Yesterday morning my husband and I drove to Albany and attended the Unity Church that's right near our daughter and son-in-law's apartment. We went there three years ago when visiting for Mother's Day and have always wanted to go back. If only it wasn't an hour-and-a-half drive from our home! Both services have been uplifting and joyful. Instead of confessing our sins, we say affirmations such as this:
I am loving, creative and powerful;
for I embody the Love, Creativity,
and Power of my Creator.
Instead of the Apostle's Creed, we read the Statement of ONENESS:
The power of Christ Love now releases me from any sense of separation from Spirit or others.
There is only One Presence and One power in my Life and in the Universe,
that One is God, the Good, Omnipotence.
For those of you who have trouble with the word "God" because it conjures up images of the judgmental father with a white beard sitting on a throne in the clouds, be assured that Unity members understand God as Divine Mind, Divine Universe, Divine Spirit, Mother-Father God - which is Love, Light, and Peace.
I have never been fortunate enough to leave near a Unity Church (officially part of the Unity School of Christianity) but I have read Unity literature for 30 years, always finding it inspirational and enlightening. Unity is a church that builds bridges, because it is inclusive, saying to all people of the world: "We love you, we bless you, and we behold the Christ in you." If you are blessed to live near a Unity Church, check it out!
Yesterday's message was about how we live in the middle of eternity NOW - so we should not wait until death to live in the Kingdom of God. After all, the Kingdom - of Love, Light, and Peace - is not something that will just "happen" to us. It is a state of being and living that we can choose at every moment. As the Unity Principle states: "Being spiritual in nature, we too are creative. Our life experiences are created through our ways of thinking and behaving."
We are now in the season of Lent, traditionally observed by Christians as a time for repentance and self-denial. During Lent, the Unity School of Christianity encourages students to affirm their divine wholeness and release thoughts and patterns that no longer serve them. So, instead of giving up a certain food as a way of denying yourself for 40 days, you would give up whatever it is that does not contribute to your spiritual growth and divine wholeness. It may still be a certain food, but the intention behind giving it up is different. You can order a copy of Release Your Inner Splendor to learn more about how to transcend past experiences and awaken from the illusion of lack.
Yesterday's service ended with everyone holding hands while singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth," surely one of the best bridge-building songs every written. Afterward we took our daughter and her husband out for brunch. Building family bridges is fun, too!
For more information about Unity School of Christianity, check out their website: http://www.unity.org/