I was introduced to Unity in November of 1979 while in the VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America, the domestic version of the Peace Corps), serving in St. Joseph, Missouri, for one year. What I remember about the Unity Church in St. Joe was that the minister’s name was Jim and at the end of the service, we formed a circle and sang, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” I remember feeling comfortable there and feeling something inside of me that resonated with the energy of the service.
Sometime during that VISTA year, a few of us piled into one of the city’s “old bomb” vehicles designated for our use during our “duty” time and drove to Unity Village. All I remember from that visit was an open area with cement sidewalks and fountains. That’s it!
Fast-forward to the summer of 2011 when I started attending Unity of the Huachucas in southern Arizona, where I was living at the time. I felt so grateful for Unity because I finally found a place that emphasized the importance of our thoughts and our oneness with God. Although I’d grown up Catholic and practiced that religion until my mid- to late-20s, I felt like I had “come home” when I found Unity of the Huachucas. Unity seemed to focus on the idea that our thoughts and our words make a significant difference in the experience of our lives—something I’d sensed since I was a young adult.
Fast-forward again to my morning meditation on August 26, 2016, when I received guidance to apply for a position as a Silent Unity prayer associate. By this time in my life, I was starting to listen more attentively to that “still, small voice within.” On December 5 of that year, I started training as a prayer associate.
In my work, I continue to learn about the Unity teachings. I find comfort, spiritual maturity, and a realization and deeper experience of my divinity as I use oneness language (reflecting our oneness with God and our harmony with our evolving consciousness) while praying both with others and in my personal life. At Silent Unity, one of the affirmations available to use at the end of our prayers is, We are ever-evolving as spiritual beings. Recently, I read somewhere that we are “spiritual beings trying to be human beings,” which explains why life can be so difficult in this human form!
While experiencing a deeper sense of who and what I am—one with the Sacred Divine—I am learning that I am not powerless. Redirecting my thoughts has been a bit of a challenge after having been in two support groups for almost 30 years that emphasized being powerless. I am learning that instead, I am a powerful being.
This awareness came through at a deeper level a few summers ago when I went through a period when I didn’t want to be on this planet any longer. I called Silent Unity and experienced a beautiful prayer, and then thought after I got off the phone, They didn’t fix my problems. I still have them. Oh, my God, I am responsible for myself! That experience and a few like it inspired me to take better care of myself as I walked through that difficult passage.
I’ve begun to realize that I have a life force within me, as me, and through me, which helps to move me forward. At times though, I forget. I appreciate the many reminders I have as I focus on the life force in the callers while I pray with them on the phone. This expresses itself, too, in the beautiful sky, the many trees, and the squirrels, deer, and birds that bless me as I walk the grounds at Unity Village. I can’t help but feel my Oneness with all.
I have come full circle from my experience at Unity in St. Joseph in returning to “the place with the cement sidewalks and the fountains.” I smile as I think of this, and I am grateful.