The Unity Movement
Is Unity a denomination?
Some aspects of the Unity movement are denominational and some are not. For example, there are more than 900 Unity churches and study groups affiliated with Unity’s sister organization, the Association of Unity Churches. This is a denominational aspect of Unity. In addition, the Unity Institute at Unity Village trains approximately 60 students every two years to be Unity ministers. This is also denominational. However, the majority of the work done by Unity at Unity Village involves prayer, publishing, and education services to people of all faiths. These nondenominational aspects include the prayer ministry, Silent Unity, Daily Word (Unity’s nondenominational inspirational monthly magazine), retreats, and continuing education classes that are open to everyone and teach Unity principles in nondenominational settings.
Is there any connection between Unity and Unitarianism?
No, there is no connection—although there is sometimes confusion because of the similarity of the names. Each is a distinct organization with its own set of beliefs and practices.
What is the relationship of Unity to other churches?
Unity is a vehicle for instruction, inspiration, and prayer support for spiritual seekers, regardless of their religious affiliation. Unity freely shares its teachings with all churches.
Is Unity an offshoot of Christian Science?
No. Unity and Christian Science, as well as many other New Thought groups, had their beginnings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The application of principles, the methods of teaching, and the organization of the two movements are quite different.
Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.
God is Spirit, the loving source of all that is. God is the one power, all good, everywhere present, all wisdom. God is divine energy, continually creating, expressing and sustaining all creation. In God, we live and move and have our being. In Unity, some other ways we speak of God are Life, Light, Love, Substance, Principle, Law and Universal Mind.
We believe that Jesus expressed his divine potential and sought to show humankind how to express ours as well. We see Jesus as a master teacher of universal truths and as our Way Shower. In Unity, we use the term Christ to mean the divinity in humankind. Jesus is the great example of the Christ in expression.
The Nature of Humankind
We are each individual, eternal expressions of God. Our essential nature is divine and therefore inherently good. Our purpose is to express our divine potential as realized and demonstrated by Jesus and other master teachers. The more we awaken to our divine nature, the more fully God expresses in and through our lives.
Unity co-founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore studied the Bible as history and allegory and interpreted it as a metaphysical representation of humankind's evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening. In addition, Unity recognizes that the Bible is a complex collection of writings compiled over many centuries. We honor the writings as reflecting the understanding and inspiration of the writers at the time they were written. The Bible continues to be a valuable spiritual resource for us.
Unity teaches that each person is a unique expression of God created with sacred worth. Living from that awareness transforms our lives and the world.
Unity emphasizes the creative power of thought in our life experience. We refer to this as the Law of Mind Action. When we take personal responsibility to choose life-affirming thoughts, words and actions, we experience a more fulfilling and abundant life.
Unity emphasizes the importance of applying spiritual principles in our daily lives.
Unity teachings continue to evolve as we identify, embrace and apply spiritual insights and the spiritual implications of new discoveries.
Prayer and Meditation
Affirmative prayer is the highest form of creative thought. It includes the release of counterproductive, negative thoughts, as well as holding in mind statements of spiritual truth. Through meditation, we experience the presence of God. Prayer and meditation heighten our awareness and thereby transform our lives.
The following are some great books to get started in knowing more about Unity (They can be ordered from Amazon.com):
- The Five Key Principles by Ellen Dabenport
- Keys to the Kingdom: Five Fundamentals of Truth
- Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth
- Lessons of Truth by H. Emilie Cady
- The Story of Unity by James Dillet Freeman
- Birthing a Greater Reality by Robert Brumet