Scott Caldwell: Unity in Times of Transition

Scott Caldwell came to his first Seattle Unity service on a Wednesday evening in 1987 and sat in the very last row. From the back of the sanctuary, Caldwell began his journey with Seattle Unity that has now lasted decades.

“I’ve been here for over 30 years,” Caldwell said. “I’m proud of that.”

He did not become a full-fledged member until 2000, but what initially drew Caldwell into Seattle Unity was curiosity after a friend told him about it.

Caldwell has been through severe health crises, lost people and jobs important to him, but Seattle Unity has remained a constant in his life. He found a community that matched some of his own way of thinking.

Eventually, Caldwell’s wife joined him at Seattle Unity and the pair went to services together for years. Before she passed away, Caldwell said Seattle Unity was a helping hand for both of them.

“In the end as she was letting go,” Caldwell said, “it was a real place of comfort for her.”

Seattle Unity has helped Caldwell through tough times and times of transition—the births of his children, his wife’s death and seeing his children leave home to start their adult lives, to name a few. 

Caldwell mentioned how for him growing up, there was a separation between the experience of being in church and the rest of his life. At Seattle Unity, that is no longer true—that wall has broken down over time and Seattle Unity has brought actual unity to his spiritual and day-to-day life.

“In the midst of a busy life and a tumultuous time to be living in and a growing, busy city, it has always felt to me like an oasis, an island,” Caldwell said. “And I think that is going to be strengthened with the new building.”

Seattle Unity is a sanctuary for Caldwell, a place where he can be centered and surrounded by interesting people who feed his curiosity that drew him to the community in the first place. An added bonus for him is the phenomenal music.

“Even after 30 years, this place surprises me in positive ways,” Caldwell said. “What I would say to someone who is new is, ‘Come be surprised; come be curious. It’s not what you think church is going to be. It will no be what you might expect. It never has been for me.”