Christian faith groups
The Unity religious movement in the U.S.
This essay contains two parts:
The first is by David Birdsong, who wrote from his own personal perspective
as a Unity member.
The second is by John S. Spong, a retired
bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA.
Unity School of Christianity is a center of spiritual light for people
of the world. We are dedicated to letting this light shine so brightly that
people become more aware of their spiritual nature and express it in their daily
lives. We address physical, mental, and emotional needs through affirmative
prayer and spiritual education. We serve those who seek inspiration and prayer
support as well as those who use Unity teachings as their primary path of
Unity's basic teachings:
We encourage people to explore and apply Unity teachings based on their own
spiritual understanding. We believe this spiritual understanding is enhanced
through reflective prayer and meditation. The five basic ideas that make up the
Unity belief system are:
- God is good and everywhere present.
- The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are
- We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
- There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our
connection to God.
- Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Is Unity a denomination?
Unity's denominational arm includes 915 Unity churches and study groups,
which are affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. Unity also
provides a two-year training program for Unity ministers at Unity Village,
What does Unity offer?
Unity is a spiritual resource for daily living. Our services include:
||A 24-hour free prayer line. |
||Two monthly inspirational magazines:
||Books and audio-visual products for adults and children. |
||Retreats and adult education classes. |
||A two-year ministerial education program. |
||One of the country's largest metaphysical libraries which is part of the
Unity Archives |
Unity's reach is global, with churches, study groups and Unity prayer
ministries around the world. See: http://www.unityworldhq.org/
Assessment of Unity by J.S. Spong, a retired Episcopalian
Bishop Spong wrote the following in response to a woman who was raised as a
liberal Lutheran and is considering joining the Unity Church.
"Unity traces its roots to Mary Baker Eddy and what we once called the
Christian Science movement. It has, however,
evolved well beyond its origins. It is distinctively Christian but they have
managed to escape the traditional Christian obsession with sin, guilt,
rescue and control. They teach the goodness of God's creation, the capacity
of human beings to grow spiritually and they avoid dated concepts like
sacrifice and the sacredness of shed blood."
"I have found their clergy to be bright, well trained, open and positive.
Their Spiritual Center and Training School is in Lee's Summit, Missouri. The
things that attract me to Unity are their dedication to education; the
consistently high quality of their music; their commitment to affirm their
children rather than to make them feel inadequate; their care for one
another, and the joy that permeates Unity worship."
"I don't know that Unity will be the future of Christianity but I do
believe that the Christianity of the future will have many of the marks of
Unity within it. I find that many people are like you, they discover Unity
when they awaken to what Christianity can be and compare it to what they
experience in many churches on Sunday morning."
Originally written: 2003-SEP-30
Latest update: 2007-JAN-04
Author: David Birdsong