Rev. B.J.'s Office Hours
Wednesdays 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Thursdays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Rev. B.J. Banks
Rev. Banks, will be conducting some of the Sunday worship services, holding office hours at our church located here at 205 S. 4th Street, Suite L, and be available for spiritual counseling, personal prayer work, home and hospital visitation, and for sharing special services such as memorial or celebration of life services, weddings and christenings. She will begin offering spiritual study classes and a weekday/ weekly meditation service, all available to our members and the general public. For assistance, Rev. Banks may be reached at her home phone: 785-823-9149 or cell: 785-577-2819.
You, dear friends, are invited to join us.
On Sunday May 22, 2016, Rev. B. J. Banks became the permanent part-time minister here at Unity Spiritual Center of Manhattan, KS.
B. J., which stands for Berthenia Jean, is an ordained Unity minister who lives in Salina, KS. Although she hails from the east – Newark, NJ, she has been calling Salina, KS. her home since 1985, when upon graduation as a licensed Unity minister from the Unity School of Christianity she was invited to move to Kansas to serve as the first fulltime minister of the Unity Church of Salina, which she had initially served as a student minister since 1984. She was the pastor of this Unity church from 1984 until May 1992. She received her ordination from Unity in 1986 while serving this church in Salina.
In May of 1992, Rev. Banks began full time employment at Hospira, Inc., a pharmaceutical production company in McPherson, Kansas from which she took early retirement in July of 2013 after almost 22 years with this company. While at Hospira, she worked as a first line supervisor in the Production Department, overseeing workers in both their packaging and manufacturing divisions.
Prior to her entry into Unity’s ministerial program in 1983, B. J. received an undergraduate degree in business and accounting from Essex Country College in her home town of Newark, NJ and attended Rutgers University there until being accepted into the ministerial program at the Unity School of Christianity at Unity Village, MO.
Before this B. J. utilized the certificate she had earned as a Histology Technician from the Lyons Educational Center in Newark, NJ., by working jointly for the US Government and the American Cancer Society from 1972 until 1982, in the field of Lung Cancer research being conducted at the Senior Medical Investigator’s Lab at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Orange, NJ.
B. J. has an older brother and grew up with mom and dad, an identical twin sister and two younger sisters in Newark. Born to a mother who was quite talented vocally, she and her sisters learned to love singing harmony from an early age supplying the background “do wops” for their Mom when singing at home. B. J. still loves to sing, especially in groups. This year, in January, she was made the President of the Salina Chorale, a group of about 65 singers who with their director and accompanist, present four-part ensemble music in Salina, often in concert with the Salina Symphony Orchestra.
One of her hobbies is writing inspirational music and songs using her Casio keyboard in her home studio. Another favorite pastime is photography. She specializes in macrophotography, which is the art of magnifying and photographing tiny things or aspects of things which are difficult for the eye to observe or see without magnification, because, she says, “it presents a whole world most people never really see when they just look casually at life.”
This same sense of observation of intricacies carries into her love of study in the teachings of Unity and the metaphysical/spiritual aspects of the Christian Bible and of the various religions of the world. B. J. has a great respect and has found great value in the study of the holy books and the teachings of many of the world’s religions. Among these she has explored and been touched deeply by the teachings of Hinduism and in particular - Vedanta and two favorite Hindu sources of truth are The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita; the Buddhist Mahayana tradition with the Dharmapada as a favorite book; Zen Buddhism, Sufism as well as other New Thought religions such as Science of Mind and Religious Science, as well as the teachings of religious traditions such as Theosophy and Christian Mysticism, a Course in Miracles and Mindfulness. She has also explored and found value in the arcane teachings behind the art of astrology and numerology. Yet, the greatest revelation, to be found in all true spiritual teachings is, she believes, the truth of our spiritual identity – our divine connection to God and thus all of life (by whatever name one chooses to call this one unifying principle) whose presence indwells us all.
B.J. enjoys giving classes and workshops on a variety of spiritual and life topics. In her talks she loves to combine stories and humor in her desire to inspire listeners to live their best life by learning what it means to be spiritual beings who are expressions of God, which is Divine Love.
Our new minister enjoys most, the opportunities to facilitate the “Ah-ha” moments in the lives of listeners – those are the times when insight and revelation combine in heart and mind and we realize that God, as love, as peace, as joy and as every true fulfillment we seek, dwells within us, and always moves us towards our highest good, when we allow it to. B J enjoys sharing the spiritual ideas and tools available in the Unity teachings and the teachings of many faiths which help us to live our best lives.
In Sunday Talks and in classes, Rev. Banks delights in sharing the message that we are loved eternally and without condition by God which is not a being apart or outside of ourselves but a living presence which expresses as us and through us as Spirit/Soul, Divine Love - our true Self in the world. It is the nature of Divine Love to declare that we are always enough and worthy to be loved- no matter what. Life is a school of the Soul and Divine Love brings us many opportunities to grow, to change and to become our true self in expression. And this makes all the difference.
B.J. says, “I am delighted and honored to be invited to serve the members and friends of Unity Spiritual Center of Manhattan and hold this as a sacred trust. I am excited to be working with all of you to bring a blessing to our ministry and to our community as we come together to work, play and grow spiritually here at USCM. Blessings of Light, Love, Joy and an Abundant Life are sent to all. God bless you.”