We've Made Our Decision


March 12th, 2020 The meeting of the Lansing Zoning Appeals Board approved the rezoning of 230 S.Holmes to A Non Compliant which means we can restore the building.  Thank you to everyone for your kindness and support.  Our first steps will be hiring architect Roger Donaldson and planting greenery around the parking lot to improve the visual impact in the neighborhood.


January 7th, 2020 at the Meeting of the City of Lanzing Zoning Board, a request was put forth to change the zoning variance for Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing from a Noncomforning B which limits the amount of money that can be used to restore a building to a Noncomforning A, which would not have that limit on the restoration of the building. The motion was tabled.  The next meeting will be the first Tuesday in February. Until Unity receives a zoning variance, we can not go forward with restoring the building.

A special members meeting was held Sunday, November 24th, 2019 to decide whether to use the insurance money to restore the current building or to relocate. 71 members attended. The membership voted to use the insurance money to restoreour building at 230 S. Holmes Street.

Deepest thanks to the "relocate" team for the work they did to present options to the congregation.

Deepest gratitude to our members for having an open, passionate discussion that was diverse in opinion while remaining honoring and respectful.

Deepest love for the many voices, the passionate hearts, and the true commitment to the Unity community.

There is one, not two, but one.



November 10th, 2019, Unity held a townhall meeting to share information on two possible paths forward - Restoring the current building and the planned addition or Relocating to a new building.

There is no wrong decision, but there are skilled, prayerful prcoesses in reaching that decision.  To be authentic to who we are, the guiding ideals are our mission and vision statements and our core values.


Is the decision we make a reflection of support for our Spiritual Awakening? A practice of good Stewardship? An opportunity for more Inclusivity?  Is the decision one based in Joyfulnesss?  Is our motivation one of INTEGRITY with our Mission and Vision? Is it a decision that supports individual and collective FREEDOM?  Is it made in PRAYFUL consideration? 

Since the building was a gift to Unity, do we have an spiritually ethical and moral obligation to Pay It Forward? And what might that look like?  Will we best serve the congregation from our current location or a new one?  Lots of questions to consider before our vote on November 24th.

The cost of either decision is approximately the same - in the $650,000 range - and this is within our budget of current savings and insurance monies.  The time table is likely a year or more - either to complete the restoration and the addition to 230 S. Holmes or to purchase and complete necessary renoations on a new-to-us building.

Two teams of congregants have made initial explorations into the two possibilities.  We as a community are so grately for their dedication and investigation.. truly an investment of love and an act of dedication.

Lora Bruder, on behalf of the Relocation Team, mentioned two possible properties as examples of what is available.  If you click on the link, you can see more photos and information about the property.



If you would like to visit either site of examples of what might be available if the congregation decides to relocate, please contact Lora Bruder to join her either November 20th 10:00 am beginning at the Sycamore location or November 23 at 10:30 am also beginning at the Sycamore location.   Text Lora at 517.282-9909 or email her at Lorabruder@hotmail.com






If you would like to visit either site of examples of what might be available if the congregation decides to relocate, please contact Lora Bruder to join her either November 20th 10:00 am beginning at the Sycamore location or November 23 at 10:30 am also beginning at the Sycamore location.   Text Lora at 517.282-9909 or email her at Lorabruder@hotmail.com






 Nannette Podany, respresenting the Restoration/Addition Team covered the impact the fire and insurance coverage had on Unity origianl plans to create an addition to make the building handicap accessible.  The benefit is that the original building would be fully upgraded - something that was not previously in the budget.

A Rendering of 230 S. Holmes with addition which includes elevator.


NANNETTE's PRESENTATION - CLick here to read Nannette's presentation supporting the restoration of Unity's current building.

Wed, Nov 13, 9:22 PM 

Dear Reverend Sharon,

As a very new member of Unity (approximately 2 years) I would like to put in a plug for rebuilding our beautiful church. I live in this neighborhood and believe Unity enhances our neighborhood in many ways. USCL is a supporter of Lansing organizations, is an inclusive force in the neighborhood, provides stability, and faith in Lansing’s Eastside. It means a lot to have a “neighborhood church” and I’m not sure what message would be sent to our community by walking away, especially when we have the opportunity to re-build bigger and better than before. I’m originally from Detroit city and worry about organizations fleeing the city to suburbs.... it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, especially when the Eastside itself is growing and thriving. Thanks for listening. I hope the City will work with us and allow us to stay and grow with our neighborhood.
Barb Starling
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Dear Sharon...

I have been a member at Unity here in Lansing for over 25 years and have been involved at various levels during this time. I’ve continued to come back and stay connected not only because of what Unity teaches, the minister, the people, but also because of its location at the center of the Greater Lansing Area. I actually live on the South End, yet prefer coming to Lansing’s Eastside because of its “energy.” I truly hope if, restoring is a viable option, we will.  Yet... I also hope if rebuilding/restoring isn’t an option, the search committee will diligently look for a location as close as possible to our current one.
     What this central location offers is greater ease of access for the largest number of people to come to church here... not just one end of town over the other.  Unity here has the potential to connect with and reach out easier to the University population... which feels like an untapped group.
     Additionally, the Eastside Neighborhood continues to strive to thrive and being part of efforts to help it thrive and expand from this central location outward feels right and important to me. I believe it offers the largest opportunity to have a positive impact and reach to all of Greater Lansing.
     Again, I feel any further search committee actions, should they be absolutely necessary (if we loose an appeal to keep our zoning and must move), prioritize searching within the 48912 zip code... were this Unity church has been the longest (to my knowledge), since its inception.
Thank you so much for considering mine and others thoughts.
In love and gratitude,
Kelly Gibson
Nia Teacher, Ageless Grace Educator
I got the notice of special meeting in the mail.  On the FAQ sheet Number 3A appeal to me, mean we where rejected or basically lost it the court case, not that it a court case. But that where I get my understanding of the term appeal from.
With that in mind, my understanding would be that are initial request to restore the building was rejected, there go we need to appeal that decision.
Is this correct?
If so Before I could vote in favor of restoration I need more information on the appeal process. And if you could, what the likelihood of being approved in that process.
To me it seem like the city is making it hard for us stay. Is the city helping us at all get through this process?
Douglas Eagle 
RESPONSE: This week, the City has assured us they will assist us in getting the needed zoning to restore 230 S. Holmes
Hello All

I was at the town hall meeting last Sunday and heard the presentations and questions. Talked with a few congregants after the meeting and spent a fair amount of time in prayerful thought about our options. It is my understanding that we could probably get into the Jolly road location for about $150000. It has as much square footage as our renovated building would. It is all on one level with more than adequate parking. We could occupy this building while whatever upgrades needed were being done. Even if it needs $100000 worth of renovations (which I don’t believe it does) We have not had to use any of our insurance money. We could therefore rebuild Holmes rd building to its former structure and it could then be used as an additional church asset: a warming center, soup kitchen, latch key program, central location for classes. Or be sold to a church needing a home to help them get established or rented or...you get the idea.
It would be up to code and hopefully zoned for church activities. In the meantime we would have a home and not have to worry about renting office space and finding places to host ongoing small groups, classes etc.

I have been a part of this church for over 25 years. We have been through a lot. I believe in our mission, and know that whatever happens we will survive and thrive because we are committed to that mission, vision and values.

Personally I don’t want to move at all certainly not souther. But this is not about my personal desires It’s about doing what is in alignment and allows us to be the most impactful force for Good we can.
Let’s consider all the options we can in the time frame we have.

With love
Danielle McMahon