still reside. Patty and her husband Todd live in Eagan and have two smart and talented daughters. 

Leif Nestingen, Vice President


Leif learned about Unity in the 70’s in St Louis Missouri. Twenty years ago he began attending services with Marlene Qualle. He describes Unity South as diverse, open, loving, cosmopolitan, accepting, interesting, and interested community. The teachings of Unity South showed me there was a God of love, compassion, and understanding rather than fear, hell, and damnation. Leif is committed to practicing the Unity principles by beholding the Christ in everyone. He has learned that each person is doing what they need to do in their own perfect way. Leif recognizes everyone has a divinity within them whether they are family members, business colleagues or casual acquaintances.  

Leif is the owner of RRR construction. RRR Construction, Inc is a licensed and insured general contracting remodeling company in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.  He has been doing business as a remodeling contractor since 1980 in the Twin Cities, specializing in large remodeling and rehab projects and room additions. Leif’s focus is on remodeling homes for the changing needs of families. His work has helped people remain in their homes and community as their needs change over the years. RRR was voted #1 remodeler for 2009 by the Minnesota Women’s Press.

Leif and his wife Karen, a successful realtor, decided to remodel their house and reduce their “carbon footprint”. They took a 1930’s home and went “green." Leif and Karen help coordinate the Loaves and Fishes outreach program at Unity South. They have two adult children. Both were baptized at Unity South. They are proud of their children’s accomplishments. Leif is excited to be on the Board and share his passion for Unity principles and business acumen.

Vicki McFee, Board Secretary 

Vicki has been guided by Unity principles for over 25 years. She continues to be charmed and excited about the growth possibiliites of this church and the lessons it offers. In her own words, "As so many of us have found, the more I test the Unity teachings, the more truth is revealed, and the more delighted I am in the outcomes. The more time I give to study, meditation, and community, the richer I become. I look to this opportunity to serve on the Board as a way to continue giving to this loving comunity, knowing that I will recive far more than I can ever give."  

Jeremy Christensen, Treasurer


Jeremy grew up in Unity youth programs, attending Unity Christ Church in Golden Valley with his aunt, Lauretta. Since joining Unity South Church, he has been actively involved in our fundraisers, youth ministry activities, cooking our First Sunday breakfasts and the Prime Rib/Salmon Dinner, as well as co-chairing the Silent Auction with his wife, Jacqueline.
 


In the local area, Jeremy participates in many civic and community organizations, including Loaves and Fishes, Feed My Starving Children and Volunteers Enlisted To Assist People (VEAP). 

In his professional life Jeremy is a Financial Advisor providing sound financial advice and value-added service to investors - always striving to build long-term relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Through a long-term investment approach, he helps clients develop and implement strategies for building wealth and realizing their goals. Jeremy worked for thirteen years with Piper Jaffray Companies, before joining Wells Fargo Advisors in 2006. He hold a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from St. Cloud State University and studied Economics at St. John’s University (MN). He has earned the Quantitative Choice portfolio manager designation by completing an extensive training course designed to help managers build upon their existing foundation in equity management and teach them the fundamentals of portfolio management and asset allocation. 
 


Jeremy grew up in St Paul and attended Como Park high school. He married his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline, and they have been together for 25 years. They are the proud parents of daughter Ms. Jana Marie, and a german shepherd, Major. His guidance and clarity ensure decisions are spiritually grounded and fiscally responsible.

Luke Hendricks, Board Director

I was asked to write a few basic things about myself. For starters, I’m the tall one with the Japanese wife and two kids who all make me seem younger and more attractive than I am. My work life has been mostly entrepreneurial. Currently, I spend my time finding patterns in data and have an investment algorithm being live tested by an investment manager, as a precursor to scaling into a financial product. 

More to the point, I was born into a family that took protestant Christianity seri- ously, and graduated from Bethel University with many classes in theology and philosophy. The questioning of “traditional” Christianity which began in those days formed the path that led to Unity. I appreciate that my children can learn—and I can be reminded of—some of the beautiful and meaningful messages of the Bible without the theology of fear that usually comes with them. I fully believe the core Unity principles and I also appreciate that we can respectfully disagree with each other on details, and still be welcome and connected. I have great respect for the leadership of this church, and if elected to the Board, I would seek to affirm what we have, and build on it. 

Don Ramler, Board Director

Don has been a member of Unity Suth since 1990. During that time, he has been an active member, volunteering in many of the ministries. He worked in the bookstore, was both a greeter and an usher at various times during his membership years, and has worked in the sound booth during services. Don is a vital part of many of the special events at Unity South. He has held leadership roles on the Annual Fall Dinner, the events Annual Gala and Fundraiser, and currently serves as a Prayer Chaplain. Don has also participated in many outreach activities such as Feed My Starving Children, Loaves & Fishes, and was the chairman of the Cub Foods Hot Dog Fundraiser. Don says his vision for Unity South is that it prosper and attract new members while showing by example how our principles work for us. He sees this being done through community events and outreach. He truly believes in the Unity Principles and tries to live up to them every day. He says he leaves his ego at the door when he walks into the building, or any Unity South activity, and lets the Divine in him do the work. He knows that if he does this, it will carry overt into other aspects of his life. Don is married to Sue Orton and they have two daughters, Summer and Asha, and two stepsons, Eric (deceased) and Ryan.