What is Unity?

Unity Principles

Just as there are principles of nature that govern our physical existence, there are also Spiritual Principles that are immutable and unchanging. When we discover these principles and practice them in our lives, we awaken to an entirely different way of being. The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are:

 

  1. There is only One Power and One Presence in the Universe and in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.
  2. We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
  3. We create our life experiences through our thoughts and feelings.
  4. There is Divine Power in meditation and affirmative prayer which increases our awareness of our oneness with God.
  5. Knowing and understanding these Spiritual Principles, also called Truth, is not enough. We must live them.

Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.

Unity seeks to apply the teachings of Jesus as well as other spiritual masters. We affirm the power of prayer and help people experience a stronger connection with God every day. We emphasize the practical, everyday application of spiritual principles to help you live a more abundant, meaningful life.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Unity a Christian church?

The short answer is “Yes.” Unity teachings offer a positive Christ-centered path that is spiritual, rather then religious. Grounded in beliefs centered in Love, rather than fear, we support individuals in living spiritually centered lives while cultivating a consciousness grounded in the awareness of God’s presence and power in all circumstances. In this sense, Unity is decidedly Christian. However, Unity also teaches there are many paths to God consciousness, and Unity honors the universal truths inherent in all religions and spiritual traditions. As a result, Unity deeply respects the right of each individual to choose his or her own spiritual path.

How does Unity view The Bible?

In Unity, The Bible is the main textbook. It is the primary source of all knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight. In its holistic sense, The Bible is the story of the unfolding of mankind’s consciousness over time. The biggest distinction between Unity’s view of The Bible and those of many traditional Christian denominations is that Unity views The Bible from a metaphysical perspective. This means Unity is more concerned with the deeper symbolic and metaphorical meanings in The Bible that hold practical wisdom for living a spiritual life, and less concerned with debating the veracity of literalist interpretations. This does not mean that Unity believes The Bible does not contain literal truth. Rather, it means that Unity believes that scripture comes alive when we are able to metaphysically interpret The Bible in symbolic and metaphorical ways. Doing so allows us to better understand the evolving consciousness of mankind and to lay hold of the wisdom The Bible contains as a practical and helpful guide for life in the 21st century.

What are Unity’s basic teachings?

The best way to address this frequently asked question is to simply state The Five Core Principles of Unity, as articulated on the Unity Church of the Hills website:

  1. There is only One Power and One Presence in the Universe and in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.
  2. We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
  3. We create our life experiences through our thoughts and feelings.
  4. There is Divine Power in meditation and affirmative prayer, which increases our awareness of our oneness with God.
  5. Knowing and understanding these Spiritual Principles, also called Truth, is not enough. We must live them.

That’s it. If Unity has any “dogma” in its teachings, the Five Principles encapsulate it. There is nothing else to know or believe in. Unity teaches that cultivating a consciousness with the Five Principles as the foundation is all that is required. The spiritual understanding reflected in the Five Principles is enhanced through reflective prayer and meditation. If additional wisdom or insight becomes necessary, the Spirit of God through the Christ within will provide. This is nothing more, but also nothing less, than Jesus himself demonstrated in his life and through his teachings.

Does Unity believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

Yes, Unity does believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Unity teaches that the spirit of God lives within each and every person. Jesus reminds us in his teaching that we are created in the “image and likeness” of God, that we are therefore divine also and are heirs to the kingdom of Heaven within. Jesus taught that each person has the potential to express the fullness of the individualized Christ within. As we are able to demonstrate more and more of our own Christ potential in our daily lives, we become more Christ-like in our expression of the divinity we share with Jesus.

What is the relationship of Unity to other churches?

As a worldwide movement, Unity primarily serves as a vehicle for instruction, inspiration, and prayer support for spiritual seekers. Regardless of religious affiliation or spiritual tradition, Unity deeply respects all paths that lead to God-centered Truth and the spiritual awakening that results. As a result, Unity freely shares its teachings with all churches and is open to sharing spiritual truth found in other traditions as well.

Is there any connection between Unity and Unitarianism?

This is a very common question. The short answer is “No.” There is no connection between Unity and Unitarianism. While there may be some shared truths as common ground between the two, Unity and Unitarianism are distinct organizations, each with its own set of beliefs and practices.

History of Unity

The Beginnings of the Unity Movement

The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889 as a healing ministry based on the power of prayer and the power of our thoughts to create our own reality.

Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

The Fillmore’s 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.

In the history of Unity, Silent Unity, and the Unity Movement, we find a richness of healing, love, and profound Truth. Since its beginnings in 1890 when The Society of Silent Help (Silent Unity) was formed, millions of lives have been blessed, healed, and transformed through the practice of Unity’s simple and yet powerful Truth Principles and Faith Practices.

Within the Unity Worldwide Ministries, you will discover a consistent story that links each ministry; it is the story of acceptance, faith, forgiveness, healing, wholeness, and love. These attributes are the cornerstone of Unity.

Unity Church of the Hills is Born

Everything that exists within the physical world first began in Divine Mind as an idea. In the case of Unity Church of the Hills, it began back in the early 90s.

Fred and Joan Howes owned a printing business in Warren, Michigan. One of their customer accounts was The Church of Today, a Unity church, founded by Rev. Jack Boland. The Church of Today, at that time, was the most dynamic Unity Church within the Movement. And, Lenore Scott, one of UCOH pioneering co-ministers, was on staff at Church of Today, and hired Fred and Joan to do the printing for the church.

Fred and Joan started reading some of the material that they were printing for the church and became very interested in the programs that they read about. This church seemed to be offering a new, positive approach to life, and they wanted to find out more.

They began attending Unity and became members. Years later, they moved to Austin to be closer to their families. They dreamed of a church like the one they had found in Michigan. They wrote to the Association of Unity Churches and asked about the possibility of a Unity Church in Northwest Austin. What they did not know at that time was that Lenore, and her husband, Ron Scott, were in ministerial school, well on their way to becoming ordained ministers.

Toward the end of their schooling, Ron and Lenore met with the group of folks requesting to pioneer a new church in Austin. Ron and Lenore considered the Howes’ request, and later were led to Austin to begin their new Unity Church.

Upon arriving in Austin, they found great support and everything fell into place. On November 12, 1995, UCOH held its first Sunday Service at Grisham Middle School.

Current Sanctuary BuildingUnity Church of the Hills remained at Grisham Middle School for about a year before moving to Williamson Square, just blocks from what is now our permanent home. Sunday Services were held there until 2001. On October 7, 2001 we held our first Sunday Service in our current Sanctuary.

In March of 2007, after serving in the capacity of co-founding ministers, and providing exceptional spiritual leadership and organization skills to UCOH, Revs. Ron and Lenore Scott completed their ministry here and returned to Michigan to be close to their family.

In July of 2007, Rev. Steve Bolen came to Unity Church of the Hills, initially as our temporary minister, and was confirmed as our permanent minister in December of 2007. He served as our Senior Minister for 10 years. Under his leadership, we saw the expansion of our campus to include our Unity Oaks Building, Pavilion and world-class Labyrinth. We have also felt the expansion of our hearts, our compassion and our love.

On June 25, 2017, Rev. Steve and Mary Bolen retired from active ministry. The Board of Trustees bestowed upon Rev. Bolen the lifetime title of Minister Emeritus and he has made himself available to the new Co-Ministers, Revs. Brian & Kristen Grandon.

Revs. Brian & Kristen Grandon were selected from over 600 Unity Ministers after an extensive nationwide search. The Grandons began their ministry on Tuesday, July 18, with their first Sunday message on July 23 at 9:25 & 11:25 a.m.

About UCOH What is Unity?