Meet the Unity Staff

You will be amazed by how much gets done by our small dedicated staff. Please contact us or call us at 925-937-2191.

Felicia McBarton, Programs Manager / Executive Assistant

With a talent for streamlining systems and keeping our ministry organized, Felicia is at the center of the swirl of activity at Unity of Walnut Creek. She uses kind and joyful energy as she supports a busy minister and coordinates the calendar, communications and promotions for hundreds of classes, workshops and meetings that happen at Unity. She ensures volunteers and donors are appreciated, enters donations into the computer system, prays with those in need, co-leads noon meditation, and facilitates a class she created on revealing our spiritual gifts. Felicia started attending Unity in 2015 and joined the staff in July of 2017.

Michelle Cicala, Youth & Family Ministry Director and Facilities Coordinator

With a heart full of love, Michelle enfolds our children and youth and gives them a safe, loving environment where they are treasured. Besides teaching the children Unity principles through positive, fun and relatable Sunday gatherings, she also provides enriching experiences such as our week-long Kids Summer Camp and special events. She joined the staff as Youth & Family Ministry Director in 2018.

When long-time facilities manager Charlene Balderston made her transition in 2022, Michelle stepped in and now also serves as our facilities coordinator. Michelle has an eye for beauty and functionality as well as good deals! She keeps our facilities and campus looking clean and beautiful and operating smoothly. Michelle also handles mail and deposits, and guides noon meditations.

Lisa & Tyler Snortum-Phelps, Music Ministry Co-Directors

Lisa and Tyler coordinate the music that uplifts Sunday services by recruiting and scheduling band members and guest singers and providing music themselves. Tyler, who has played the piano for over 50 years, also offers his talents at many Unity fun and fundraiser events. A committed environmentalist who works as an administrator for Sustainable Contra Costa, he also serves as a resource to Unity’s EarthCare Alliance. Lisa is a master harmonist, plays guitar, and is currently leading Unity’s choir. She writes her own beautiful songs and shares them at Unity. Lisa and Tyler began sharing their music soon after they joined Unity of Walnut Creek in 2006, and stepped up to be music ministry co-directors in 2017.

Mike McGarvey, Sunday Services Coordinator

Mike’s warm smile and attention to detail make Unity’s Sunday services come together seamlessly. Coordinating the ushers and greeters, setting up the welcome table, counting attendees, bringing the children in to be blessed, keeping the offertory safe, and locking up the facility all fall under Mike’s caring ministration. A Unity of Walnut Creek member since 1991, Mike has volunteered in many positions at Unity and became the Sunday Services Coordinator in 2005.

John Rexroat, Bookkeeper

For more than two decades, John has been a stalwart figure at Unity and an integral asset to its financial operations. He started in 2003 as a volunteer keeper of the books and advisor to the board of trustees’ treasurer. Eventually he was hired and continues to tend to his duties diligently. John began coming to Unity in 1997 and became a member along the way. He’s served on the board, is very active in Unity’s Men’s Group, and is an accomplished chef who has cooked countless meals for board meetings and Unity events.

Jeff Cushing, Assistant for Facilities and Youth & Family Ministry

His official title doesn’t do justice to all that Jeff does for Unity. On any day or at any time, Jeff might show up to fix a little (or big) something or work on general maintenance. On Sundays he voluntarily makes coffee for the congregation, sets up for youth ministry activities, prepares snacks for the children, and cleans up afterward. He also sponsors the teen Y.O.U. (Youth of Unity) program. He’s been doing all that since 2000, and he’s been a member since 1972. Over the years, Jeff has attended countless Unity functions, toting his camera to take pictures. The light of Jeff’s service shines brightly.

Johanna van Gelder, Bookstore Manager

Most Sundays, you’ll see Johanna in the Unity Bookstore, where she creates a fresh and inviting atmosphere to connect with others. Johanna, leads the bookstore team and is responsible for selecting and purchasing inspirational spiritual books and gifts. She and the bookstore staff are on hand as you search for the perfect item, buy a ticket to a Unity event, or relax with a hot beverage. Johanna became a member of UWC in 2023 and is an ordained New Thought minister through the Emerson Institute.