We had the good fortune of connecting with Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rev. Jenn, how does your business help the community?
The business of Unity Atlanta Church, and my business as its Senior Minister, is helping others connect to the Spirit of God, with them, within them, and all around them, however they understand God. We teach that Jesus and other spiritual masters are great examples of how to engage in the world, both when our lives are joyful and successful, but also when we face challenges or difficulties. Our Mission is to empower people to realize their indwelling divinity and to lead fulfilling lives. So, to achieve this mission, we provide a lot of practical, spiritual teachings that anyone can use throughout the week, rather than merely for an hour in a weekly worship service. We offer people in-person and virtual opportunities to nurture themselves, so they can grow their businesses, raise their children, support their families, achieve their purpose, and serve their communities. In essence, our work reminds people that no matter who they are, who they love, how they look, where they live, or what they do, they are divine expressions of God. Because our spiritual development usually starts as an inner journey of transformation, we discover that as we transform ourselves, we also can transform our beliefs, experiences, relationships, lives, and our world.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As the Senior Minister of Unity Atlanta Church, I am responsible for the ministry’s spiritual direction, ensuring opportunities for congregants of all ages to learn and grow in their faith formation. I am passionate about emotionally healthy spirituality, inviting people to grow their spiritual maturity by also tending to their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Before ministry, I worked in education and public relations, and I saw distinctly how some of us drive ourselves to the brink of exhaustion. So, now, I love being a person who can encourage others by saying: “Put your own oxygen mask on first, so you can attend to all your other responsibilities.” And I feel a lot more ease and peace in my own life because I had to master this before I could teach it. Another lesson I have learned and love to share with others is to trust our intuition, the still, small voice within. No matter what our spiritual beliefs, we can know that there is a Presence of God within us which longs to express through us, as us. That God Presence is always guiding us on our best path. Knowing ourselves, and our heart’s desires, strengths, and limitations lets us focus on whatever we love doing most. And ultimately, this is what allows us to serve others in our families, businesses, and communities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things about Atlanta is all our beautiful, green spaces and ways to appreciate nature. So, visiting both venues of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a priority. The main venue, near Piedmont Park, offers sculpture, paved walkways, and the charming Alice in Wonderland topiaries. The Gainesville campus, further from town, offers a lovely country get-away, and includes frolics in the Children’s Garden and three different hiking trails that invite nature lovers to commune with the trees. For a fun day out, visitors can enjoy the iconic World of Coca Cola, the museum celebrating the famous brand. Here, we see all the ways that Coca Cola, and its many products, are part of the worldwide community. A photo-opp with the polar bear, the trivia contests, stories about the secret formula, Coca Cola Theater, and of course, the tasting room provide hours of enjoyment for children and adults of all ages. Also, in Atlanta, we are blessed with a variety of delicious food, and Ponce City Market is a delightful place to try an assortment of cuisines. Enjoy a cocktail, savor Indian street food, sample some gelato, and sip an espresso. The Varsity is the perfect place for a burger and fries. And Alon’s Bakery-Market on both North Highland Avenue and on Ashford Dunwoody offer gourmet delicacies and treats for holidays and delicious take-out meals throughout the day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shoutouts are two-fold: One is to the memory and legacy of a faithful friend, Nancy Wilson, my Chemistry lab partner. Nancy and I discovered the power of teamwork as we partnered to prepare our lab reports. She, the better math student, calculated our findings, and I, the better English student, wrote our narratives. When we were teased by the class jocks, who called us “Dummies” and doubted our ability to prove our work, Nancy would say: “We’ve got this. My lab partner is no dummy.” And I would repeat it. We consistently received top grades, and eventually, the jocks relented, admitting that we were worthy classmates. Although Nancy died in her early 20s, I continue to hold her in my heart all these years later because she helped me appreciate my gifts as a teammate. Together, we learned how to play to our strengths as wise, young women. Even when I have doubts about something I want to do, I can see Nancy’s smile and hear her voice. Then I keep going, feeling her assurance that whatever it is, “I’ve got this.” The other shoutout is to the entire Beloved Community of Unity Atlanta Church, all the devoted people – staff, leaders, and congregants – with whom I am honored to travel this journey of faith. Their devotion to their spiritual transformation, to inclusion and equity, and to service to others inspires me daily. Together, we live our vision of providing a home for people who want to realize their highest potential and demonstrate joyous lives through spiritual growth. I am truly blessed to be with them.
Youtube: Unity Atlanta
Other: Faith for the Journey at revjenn.com
Professional Photo by Nicole Tyler Photography