The three questions most often asked by visitors to a Unity Spiritual Community are:
- What is Unity?
- What does Unity believe?
- What does Unity require of its members?
We hope this brief response to these important questions will encourage you to experience Unity of Gainesville for yourself.
What is Unity?
Unity is a way of life based on the application of the spiritual principles taught by Jesus Christ. You may explore these principles through programs and classes at your local Unity church, through Unity literature and through classes and retreats offered by Unity School of Christianity, the founding organization of the Unity Movement.
The Unity movement serves the spiritual needs of millions of people throughout the world. Its literature is published in eight languages. Unity churches and study groups serve the spiritual needs of people on every continent and most countries of the world.
What does Unity believe?
The co-founder of Unity, Charles Fillmore, described Unity as “A link in the great educational movement inaugurated by Jesus Christ; our objective is to discern the Truth in Christianity and prove it…”
In summary, we believe we are spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe, governed by spiritual laws. Our journey in this life is to understand these laws and apply them to our daily lives. Our consciousness is a reflection of our understanding and application of these laws. Our world is a reflection of our individual and collective consciousness.
As we learn to live from a consciousness of the Christ within, we experience divine love in the challenges of life, we find new meaning in relationships and we are able to move beyond conflict and hopelessness to peace and contentment.
We grow in awareness of the Christ within through prayer and meditation.
How does Unity view the Bible?
Unity co-founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, studied the Bible and interpreted it as a metaphysical representation of humankind’s evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening.
Today, Unity recognizes that the Bible is a complex collection of writings compiled over many centuries. We honor the writings as reflections of the understanding and inspiration of the writers at the time they were written. As we seek to understand the spirit of the writings, the Bible continues to have meaning for us today.
What does Unity believe about Jesus?
We believe that Jesus fully expressed his divine potential and sought to show humankind how to express ours as well. We see Jesus as a teacher of universal Truths and as our Way Shower, Elder Brother and Master Teacher.
Traditionally in Unity we use the term “Christ” to mean the divinity in humankind. Jesus was a perfect demonstration of the Christ in expression.
What does Unity require of its members/followers?
Unity is unique in the Christian tradition in that it has always believed there are many paths to God. We bless every religion and every philosophy that helps people live God-centered, loving and productive lives. We believe there is truth and spiritual help to be found in the sacred writings of all the great world religions.
We believe people unfold spiritually in many different ways and that each person must find the way that is right for him/her. We honor each individual on his/her journey of spiritual unfoldment. We encourage each person to realize that he/she is a unique expression of God, and that it is through prayer and meditation that we experience the presence of God.
One of the outstanding characteristics of Unity is its willingness to allow individuals to accept or not accept any element of its teachings. Unity encourages its students to take what is useful in the teachings and leave the ones that are not.
In this way, each person is encouraged to grow at his/her own pace and his/her own way. This does not mean, however, that Unity does not have specific teachings. It does mean that we accept people where they are in their own process of spiritual unfoldment.
Membership in Unity is offered and you are invited to join if you feel guided. We recommend you attend services on a regular basis and visit with the minister before making this decision. You may retain your membership in another church and still participate in all programs and classes offered by Unity.
One of the hallmarks of Unity is that it leaves no one out. We believe we are one in spirit with all humankind and we honor all people. We see the diversity of the human race as God’s tapestry and give thanks for the beauty it brings to our world.
In Unity we see diversity as part of God’s beautiful tapestry of life!
We join the Association of Unity International and Unity School of Christianity in celebrating diversity and serving all people as outlined in the following statement:
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, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability, or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to ensure that all Unity organizations are nondiscriminatory and 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.
Adopted by Unity School of Christianity and The Association of Unity Churches, January 23, 1995