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.
Our prayer service for August, recorded in the middle of the hot spell, seems to afford us a place of welcome peace and release. This month it is led by Ruth Humphreys, our Daily Word UK Editor! This edited version lasts around thirteen minutes with periods of silence for you own prayer work.
You may also wish to download a text document of this prayer service which you can use as you follow the service recording – or keep to use as the basis for your own daily prayers. Just 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 our conflict-choked world, the idea of world peace seems sometimes a very distant and elusive concept. However our Daily Word choice for August reminds us in a very simple and compelling way that we can take that tiny action in our own lives and see the ripples expand outward into the universe. And so, we can affirm for ourselves and the whole planet, ‘peace, be still….’
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.
Our latest Meditation comes from an old cassette recording by Dorothy Pierson, one of Unity Village’s renowned spiritual teachers. Dorothy’s delivery in this short recording has a simple but very intimate quality which will surely take you profoundly into the soul’s still centre, as if we are being drawn into those endless, hypnotic patterns made by the waves of the sea….
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.
The recording of the Sunday Service for July is rather longer than usual as it features a fascinating talk by Maggy Whitehouse, well known as a writer and teacher on Prosperity. Following a workshop she gave on that subject to Unity members a day earlier, Maggy for this service turned her attention to ‘Willfulness’ in all its forms – entitling her words, ‘My Will? – Thy Will?’
Richly informed by Maggy’s Biblical and historical research, this talk was both highly informative – and also lively and entertaining. It is given in full, in this YouTube recording – together with readings and meditations which formed the rest of our simple sacred circle service….
Our summer months are sometimes called the ‘silly season’ and it seems an appropriate time to choose an archive talk which is on a rather different subject than we might expect on the Unity Friends Room Page – fairy tales! This fascinating talk was given many years ago at a St Annes Retreat by the well respected Unity teacher and academic Ann Thoresby Parker.
Ann looks at three classic tales from the fairy tale tradition, exploring their hidden spiritual themes in terms of Unity ideas and practices. And we are sure you will find her reflections very stimulating!
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….
John’s Letter for June 2018 explores the many and varying paths leading us (depending on our faith tradition) to God, or Oneness or Spirit… No one dogma can ever encompass the Divine and in a really important sense each path can be as valid as the next… This is how John puts it.
In this section of the Friends Room we highlight Non-Unity websites we have come across which we feel might help you along your spiritual journey.
Visitors to this page will perhaps have been listening to the recordings of an ancient spiritual text – the Cloud of Unknowing – which many regard as a vital tool and inspiration for anyone interested in silent prayer and meditation.
Another ancient writer, also recommended for people wishing to discover within themselves ‘the peace that passes all understanding’ – is St John of the Cross. As a Medieval text it is of course heavily influenced by the traditional ideas of the time, but its spiritual insight is everywhere apparent. Both the Cloud of Unknowing and St John of the Cross emphasise the need to travel into the depths of our inner selves, away from the surface ego. “In this way the soul draws nearer and nearer to the Divine union, in darkness, by the way of faith which, though it be also obscure, yet sends forth a marvellous light. ” The Librivox free audiobook website features one of St John of the Cross’s most important texts which we recommend here:
Just click on the above image to reach their web page and start listening….
Back in this slot, by popular demand, we are delighted to present Gil Kirkman singing one of Unity’s favourite hymns, Surely the Presence. This recording was made at the Unity Birmginham ‘family gathering’ some years ago. And as you will hear at the end of Gil’s moving recital, was received with great enthusiasm.
Since re-presenting this lovely recording on the Friends Room we have learnt of the very sad passing of Gil. And so this recording now serves as a very fitting and very moving memorial. What wonderful gifts Gil offered to the world – and to Unity – through his long, rich life!
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 Unity Magazine for June 2018, highlights some of the lively summer offerings which we can look forward to over the next few months, including Unity’s much-loved Celebration Day in July. 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 41-45, 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…
Our latest Unity Profile is a person who will probably be very familiar to regular visitors to the Friends Room page. Patricia Rosser has been a regular contributor to the Friends Room MySpace section (see below) for her poems – but we could also mention her wonderful work as a narrator of Unity Audiobooks, notably Emilie Cady’s ‘Lessons in Truth’. However, as Patricia reveals in this entertaining interview, there are other dimensions to her Unity life…. In this first of two installments, Patricia talks about what brought her to Unity, a decade or more ago…
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.
June Daniel’s photographs often adorn our website, but just occasionally she sends us not just an image, but a text to go with it, revealing some fascinating insight into what thought or feeling inspires her work. In this short video, ‘Hanging by a Thread’, June explores a small, almost microscopic natural image she discovered during one of her walks in the countryside – which led to a spiritual insight large enough to cross the cosmos…
One of our regular contributors to the MySpace slot, Constance Beatson, has sadly been taken into hospital after a fall in her home.
We all wish her well for a speedy recovery, sending our prayers and blessings – and to remind everyone of Constance’s lovely Daily Word readings for Unity, here she is in a recent recording, reciting a lovely and very wise poem, ‘Just for Today’:
Do you have a photograph, or a video 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.
One other way you can contribute your own material to the Friends Room’s MySpace is to record something on your iPhone and upload it onto Youtube, if you send me (email@example.com) the link I can then put the recording onto this web-page. For technophobes, of course, the easiest way is still probably to put something onto our Unity voicemail. But however you want to contribute, keep your ideas coming!
If you are enjoying all that the new Friends Room offers Unity members in the UK, why not support is now with a donation: