Bahai News - Unity faith stresses spiritual education, diversity

Unity faith stresses spiritual education, diversity

DAILY MAIL STAFF

Love, prayer, meditation and practical application of the teachings of Jesus Christ are basics of the Unity faith.

"Unity is a positive attitude and a positive living religion," said the Rev. Brenda Windell, who serves as minister of Unity of Kanawha Valley. "We teach prosperity and healing. We have classes on relationships and prayer."

The spirit of God shines through individuals who practice positive attitudes and actions, she said.

On Oct. 9, Windell will discuss the religion at her church, Unity of Kanawha Valley at 3102 Blaine Blvd. in North Charleston. Set for 7 to 9 p.m., the session will include a talk, question-and-answer period, and refreshments.

The session, which is free and open to the public, is part of the ongoing series sponsored by the Kanawha Valley Interfaith Council.

"Interfaith Growing - Growing in Unity by Understanding Diversity" is the title of the series that began last year. Sessions so far have focused on Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, the Baha'i faith, Native American spirituality and Zoroastrianism.

"One important thing we stress is spiritual education," Windell said. "We study, read books and learn about other religions. Unity services are inclusive. We include everyone who wants to attend a Unity church regardless of religious affiliation."

"Daily Word" magazine is published monthly by Unity School of Christianity in Unity Village, Mo. The publication has a circulation of 1.1 million, is published in seven languages and is enjoyed by people of various faiths.

The publication includes uplifting words and daily scriptures. For example, the top of the page for Oct. 6 says: "The light of God is reflected in every face and in every kindness."

Silent Unity offers a 24-hour prayer ministry for people of all faiths. Prayer requests are kept confidential and enfolded in continuous prayer for 30 days. The prayer line for Silent Unity is (816) 969-2000. Those who can't afford to pay, may call toll-free (800) 669-7729. Written prayer requests may be sent to Silent Unity, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, Mo. 64065-0001.

Unity was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1886.

"They studied world religions, took the best from all of them and named it Unity," Windell said. "We believe in a God of compassion and love. We believe grace comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ and following his teachings."

Unity teaches the possibility of reincarnation, emphasizes acceptance of all people, promotes healthy lifestyles, and encourages followers to adhere to the Ten Commandments.

"We believe in miracles," Windell said. "We have a slogan, 'Expect a miracle.' Another slogan is, 'Let go and let God.' We emphasize meditation. We define it as listening to God in the silence."

Windell will discuss the history and the basics of the faith 7 p.m. Tuesday. Also on hand will be the board members of the church and Windell's husband, the Rev. Sam Windell, who is also a Unity minister.

The husband and wife team are currently starting another Unity church in the Huntington area. The North Charleston location, now the only Unity church in West Virginia, has about 60 members. Unity's denominational arm includes 915 Unity churches and study groups, which are affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. More information on the faith is available on the Web site www.unityworldhq.org

Religious leaders who are interested in sponsoring an evening on their faith may send a written request on letterhead to the Rev. Linda Geronilla, 92 Cook Drive, Charleston, WV 25314.

Writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith can be reached at 348-1246 or by e- mail at charlotte@dailymail.com.


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