You have entered
a very special place
where Unity’s faith and spiritual practice
come vividly alive!
Those of you who phone the Silent Unity prayer-line will know that we hold services here at Unity Maidenhead every weekday where we keep everyone in prayer who is named on our daily prayer lists. Now, and exclusively on the Friends Room, you will be able to take part in these services as we will be placing a regular recording on YouTube which you can access by simply clicking below.
The recording is usually a little shorter than our full daily service but does have periods of silence during which you too can join in our silent prayer and meditation. Because of confidentiality, names of those on our prayer list, which are spoken during the service, have been edited out of the recording.
March’s prayers focus upon our inner spiritual resources as, with spring on its way, we search to express the light and life within. As always these daily prayers are led by Rev Kimerie Mapletoft; and as well as five prayer meditations there are also periods of silence for personal meditation. The recording lasts around fifteen minutes#
You may also wish to download a text document of our latest prayer service for your own use, in which case you can click on the following link:
Over the years, we all have our favourite memorable Daily Word meditations. Some of us may cut out these pages and keep them nearby us in a purse, a wallet or by the bed. Some Daily Word subscribers go through each new bi-monthly magazine marking the pages that seem most wise or powerful for this time in their lives. In this section of the Friends Room we highlight an especially memorable Daily Word reading for the month, and present it to you in the form of a short YouTube film featuring meditational sounds & images accompanying the audio reading for that day by Ken Bradley. Ken’s reading is taken from the regular audio version of Daily Word which you can subscribe to, or have sent free if you are blind or partially sighted.
In this age of Twitter soundbites and instant internet wisdom, a Daily Word reading can remind us that Truth is often the result of a lifetime’s (or a generation’s) spiritual experience… In the meditation for Saturday March 24th, the words of Martin Luther King are quoted: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” How well and richly the writer lived to reach this conclusion! Here, in our latest video, is the whole reading for that day, as we contemplate the ancient and wise! mountain ranges of the Lake District.
If you have enjoyed this recording, why not consider taking out a subscription for the audio version of Daily Word, which is still offered at just £15 a month to subscribers – and is FREE for blind or visual impaired people. Please click here for more details.
In this special prayer and meditation section of the Friends Room we are offering a variety of Unity recordings to support your daily spiritual life.
Some years ago we presented on CD some very evocative meditations given by Francis Murray, a Unity Elder living in Northern Ireland. It seems a good moment to revivie these lovely recordings on the Friends Room page.
The third of Francis Murray’s Meditations, entitled The Dawn is a very affirmative recording, usuing visualisation to help the listener to directly encounter Spirt as ‘the good and the beautiful’ in our moment-by-moment experience of life….
Those of you with Windows PCs may like to know that it is possible to save all our audiofiles to your own computer as you listen to these downloads, by pressing together ‘control’+’s’ as you listen. This way you can listen to the meditations again and again without needing to be on the internet.
Every month Unity Maidenhead holds its popular Fellowship Service which features prayers, meditations, talks & singing., For some time we have included recordings of important events such as the Burning Bowl Service or the Unity Carol Service. However here at the Friends Room visitors can view regular monthly recordings throughout the year so that, wherever you live, you can begin to feel a real part of the fellowship life of Unity.
Unity’s February Sacred Circle used the simplicity of a Daily Word reading on Faith to provide the focus for prayers, meditation and reflection. Paul Mapletoft gave a very thoughtful talk, following the Daily Word reading; and there was also some very beautiful singing. During this service we were joined by several online viewers from around the UK, via our new website live stream. This is becoming a very important part of our Monthly Sacred Circle gatherings. If you haven’t yet joined us, why not give it a try? This YouTube recording lasts around 30 minutes:
Tom Thorpe is a very popular figure in Unity here in the UK, although he lives in the US: a Unity Writer, Teacher and Minister based in Unity Village for many years. For a number of years he has visited Unity here in the UK, giving talks and leading services. As part of a new archive talk series, we are going to present here Tom’s very first UK classes, Lessons of Jesus, given way back in 2006 at the St Annes Retreat. The audio quality of these early recordings is not brilliant, but Tom’s spirit, wisdom and wit come shining through.
In his second talk Tom takes a close look at three well known gospel parables, including the famous Samaritan story. Taking us behind the surface of the tale, and also beyond conventional moralising about Jesus’ teachings, Tom offers some powerful insights into human life and human nature. As always this talk is also peppered with humour, so be prepared to smile a lot as you listen.
Click on the link to listen, this talk lasts around 30 minutes:
As many Friends Room members will know, Rev. John Wingfield was Unity Minister at Unity Maidenhead some years ago, returning to his home in the US in 2007. A very popular, warm and friendly figure at Unity services, retreats and Celebration Days, John was also greatly valued for his personal reflections on ‘living the Unity life’. We are so delighted therefore that John is now contributing from the States his regular ‘Letter from America’ to the Unity Friends Room, containing thoughts and feelings about Unity Living from across the Atlantic Ocean….
In the wake of the tragic shooting in Florida, John has sent us a second Letter for Spring 2018, taking a long hard look at America’s gun culture and the spiritual imperative which is to move past violence and retribution by embracing the spiritual principles of non-violence. His words are of course not just confined to one nation and one people – but apply to all of us…
With the Lent season upon us it seemed a good moment to explore what websites there are which offer prayer support on a daily basis. If you are not a Catholic you will probably never have visited the website of the Benedictine Monks at Ampleforth in Yorkshire.
However if you do explore their site you will find that they offer daily live streamed services. The Services are part of the ancient Divine Office much of which is in the form of traditional hymns and chants, the sung psalms, especially are very beautiful. NB you don’t have to be a Catholic to get spiritual nourishment out of these daily services, which is why they are open for all.
If you want the actual link to Atlanta click here.
Our latest musical offering comes to us by chance. Recently we were sifting through some Unity videos in search of a good ‘thought for the week’ when we came across this lovely version of ‘Make me a Channel of Your Peace’ sung by Isabel Compton during the closing service at 2016’s St Annes Retreat. Isabel is ably accompanied by Dorothy Kirkman and what a beautiful musical duo they make!
As part of the Friends Room’s video offerings we present here a regular TV magazine programme letting you know about all that is going on in Unity here in Maidenhead (headquarters of Daily Word and Silent Unity) and beyond.
Our Spring 2018 of the Unity Magazine, focusses on our new retreat programme for the year. Also Kimerie Mapletoft, UM’s presenter, discusses the success of our new live online daily services. The programme lasts around five minutes:
The Friends Room is excited to present over the next few months complete audio recordings of an ancient Medieval spiritual text, The Cloud of Unknowing, which many see as an important source for today’s practices of contemplative spirituality. Written by an anonymous monk in the fourteenth century it is a series of profound reflections on the nature of our mysterious connection with God, based, the writer affirms, not on will or conscious intellect, but on the deeper ‘cloud of unknowing’ within the intuitive part of our being.
Wikipedia in its introduction to this amazing book, writes: The underlying message of this work suggests that the way to know God is to abandon consideration of God’s particular activities and attributes, and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of “unknowing”, at which point one may begin to glimpse the nature of God…
We continue our month by month serialisation of this audiobook with Chapters 31-35, read by David Barnes for the public service audiobook website, Librivox.
Month by month in the Friends Room we are highlighting the life and work of some of our Unity elders in the UK and beyond. We can learn much from books, listening to spiritual discussions, joining in meditations – but there is something special about those small jewels of everyday personal experience shared directly between us…
Normally in this slot we highlight the life and work of Unity people. But on this occasion we are offering Friends Room visitors the chance to watch a profile film on the place where Unity began, Unity Village in the US, made in 2009:
This place in the Unity Friends room is your space! Here we plan to put contributions from Unity people around the country whether it be personal prayers or reflections; poems or songs; pictures or drawings! We invite contributions, preferably by email (see below). But you can also put contributions in the post, if you prefer, or even record your poems, prayers or reflections (not too long!) onto the Silent Unity prayerline or office voicemail.
Our Unity Photographer June Daniel has found yet another beetle to photograph, this one bright red busily feeding off the piece of winter greenery!
This is how June described the creature to us in her letter: “this is one of God’s mini-miracles… nothing to the naked eye, but when blown up colours were truly amazing…”
Do you have a photograph which you treasure because it has had a special spiritual impact on your life? Why not send us a copy and a few short words to describe its place in your life.
A very resourceful and imaginative Unity member, Mark Halbert, has recently sent us a poem he wrote way back in his college days in the nineteen eighties. It is a richly evocative piece, called Magic Moon….
Mark has also set up a Unity group in the Nottingham area, so if you live in that part of the world and would like to join why not contact him? His details are on the back page of the latest Daily Word.