Knowing Spirit in All and Through All
The Unity movement was founded in 1889 by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore as a healing ministry based on the power of prayer and the power of our thoughts to create our own reality. The Fillmores regarded Jesus as the great example rather than the great exception, interpreted the Bible metaphysically, and taught that God is present within all of us.
Today, we are a worldwide movement of ministries that consistently teach Unity principles set forth by our founders and early teachers. Many of our churches now integrate Buddhist and other Eastern thought, as well as modern spiritual teachers, into their talks and classes. Charles Fillmore was also acquainted with these philosophies.
The Unity movement has always been a spiritual leader in promoting inclusivity and diversity. We are open and welcoming to people of every race, ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation and accept all spiritual paths. In 1995 Unity Worldwide Ministry declared global statements for peace and the honor of diversity.
Classic Unity writers include Charles Fillmore, Myrtle Fillmore, Emilie Cadie (Lessons in Truth), and Eric Butterworth.
Contemporary teachers and writers who either work within Unity, or are studied by Unity churches include Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Robert Brumet, Paul Hasselbeck, Marianne Williamson, Gary Zukov, Joel Goldsmith, Byron Katie, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and Mary Morrissey. At Unity of Montclair, recent classes studied the teachings of Tolle, Morrissey, Katie and Beckwith.
Spiritual seekers often say that finding Unity is like coming home. Unity is an open-minded, welcoming and accepting spiritual community that honors all paths to God and helps people discover and live their spiritual potential and purpose.
A modern, positive and practical alternative to more negative religious teachings (such as original sin), Unity seeks to apply the teachings of Jesus, as well as other spiritual masters, to everyday life. Unity affirms the power of prayer and helps people experience a stronger connection with God every day.
Unity emphasizes the practical, everyday application of spiritual principles to help people live more abundant and meaningful lives. Although personal and spiritual growth comes from within, most people appreciate the support of classes, friendships, and companionship along the way. Unity is committed to helping you find your way to your own understanding—and experience—of God.
God is Spirit, the loving source of all that is. God is Oneness, 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 do not see God as an entity or being separate from ourselves.
Each of us is an individual, eternal expression 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, the Buddha, and other master teachers. The more we awaken to our divine nature, the more fully God expresses in and through our lives.
- Heaven is not a place, but a state of consciousness; we create our own heaven and hell here and now
- We all have an innate capacity to know God through direct experience
- The “Christ” is that part of God that is in every person. There is a spark of divinity within all people, just as there was in Jesus or the Buddha
- Prayer works
- We are here to set a positive example and be a role model for others
- We are here to make the world a better place
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 a “Way shower.” In Unity, we use the term Christ to mean the divinity in all humankind—it is not just meant for Jesus. Jesus is the great example of the Christ in expression.
Jesus was the star actor in the greatest drama ever played on earth. This drama was developed in the celestial realm, its object being to inject new life into perishing men [and women]. The full significance of this great plan of salvation cannot be understood by [us] until he awakens faculties that relate [us] to the earth beneath and the heavens above.
—Charles Fillmore (abridged)
Unity 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. While the Bible is not the exclusive teaching used in Unity—on any given Sunday, you may hear from the Bible, Buddhist texts, the Tao or modern mystics—it is a part of our Christian roots.
Charles Fillmore did not know a lot about Eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, but he was very interested in them. His studies led him to incorporate meditation as a major component of Unity practice. Many Unity churches, including Unity of Montclair, at times use Buddhist, Taoist and other Eastern teachings in their sermons, classes, and meditations.
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.
At Unity, prayer chaplains hold the high watch of spiritual consciousness for our church communities. They provide individual prayer by phone and also after each Sunday service.
Call 973.746.8417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a prayer call or prayer email.
Meditation is also an integral part of Unity’s teachings, going all the way back to the Fillmores and their faith in truth coming “in the silence.” Most Unity churches, including our own, include meditations as part of their Sunday services. Our service meditations are 5 minutes, and once a month we sit for 20 minutes during service. We also offer frequent meditation workshops.
Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity Movement, named and taught The Twelve Powers (Faith, Strength, Wisdom, Love, Power, Imagination, Understanding, Will, Order, Zeal, Elimination, Life). Through his intense study and metaphysical interpretation of biblical writings, he showed that these abilities were fully embodied in Jesus, the Christ. The good news is that they are in every one of us as pure potential, to be called upon whenever required.
Foundational texts of Unity teachings. Check our Unity Bookstore!
Discover the Power Within, Eric Butterworth
Lessons in Truth, Emilie Cady
12 Powers, Charles Fillmore
Atom-Smashing Power of Mind, Charles Fillmore
Healing Letters, Myrtle Fillmore
Heart-Centered Metaphysics, Paul Hasselbeck
Metaphysical Bible Dictionary
How I Used Truth, Emilie Cady
Spiritual Economics, Eric Butterworth
The Universe is Calling, Eric Butterworth
Quest for Wholeness, Robert Brumet
Finding Yourself in Transition, Robert Brumet
Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Catherine Ponder
The Prospering Power of Prayer, Catherine Ponder
To learn more about all of Unity’s teachings, and what’s happening in the broader Unity Movement, explore unity.org