Unger spotlighted in Religious Leaders feature
(Editor’s note: Lisa Unger, who serves as Church Council chair and certified lay speaker at Galesburg Faith UMC, was recently spotlighted in the Religion section of the Galesburg newspaper as part of a weekly Religious Leader 10 Questions feature.)
What is your religious background?
I grew up in the Bishop Hill UMC. I attended regularly until I entered college at which time I began only attending church for Christmas, Easter and special family events/occasions. I began attending Galesburg Faith UMC in 1994 after a life-changing situation.
What is one of your fondest memories of being part of this church or religious community?
Participation in several Bible studies over the years including Disciple Bible Study and subsequently leading several studies helped me build my relationship with God and fellow Christians. The confirmation service for my sons was an immense joy for my husband and me.
What role does religion play in your everyday life?
I believe that we live out our religion and faith as Christians each day through our actions. I try to be positive, kind and loving person. Throughout each day, I will say “flash” prayers to help me stay focused as well as alleviate worries and stresses that pop up.
What is your favorite part of Scripture other sacred text?
I Corinthians 16:13-14 states (paraphrased) “Be on your guard, stand firm in your faith, be a woman of courage, be strong. Do everything in love.” This was my scripture passage from “The Weekend,” which I led a few years ago. I strive to always “do everything in love.” I also appreciate the scripture passages at the end of Job when God asks Job if he knows how everything was created and how it all works. This is so powerful to me. How can anyone doubt that there is a Creator God when we know none of the answers to those questions? Scientists think they have the answers but there are many things that are still a mystery to us all and for me there is only one explanation…God.
What is your favorite spiritual music, song or hymn?
I love to listen to contemporary Christian music as well as several traditional hymns. Some of my favorites are Who Am I, Spirit Song, Hymn of Promise, In the Garden, Amazing Grace and Here I Am.
In what other ways are you involved in the community?
I have participated on several teams for The Weekend: A Journey with Christ since 2002. I served on their board from 2007 to 2010. Currently, I am participating on a team which will be the first Weekend to be held in Litchfield.
What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
Time spent with family and friends, reading, studying (when I was younger, I wanted to be a professional student … life has been the greatest classroom), movies, stamping and writing.
When times get tough, how does your religious belief or practice help you?
When life is going great it is easy to forget about or take for granted our faith and our need for God. When times get tough it would be easy to place blame on God. However, I do not know how to do either. I make it through each day – good or bad – by God’s grace. He is the one I turn to in good times and bad. During the worst of times is when I have felt his presence the strongest. I do not know or understand why things have to get so hard and complicated in this life; all I do know is that I could not make it through this life without my faith in God and the promise of a life beyond all this.
What religious leaders, public or private figures, do you admire the most?
My grandmother had the biggest impact on my life in all aspects, especially religiously and spiritually. She was a very strong, faith-filled Christian woman. She showed her love for the Lord and for each person through every act of service she did each day. She always put others before herself. One of her greatest spiritual gifts was hospitality. Everyone felt completely welcomed and special in her presence and in her home. Several past ministers and current Christian friends have significantly impacted my life.
What is your favorite religious service?
I enjoy every service, especially those in which we partake of communion. I treasure the Christmas Eve candlelight services and Easter services.
(Reprinted with permission from the Sept. 16 issue of the Galesburg Register Mail)