Who We Are
The West Central Region of Unity Worldwide Ministries encompasses Unity ministries in the northern 2/3 of California and the northern half of Nevada.
Our Mission Statement
The West Central Region supports the creation of vibrant, diverse, spiritual leaders and communities by providing opportunities for spiritual growth, education, leadership development, networking and fellowship.
Unity’s 5 Principles
- There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as my life, God the Good.
- Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus, the Christ.
- We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
- Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart-mind with God. Denials and affirmations are tools we use.
- Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the Truth we know.
Board & Staff
Rev. John Riley
Hello and welcome to the Unity West Central Region! I’ve spent my whole lifetime in Unity and almost a lifetime in Silicon Valley, and I have a passion for helping people discover the power within them and integrating spirituality into their everyday life. I am a recovered senior software product manager and financial services manager and now joyfully head Unity Palo Alto as Senior Minister.
We all have everything we need, right inside of us! My goal is to help everyone that comes in contact with our region (physically or virtually) to gain a deeper sense of their inner strength, to know they can find their true potential and to learn some highly practical ideas for creating the life they want!
You’ll find I’m pretty spiritually eclectic – I love the deep philosophy of Spirituality and I’m fascinated with brain science and how our physical being impacts our ability to reach our spiritual heights. I love teaching relevant topics for today’s Silicon Valley individual and family, like spiritual-centered leadership, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and stress management.
Rev. DeeAnn Morency
Originally from New York City, Rev. DeeAnn Weir Morency first fell in love with the San Francisco Bay Area at age 17. She split her time between both coasts until 2011, when she and her wife, Chris, put down roots in Oakland. A professional actor, fight choreographer, producer and arts educator for over 20 years, Rev. DeeAnn brings creativity and enthusiasm to all that she does.
Rev. DeeAnn first came into contact with Unity’s teachings while serving as the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Berkeley. As an ordained Interfaith Minister and Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner, she brings a unique variety of teachings to her leadership at Unity San Francisco, where she and her wife feel blessed to call home. She became a Licensed Unity Teacher in 2016, and was ordained as a Unity Minister in March of 2020.
Rev. DeeAnn has a deep passion for prayer and heads Unity San Francisco’s Prayer Chaplains. She promotes Affirmative Prayer nationally for the Unity movement, teaching and leading retreats on Affirmative Prayer for the 21st Century. Additionally, she serves on the Board for Unity’s West Central Region as Vice President, is a regular contributor to Unity World Headquarters booklets and pamphlets, and is a national voice promoting inclusion, allyship and education for the LGBTQ+ community.
Rev. DeeAnn is an impassioned and impactful speaker, who loves to teach and lead services both at Unity SF and at Unity and New Thought churches throughout the Bay Area. A lifelong spiritual seeker, she facilitates and leads retreats, teaches workshops and classes, and officiates weddings and other life rituals.
To learn more about Rev. DeeAnn’s ministry, please visit her website using the button below.
Rev. Sheila Johnson
Rev. Sheila leads the faith-based arm of The Connection Practice (formerly BePeace), and her alternative ministry, “From Conflict to Connection.” She previously served as Minister at Unity of Stockton for 7-1/2 years. She serves on the regional board of Unity’s West Central Region. She entered seminary after 30 years as psychology professor and counselor. Sheila’s degrees are from U.C. Davis, and her studies toward a Ph.D. include transpersonal clinical counseling and Jungian psychoanalysis.
Rev. Joe Sloan
Rev. Joe Sloan was ordained as a Unity Minister in 1995. He served as Assistant Minister and then Senior Minister at Christ Church Unity in Kansas City North. In 2000 Joe and wife Lyn returned to California to pioneer Unity in the Gold Country in Grass Valley. He served that ministry for 12 years turning it over to a former Catholic Priest from Ireland, now a Unity minister, Jerry Farrell. Joe has been the Regional Representative and now Regional Consultant for the West Central Region for over 20 years. He is a member of Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Standard Committee, Ethics Review Team and the Ministers Evaluation Team. Joe’s passion is helping ministers and boards succeed in providing a loving, guiding environment for their congregations. He values his considerable work as an advocate for ministers and boards undergoing the ethics review process. Joe is an avid golfer (he walks) and a former long distance runner who successfully completed the Western States 100 mile, One Day Trail run over the Sierras. He adds that is was a few years and lbs. ago. In 2019, Joe received the Charles Fillmore Award.
Rev. Vicky Elder
Rev Vicky Elder (she, her) was ordained a Unity minister in 1998, and has served as senior minister at Unity of Monterey Bay since then. Her mission is to create a safe space for all people to explore their spiritual nature, become biblically and spiritually literate, and discover their own Path to the Sacred. Vicky is also passionate about social justice–which she actively pursues through UMB’s involvement with COPA (Citizens Organizing for Relational Power in Action – an IAF affiliate). Vicky serves as the Regional Representative for the West Central Region of Unity Churches, as well as the Chair of the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) Standards Committee.
Prior to ministry, Vicky worked as a Program Manager for the CA Attorney General’s Crime & Violence Prevention Center and as a counselor at the Unity Life Enrichment Center in Sacramento, CA. She has a BA (Political Science) and an MA (Public Policy) from San Francisco State University, an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of San Francisco. In addition to ministry, Vicky’s other passion is her family…including her three children (and their partners), her three grandchildren, and her rescue pup, Tohbi, who is her constant companion.
Rev. Kristin Powell
Rev. Kristin Powell was ordained a Unity minister in 2002 and serves as lead minister at Unity of Walnut Creek (since April 2021). She is also founding minister of Unity Rising, a spiritual travel and retreat ministry that is nature focused. Kristin led many spiritual trips (since 2003) and now offers seasonal daylong Nature Immersions in the Bay Area as a part of Unity Rising. Formerly, Kristin was senior minister at Unity of Columbia in Missouri. She is also involved in an ecumenical clergy group in Pleasant Hill and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. She lives in Walnut Creek with her wife Brenlee and their two adorable dogs — Samson and Dakota.
“I feel honored to serve the Unity West Central Region. The opportunity provides a beautiful way to practice the principles that are the basis of Unity and to serve as a model of leadership for others. Supporting our ministry leaders and all that we stand for is a privilege.