New Thought Church Renaissance Unity Moving to Ferndale
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 14, 2018)
Ferndale, MI – Those who are looking for spiritual community with a focus on uplifting, empowering, and changing lives may be glad to know that Renaissance Unity will soon be moving from Warren to Ferndale.
Beginning Dec. 16 the auditorium of Ferndale High School at 881 Pinecrest will transform into a sacred space as the hundreds of members of Renaissance Unity will hold hands and share their affirmation of truth as part of their weekly program.
“I AM a Divine expression of Love.
I AM aware of the presence of Spirit in all things.
I believe in my Divine Good and in the powerful promise that connects us all.
I live consciously and commit to being a Light wherever I AM.
I AM, YOU ARE and WE ARE REFLECTIONS OF PERFECTION!”
The affirmation comes along with messages of spiritual learning, personal growth, and consciousness of one’s role in community. They are messages that have found international fame, with several noted speakers coming up through Renaissance Unity over the years, including Marianne Williamson, Jack Boland, and Les Brown. At its peak Renaissance Unity had over 2,000 members. But like many congregations they are finding a decline in in-person attendance and less need for a large space. Services now see about 400 attendees, plus Facebook Live streaming brings viewers from 27 states and 44 countries.
“The move from Warren to Ferndale is one that makes sense for our community,” said Renaissance Unity Director Brett Tillander. “We made the choice to sell the building and be debt free so we can focus more on how we can serve our community, and how we can impact the region.”
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter is on the Board of Directors for Renaissance Unity. Though he is excited to see his spiritual home coming to be part of his community, he said several cities had been considered. “I was attending a performance of the Community Concert Band at Ferndale High School and I was looking at the space. It’s a really nice space. Great acoustics. The perfect size. It was recently renovated as part of bond work. And it turned out to be just what we needed,” Coulter said.
“We are really serving the entire Metro Detroit area,” he said. “We even have people from Canada. So it puts us in a great place.”
Reverend Glenn McIntosh remembers coming to Renaissance Unity over 25 years ago – not to attend service, but to find inspiration in the bookstore. “I was doing my Masters at Wayne State and I lived in the Hoover Apartments. I’d sit on the floor of the bookstore and read,” he said.
McIntosh is now the Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer for Oakland University, as well as the head of the spiritual team at Renaissance Unity. He was drawn in by his mentor, the recently retired Rev. Jim Lee, and is happy to carry on the tradition of ministry.
He says he likes Unity because it’s different. “It’s provided me an understanding of my own spiritual power, “ McIntosh said “I know that I have the freedom to really manifest the things I want in this life experience.”
Rev. McIntosh runs a program called Life on Fire which takes small groups of individuals and helps them go after their passion. “Everybody has a burning desire to do more, to be more. But there’s usually something that takes us off that path, he said. “We have the tools to combat the inner voice that focuses on limitations. We can set goals and be held accountable. Once you light that flame, it burns and burns. You become so focused on things you want you stop seeing all the voices at the sidelines.”
Over 100 people have participated in Life on Fire. There are those that have overcome addiction, those that started a business, those that improved their health, and those that made changes in their careers.
“For people that are looking for that growth, New Thought provides that open door,” Rev. McIntosh said.
Each week Unity features a mix of speakers, including Giselle St. Louis who shares a welcoming message each week, and Lesley Jackson who helps keep the community connected with concepts, stories, and guest interviews. Wisdom and inspiration are taken from a variety of sources. Mixed in are songs from the music team led by Daisy Love. Rev. McIntosh gives the Sunday message most often, but the church also brings in guest presenters from all over the country.
Renaissance Unity will start out in the new space with a service at 10am each Sunday. Teens and youth will have their own programs held in nearby classrooms. AJ O’Neil’s Detroit Bold will be offering coffee with proceeds being dedicated to feeding homeless people in Cass Park each week. And the first service – Dec. 16 – will include a performance by Detroit’s Queen of the Blues Thornetta Davis-Anderson.
The church will continue to host special events like talks with famous authors and New Thought figures like Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert and Les Brown. And the concerts will continue, like the upcoming show with Alexander Zonjic who will perform his Smooth Home for the Holidays concert at Ferndale High School on Wed. Dec. 19 at 7pm. Classes and groups will resume early in the new year, with some meeting in classrooms at the school, and others meeting at various locations through the Metro Detroit area.
“If you haven’t been to church in a long time, we offer a new insight into spirituality,” Rev. McIntosh said. “Come and hear our message and be part of this supportive community. Become empowered to live a different lifestyle every day.”
Renaissance Unity is an advertising sponsor of Oakland County Times. Learn more about Renaissance Unity at www.RenaissanceUnity.org