Saturday, August 30, 2014

What is Unity?

TN Tech recently sponsored a Religious Organizations and Churches Fair as part of their freshmen orientation.  Unity Church of the Cumberlands joined the many wonderful churches who participated in sharing information, cookies, drinks, and fellowship.  It was a fun and fantastic day, and we met a lot of fabulous people! 

Since so many people wonder what Unity is, I’d like to share with you a little about Unity and what we believe.  (The following is excerpted from Unity.org.)

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.  Our congregation is very diverse, people come from various religions, belief systems, and backgrounds, and we are all inclusive.  We love and accept everyone just as they are.

God:  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.

Jesus: 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.

The Bible:  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.

Our Teachings:  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.

Youth and Family Ministry:  Unity recognizes that there are many expressions of family life. All are welcome. Unity creates an affirming environment that fosters positive self image, personal responsibility, and unconditional love and acceptance.  Unity beholds all children as whole and perfect expressions of God; empowers children to fulfill their divine potential; teaches children to meditate and pray; and invites children to experience a loving God.  Unity provides a strong spiritual foundation for children's lives.

Spiritual Action:  In Unity, we feel a sacred responsibility, individually and collectively, to make a positive difference through personal example and active service in our churches, our communities, and our world.
  
Many people read the Daily Word magazine which originated from the Unity School of Christianity.  It is read by tens of millions of people in over 150 countries and translated into seven languages.

Like other churches, we’re fortunate in that we have a very loving and friendly church family.  At the end of each service, we all stand, form a very large circle, hold hands, and we sing “Love Is the Only Answer” and “The Peace Song.”  What an awesome way to close a service!

Cookeville has many wonderful churches, religions, and belief systems, and it’s great that so many reach out to each other in love and peace.  We’re all brothers and sisters on this great planet called Mother Earth!  As Charles Fillmore stated, “We all seek better understanding of God’s limitless intelligence…  We are all fellow members in life’s fascinating classroom.”   Namaste!



Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper August 29, 2014.
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1 comment:

Joy Scudder said...

Rev. Karen, thank you for sharing this information about Unity. Sharing with other friends who are on a Spiritual journey!