A positive path for spiritual living

Faces & Stories

Leif Nestingen (wife Karen)

I found Unity when I sobered up 20 years ago. My wife busted me for beer caps in the trunk of my car on a Tuesday or Wednesday and that Sunday we were at Marlene Qualle’s service.  I’ve been coming ever since.

Even before then I discovered Unity in the mid-70’s in St. Louis Missouri. After moving to Minnesota I went to Unity in Golden Valley for a while. Ultimately when my wife and I settled, we looked for a spiritual home in South Minneapolis which led to Unity South in Bloomington, Minnesota.

I soon learned you can’t drink and work on your spiritual growth at the same time.

So I dropped away from Unity South for a while to drink, then picked it back up again after the beer cap discovery which lead to my sobriety.

Unity South is a diverse, open, loving, cosmopolitan, accepting, interested, and interesting community. I grew up in a traditional church. The teachings of Unity South showed me there was a god of love passion and understanding rather than fear, hell, and damnation.

I try to practice the principles of Unity everyday knowing everyone is doing what they need to be doing at the time. I behold the Christ in everyone, they are doing what is theirs to do in their own perfect way. This is an ideal I try to live up to daily. I recognize that everyone has a spark of divinity within them whether they are family members, business colleagues or casual acquaintances.

The prosperity teachings helped me raise my children who were both baptized in Unity. These principles helped me to love them and send them on their way and not get all tangled up in their stuff.

Lucy (husband Keith)
Growing at Unity South



My husband, Keith, and I have been attending the early service at Unity South for a year. During our first visit, we had no idea that this was going to be an interactive service. We were pleasantly surprised to see the Spiritual Leader (Marlene) in the middle of the aisle delivering her message. Then she did something that I would have never expected. Marlene asked the community questions. And each person that wanted to respond did so. We listened and agreed or disagreed with respect of each other’s views.



I felt like I was sitting in a friend’s house sipping a cup of tea and discussing life, not in a church. After two or three more services, my husband and I felt comfortable enough to join the conversations.



At times Marlene’s questions seem very simple to me as she guides us down a path. But, when I decide to go deeper whether at church or on the drive home I always have an “aha moment,” about the questions or the answers that were given. I don’t always agree with everything that is being said and that’s okay because I’m always willing to be open to learning new ideas.



Unity South has given me a comfortable place that I can continue to grow spiritually and I can share my thoughts with others.



Andy Winick (husband Jim)
Found our Spiritual Home


Jim and I were looking for spiritual home in 1991. And it was actually Jim who found Unity South. We wanted to get married. Jim talked with somebody who went to Unity South and I first went there with Jim. In 1991, the church service was held in a tabernacle building next door to where the present church is. They were having a building campaign at the time. Judy Moen was the pianist and Phil Laporte was the minister.

We were happy to find Unity South. We eventually were married in 1993 by Phil LaPorte at Unity South. We’ve been going ever since. The Unity South community is warm and inviting and accepting.

My professional goals have been strengthened through Unity. I’m a nurse practitioner and I have learned to communicate with different people in the workplace through seminars. The Sunday Services, daily meditation and the women’s group have been very influential in how I relate to others. I also enjoy using the book library.

Heidi Berkner (son Jordan) 

I was drawn to Unity South church originally due to its diversity of people from many cultures, ages, and family structures.  Being a single mom with a bi-racial child this was very important for our family.  Inclusion has been is very dear to my heart for years in my career, as well, as I have worked with teens in treatment. 

I am so blessed to get to work with the youth at Unity in many capacities also.  I truly believe in the Unity principles and strive each day to correct my thoughts and actions to be in alignment with them.  Since being a part of the Unity family, I have had a heightened awareness and longer moments of peace in my life.  It is a day to day spiritual journey that I love (not something I do on Sundays).  I praise God for my friends and family at Unity South each day.