First Unity Spiritual Campus is nestled into a modest suburban neighborhood off Fourth St. and 46th Ave. N. With high fences and no one outside when I arrived, I had no idea what to expect when walking through the front doors to cover the “Mind, Body and Spirit” exposition for this very publication.
I began my experience with a walk-through of the handful of vendors in the courtyard to the side of the building. Among the few booths there were Beech Kombucha and a book vendor.
However, the main attraction was the variety of intuitive readers, astrologers and tarot card readers. Again, devoid of any preconceptions, I signed up for a reading with Denise Claire, who dabbles in all three.
Claire started by gathering essential information about my birth chart: I am a Scorpio sun, a Sagittarius rising, with a north node in Virgo and a south node in Pisces.
Armed with this information, she interpreted what these placements meant. She said my south node in Pisces meant that I am naturally compassionate and very open. But with my north node in Virgo, my mission in life would be learning how to better guard myself and gauge who I let into my inner circle.
She then performed a tarot reading, which I led in the form of questions that I wanted the cards to answer. I chose my questions carefully since I had only 15 minutes with Claire, but I left the reading with a lot to think about. After all, one of the answers to my questions told me that I absolutely must change my major.
Tarot readings and kombucha endorsement aren’t what one would typically expect at a church gathering. Of course, the First Unity Church, which was founded in 1924, isn’t a typical church.
“We’re a new-thought church,” said Reverend Kimberly Harrell, the public relations director at the church. “We realize that God is around us and within us…we teach the teachings of Jesus Christ, but we also teach the teachings of Buddha and other spiritual leaders as well.”
Harrell explained that because of this new way of thinking, their church is open to the LGBT+ community, those with pagan or other non-Christian backgrounds and anyone seeking to worship without judgment.
“We are all inclusive and all welcoming,” said Harrell.