Song Mei Doran didn’t happen upon Seattle Unity like many other members. Her parents got married at Seattle Unity and adopted Doran when she was three years old. Ever since they brought her home, she’s been attending Seattle Unity.
“Being in Unity helped me have a shared foundation or shared beliefs with my parents,” she said. “There are a billion things we don’t agree on, as you do when you’re growing up, and especially during my teen years, I went as far away as I could from them. But I could always return here, and we could always agree on this. And that, I think, held our family together.”
One such belief Doran and her parents agree on is the importance of prayer and meditation. While Doran does not meditate every day, her dad does, and she sees how beneficial that has been to him.
Seattle Unity is not simply a family affair, however, Doran goes to Seattle Unity whether or not her parents are in tow.
“I didn’t think I would still be attending church sometimes without them” she laughed.
But she does. Her reason? Consistency.
“If you’re like me and you’re a young person in your 20s, and you’re a young professional, being at Unity could be a gift,” Doran said, “because it provides a lot of consistency and foundation for me to live off of. Not necessarily that I need to be here every Sunday, but I always have something to return to: culture and community. I think a lot of community is missing for young people. They’re searching, they’re lonely, they miss their friends, social media [influences them], and when I’m here, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I feel like I’m here and exactly where I need to be.”
The choice to go to Seattle Unity is usually a last-minute one for Doran. When she feels she needs a spiritual reset, that’s usually when she goes.
“It’s a place that’s consistent, a place that’s loving,” she said. “People have known me since I was little and having those root foundation relationships, as I’m getting older, I’m realizing how important those relationships are. So now, I don’t want to let them go. And I want to nurture that and provide that for others.”
When Doran wants the advice of a spiritually empowered friend, she has Seattle Unity members to lean on for that. Those friendships have been built up over years.
“One of the Unity things that helped support me growing up that I carry today are the events when I was younger,” she said. “In those places, I saw other kids like me, my age . . . I think that carried over to my love for events. I love dancing. I’ve hosted an event in the past myself. And I want to be able to create that space because I know what that space feels like and I’m able to recreate that space for other people.”
When Doran walks through the doors of Seattle Unity, she feels the energy of her fellow Seattle Unity members.
“I can go to church and know that I’m taken care of,” Doran said. “And I’ll keep returning until the day I die.”