Andy Lenec is the son of Ukrainian refugees who settled in the United States after WW II. He was brought up bilingually in a bicultural household, giving him an appreciation for the customs and traditions of people from around the world. His earliest religious experiences were with the Ukrainian Catholic Church, but he soon found that this was just not feeding his soul and embarked on a wonderful spiritual journey that included several decades with Paramahansa Yoganada’s Self Realization Fellowship, as well as many workshops, retreats and stays at various ashrams and monasteries in the United States, and a trip to India during which he was blessed to meet with a number of powerful teachers and gurus. He now calls himself a Christian and identifies with the teachings of Mystical Christianity. Andy came to Unity of Boulder upon moving to Colorado in 2010 to become the first Executive Director of Clean Energy Action and soon became actively involved in our Unity Spiritual Center as a volunteer, a choir member and ultimately the Director of the Uniteens program.
Andy’s search for personal and spiritual relevance was not over though, and in 2016 he applied to serve in the US Peace Corps. He was accepted and selected for a position in Ukraine, the land of his ancestors. He definitely saw this placement as part of a karmic cycle and welcomed the opportunity! Andy spent almost two years serving in Ukraine, and among his accomplishments were the establishment of a youth development program called RYLA Ukraine, in conjunction with Rotary Clubs in that country. His project was recently written up in an article in Rotary Magazine as an example of how Peace Corps Volunteers and Rotarians can collaborate in their goal of bringing peace into the world.
Andy’s passion for working with youth has been with him from when his own children were very young. He has been a parent representative on the PTA and president of the Highland Community Team, which served the local Middle School, a soccer coach, a two term School Board member, and the Class Advisor of his daughter’s High School graduating class. His first stint with the Uniteens was, in his words, ‘one of the most rewarding experiences of his life’. He is thrilled to be back with us and looking forward to building a vibrant and challenging program, drawing upon his experiences in the Peace Corps as well as his own extensive spiritual studies.
Originally from Poughkeepsie, NY, Andy is married to Joan Goering Lenec and has two grown children, Alana (34) who lives in New York State, and Andrew (29), who teaches preschool at the Boulder Journey School. He is a graduate of Columbia University in the city of New York.
Of his new position with us, Andy writes, “I’m thrilled to be back at Unity working with kids again. This is such a challenging time for all of us, but especially for our youth who face as uncertain a future as I have ever seen. We can help them develop the confidence in themselves to face their challenges with compassion, kindness and love, and a strong Uniteens program is an excellent vehicle for their transformation to adulthood. I look forward to working with Unity and our local communities to create such a program.”