Unity was founded in 1889 in Kansas City, Missouri, by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. After Mrs. Fillmore's remarkable healing using prayer and affirmations, many friends became interested in how she accomplished this healing. Unity grew from small prayer circles in living rooms to the worldwide movement it is today.
Unity Worldwide Ministries is an association that includes Unity ministries, their leaders and congregants, our regions and our central office. Together, we provide practical teachings to help people live healthy, prosperous and meaningful lives.
What We Believe:
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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. The Bible continues to be a valuable spiritual resource for us.
Prayer and Meditation
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.
5 Basic Unity Principles
- God (Spirit) is the Source and Creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and equally present everywhere.
- We are spiritual beings created in God's image. The spirit of God lives within each of us; therefore, all people are inherently good.
- We create our life experiences through our way of thinking, feeling and acting.
- There is power in meditation and affirmative prayer.
- Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Joint Statement of Peace
I stand for Peace in the presence of conflict.
I stand for Love in the presence of hatred and fear.
I stand for Forgiveness in the presence of injury.
I honor the many names for God, the many paths to God;
for I know there is only one power and presence of God
and God loves each one of us equally. I urge all nations,
their leaders, and their people to turn to God,
by whatever name, for guidance during these challenging times
and to pursue peace, for peace honors the God of all faiths.
I stand for Peace in my lifetime.
Adapted from the Joint Statement of Peace from the International Association of Unity Churches and Unity Institute.
History of Unity in Frederick
In 1993 a group wanting to attend a Unity Church, and often traveling nearly 60 miles to do so, came together to form an Outreach of Unity Christ Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With the full support of Unity in Gaithersburg, Katharyn George Sunderman led the group’s formation as Spiritual Leader.
In October 1993 a steering committee formed. The first committee included Bill Eldridge, President; Michael Machette, Vice President; Rosemary Glenn, Secretary; Steven Marchitelli, Treasurer; Leon Bayless and Brigetta Cornelius.
Unity Church in Fredrick was incorporated in December 1994 after nearly a year of meeting as a study group. Upon learning the group would be losing its meeting place, its 19 members voted to buy a building. A pretty little brick church building was purchased from Jehovah’s Witnesses only two months later. In May that same year Tom Thorpe, representing the Association of Unity Churches, presided at the church’s dedication celebration.
Katharyn George Sunderman became a licensed Unity teacher in 1994 and her husband Bill became licensed in 1997. In January 1999 she was licensed as a minister in the Field Licensing Program and ordained in January 2000.
Edna Fritz spearheaded the children’s program soon after the church began and the program continues to grow.
In 2001, Toni Fish became the Spiritual Leader, upon Katharyn’s retirement.
Unity in Frederick is blessed with a host of dedicated individuals who manage fellowship, greeting, maintenance, music, prayer, spiritual yoga, and outreach ministries.