What is Unity?
Unity is positive, practical Christianity It teaches the practical application in everyday life of the principles of the Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, as interpreted in the light of modern-day experience by Unity and the Unity Worldwide Ministries. Unity is a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind Unity Worldwide Ministries, in cooperation with Unity , has established centers of study and worship throughout the the world where people study and practice the Unity way of life. We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people within the Unity family in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. We strive for our ministries, publications, and programs to reach out to all who seek Unity support and spiritual growth. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability, or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to create spiritually aware organizations that are nondiscriminatory and that support diversity. In our effort to reach out to all people as did our Way-Shower, Jesus Christ, we support: the modification of our facilities to make them accessible to all people, regardless of physical challenges; the translation of our materials into Braille and other languages; and respect for the wonderful variety of human commitments and relationships. We encourage ministers, teachers, and others within Unity to honor the strength of diversity within their spiritual communities. It is with love and in celebration of our unity, in the midst of our wondrous diversity, that we affirm this position.
Does Unity believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?
Yes, Unity teaches that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it indwells every person; and that every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life.
What are Unity's distinctive characteristics?
Unity students are encouraged to align with the spirit of the Christ within for personal guidance and direction that will best enhance their spiritual growth. The Unity ministry provides a safe and sacred space for study, participation, fellowship, support, transformation and awakening to the joy of living in God's world. Each Unity ministry is supported by the freewill offerings of those who share its vision. Unity affirms the freedom of each individual to advance spiritually according to his or her own level of understanding. Respect for and faith in the spirit of God in every person makes it unnecessary to set down fixed creeds or impose limiting beliefs. Each individual is encouraged to follow the Unity teachings in determining personal responses in his or her life.
What is Unity Worldwide Ministries?
Unity Worldwide Ministries is comprised of over 1000 member ministries and satellite ministries throughout the World. Each ministry is under the leadership of a licensed or ordained Unity minister, or authorized spiritual leader. The emphasis in Unity organizations is on spiritual activities, such as worship services, healing meetings, prayer groups, counseling, study classes, and youth development, including Sunday school and programs for young people of all ages. Since acknowledging God's presence in each person is part of Unity's spiritual purpose, social functions are also an important part of Unity organizations.
What is Unity Village?
Unity Village is the world headquarters for the Unity movement founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. After Myrtle Fillmore's remarkable healing utilizing prayer and affirmations, many who were seeking help became interested in how she accomplished this healing. From small prayer circles in living rooms, Unity grew. The first issue of UNITY magazine was published in 1889. The teaching of the practice of prayer, through classes and correspondence, led to the establishment of Silent Unity, the Unity School for Religious Studies Continuing Education Program and Ministerial Education Program and the Retreat programs. Through its threefold ministry of prayer, publishing, and education, Unity serves millions of people in more than 150 countries. Unity publishes inspirational magazines, books, audio and videocassettes, CDs, and pamphlets for adults and children.
Who are Unity students?
Unity students are those individuals who have found a deeper understanding of God, of themselves, and of their world through the practical methods presented in the Unity teachings. Often this has come about as a result of some very trying and seemingly hopeless experience. Unity students include many who are readers of the various publications; others attend Unity services and classes, finding in such attendance a spiritual "home" in which they are strengthened in their spiritual unfoldment. They are from all walks of life, and of all races, creeds, and nationalities.
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, Unity Worldwide Ministries. This is a denominational aspect of Unity. In addition, Unity Institute and Seminary, located 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 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 bimonthly magazine), retreats, and spiritual enrichment and education classes (SEE) 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. Many beliefs are held in common, including the importance of individual freedom in the quest for Truth. This very freedom, however, makes it difficult to determine the basic differences. In a very general way, it might be said that the two differ mainly in their beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Unity places great emphasis on spiritual healing, while this is not practiced by Unitarians as a rule. In turn, Unitarians place great emphasis on social and political action.
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. Many of the leaders in these groups studied under the same teachers. There are similarities in the teachings of Unity and Christian Science, including the importance of prayer, the practice of spiritual healing, and some fundamental theological points. Also, both have great publishing operations. However, the application of principles, the methods of teaching, and the organization of the two movements are quite different.
What is the place of the Bible in Unity?
The Bible is Unity's basic textbook. It is accepted as a body of history, as a moral and ethical teaching, and as a great literary work. Beyond this, Unity finds deep significance in the Bible through its metaphysical interpretation, wherein names of places and people and their experiences symbolize the unfoldment of human consciousness. Through the study of Unity, the Bible is made more meaningful to individuals. Scripture comes alive when it is understood as a clear and helpful guide for today's experiences. The Bible reveals the spirit of Truth and the word of God. Holy Spirit, working individually through those who study Scripture and listen within, is the final authority in spiritual awakening.
What does Unity teach about sin, salvation, heaven and hell?
Sin is our separation from God in consciousness, caused by our belief in the "devil" or a power other than God, the good. This belief leads to our unwise use of our God-given powers and abilities. Salvation is now--not something that occurs after death. It happens whenever we turn our thoughts (repent) from fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt, to thoughts of love, harmony, joy, and peace. The "fall" takes place in consciousness whenever we fall into negative habits of thinking.