Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Unity honors the essential truths that underlie all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.
Unity is a worldwide movement that was founded in 1889 by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, Missouri, as part of the growing New Thought movement in America. The New Thought movement combined key tenets of the Transcendentalist movement led by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late 19th century, with powerful mind/body healing practices.
Like the Transcendentalists, the founders of Unity held that all beings have the presence of the Divine in them, and that Jesus was the great example of what is possible for all of us — full expression of our Divine potential. Unity seeks to emulate Jesus’ healing practices by applying the power of affirmative prayer and the power of the mind in achieving physical healing and wholeness.
Interpreting the Bible
Unity has historically interpreted the Hebrew and Christian bibles metaphysically. This means we seek to apply the lessons conveyed in the Bible to our own lives. The Bible is seen as a metaphor for the evolution of human consciousness. Bible characters may be seen as representing various aspects of ourselves.
One God, Many Paths
Unity appreciates and recognizes the Truth found in all of the world’s sacred scriptures and faith traditions. We view each person as a unique expression of the divine energy we call God (by many names).
About Unity Renaissance
Unity Renaissance has been active in the Chesapeake, Virginia area since 1982, and officially became a church in 1988. Our spiritual community began as a book study group, meeting in homes and rented buildings until moving into its own church building in 1993.
Basic Unity Principles
Although Unity is non-dogmatic, five key principles are foundational to Unity teachings:
- There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as my life, God the Good.
- Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence, called the Christ, was fully expressed in Jesus.
- We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
- Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart-mind with God. Denials and affirmations are tools we use.
- Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the Truth we know.
What Unity Says About…
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.
Each person is a unique expression of God created with sacred worth. Living from that awareness transforms our lives and the world.
We shape our life experience through the creative power of thought. 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.
Spiritual principles are to be not just learned, but applied in our daily lives. Our beliefs continue to evolve as we identify, embrace and apply new spiritual insights and discoveries.
Prayer and Meditation
Affirmative prayer is the highest form of creative thought. It includes releasing counterproductive, negative thoughts while emphasizing statements of spiritual truth. Through meditation, we experience the presence of God. Prayer and meditation heighten our awareness and embodiment of the Divine.
Youth and Family
Unity recognizes that there are many expressions of family life. All are welcome. Unity creates an affirming environment that fosters a positive self-image, personal responsibility and unconditional love and acceptance.
Spiritual Social Action
In Unity, we feel a sacred responsibility, individually and collectively, to make a positive difference through personal example and active service in our spiritual community, our local community and the world.