Unity of Palmyra Council Members
We are so grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of our leadership!
Linda Raber, President
I found Unity of Palmyra in 2014, quite by accident. After leaving the United Methodist Church, I was looking for a more positive and inclusive place to worship. I attended my first Unity service and never left. I was drawn to this loving and accepting congregation right away. I taught for 35 years in the Palmyra area School District and have been retired for the last 10 years. I volunteer at the local food bank, The Caring Cupboard, and enjoy working with people of all ages. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, watching sports on TV, and spending time with my dog Maddie.
Helene Gaydos, Vice President
My name is Helene Gaydos and I became a member of Unity of Palmyra in 2021. I have been searching for a community of fellow believers my whole life and feel like I am finally home. I have been married for 25 years and have 3 teen-aged boys.
Serenity Space is a wonderful area where I practice massage, and I also work at a spa in Hershey.
I look forward to learning and growing on council and offer my talents and creativity in whatever way it is needed. I have a great love of adventure and would like to be instrumental in arranging creative spiritual workshops and outings to further Unity's vision and mission.
Vicki Smith, Secretary
I have been a member of Unity of Palmyra from 2003. I have served on just about every committee and/or volunteer opportunity there is including Sunday school, council, greeter, Daily Word reader and most recently Source of Light and Platform Assistant.
I have recently retired as a Human Resources executive spending almost 40 years in the profession.
I hold an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management and an MBA from Eastern University.
I reside in Palmyra with my little puppy Gracie.
Jeff McFarland, Treasurer
Jeff has a long history with Unity, including board service in two other ministries, training in Unity Peacemaking, and workshops and retreats pertaining to Integral Church Leadership and Creating the Beloved Community. He has a passion for working creatively and collaboratively with and within groups and believes that, as he helps bring out the best in others, he says “Yes!” to a fuller expression of his own wisdom and talents.
During his work career, Jeff served as a congressional staff member, a nonprofit association executive, and a life and organizational coach. Now retired, he enjoys doing what is most important to him. Jeff is married to his wife, Judy, and is blessed with three adult children, two adult stepchildren, and four grandchildren.
Jeff came to Unity of Palmyra two years ago, became a member last fall, and has enjoyed volunteering with the teens, participating in numerous book groups, working with the Spiritual Social Activism Team, and co-presenting workshops on The I of the Storm and Learning to Have Difficult Conversations.
I grew up in Harrisburg and was raised by my wonderful mother, grandparents, and fun-loving aunt. My childhood was full of neighborhood friends, and school, which I totally enjoyed. I spent 39 years in my “right and perfect” job as a World Language teacher, leading multiple trips to France, Switzerland, Montreal and Quebec with students.
Eventually I married the love of my life, Elaine, and we recently celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. Our children are (and have been) our beloved critters. In 2018, we downsized from our wonderful old Victorian home in Mechanicsburg to an apartment near the Capital City Mall, which is daily proving to be a very smart move!
We began attendance at Unity of Palmyra two years ago, and feel so blessed to be part of this ever-outreaching community. We met Rev. Stephanie when she was a mere lass, and know Rev. Julie from many years ago.
My life was changed in 1996 when I first walked into a Unity church, and I knew I was on holy ground. I have served in many ways at another Unity church, and look forward to helping Unity of Palmyra remain the compassionate, loving, New Thought beacon that it is today.
I started on my path with Unity in 2020 after encouragement from my wife, Misty, and haven’t looked back since. I love the welcoming, inclusive community and the spiritual journey that my partner and I now share. This is the first time in my life I have had such an experience.
Originally from Lancaster, I now live in Lebanon, where I work as a Health Educator for a large insurance company. My job involves a lot of community engagement and working with a variety of populations from different backgrounds. I love meeting new people and empowering them to live a healthy life.
I have two children, and two step-children, ranging in age from 12-22. We love to see them as much often as possible, enjoying dinners together and vacationing on the beach. I love just about any outdoor or fitness activity, especially camping, backpacking, yoga, swimming and weightlifting, and enjoy the theater and cooking at home. And any time spent with my wife is the best!
I am humbled to be asked to serve on the Council, and want to see this community continue to grow and thrive, and have all our members feel the way I do every week when I step into our building.