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 image of a flowing stream is at the heart of our Monthly Prayer Service for June. Whether it be healing or guidance, strength or abundance we are searching for in our lives, we invariably find it by remaining open and present to the Divine flow… This YouTube recording lasts around fifteen minutes:
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.
Sometimes a Daily Word reading will remain vivid and memorable because there is one telling phrase or image which sticks powerfully in our mind. Our Daily Word reflection for June 28th, is just such an example. Focussing on the power of silence, the writer talks of the silence of winter and the silence of the galaxies, which hold such promise of things to come. Silence, as the reading concludes, is a ‘field of infinite possibilities’. Here is the whole reflection, red beautifully as always by Ken Bradley.
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 the Unity archive and takes us back to the Unity World Conference of 1995 in Birmingham, where various Unity leaders and teachers led meditations with conference members. In the following recording, Jane Poulson uses the Daily Word reading for that day (a rather wonderful text on the Christ within) as the basis for a short but evocative meditation exercise, which we invite you to join, 23 years on from that day in August 1995!
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.
May’s Sunday Service took the form of a sacred circle where we joined for prayer, meditation, song and reflection. Paul Mapletoft gave a talk inspired by the Daily Word reading for that day (20th May) taking as his theme the affirmation, ‘In truth I cannot fail’ The YouTube recording of this simple, yet prayerful and reverent service lasts around 20 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 third and final 2006 talk Tom continues to focus on the parables of Jesus and what story they tell to us today, as they relate to our relationships with Spirit, the world, and ourselves…. Each of these talks begins with a song, Rejoice! which sums up the life and light which Tom’s presentations always kindle in our hearts.
Click on the link to listen, this talk lasts 60 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….
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….
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 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…
For our latest Unity Profiles slot we are offering you the chance to listen again to a lovely sharing of Unity experience we recorded some years ago between three Unity elders, Carran Stephens, Glenya Watkins, and Margaret Kennedy (who sadly passed on last year), while they were attending the Briery Retreat in 2015 – if you are interested in visiting the very beautiful Briery retreat centre in Yorkshire, note that there are still places available for the retreat to be held at the end of August this year. Click here for more details.
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 and she recently sent us another, taken from her bedroom window. Despite the face that June has health challenges she still manages to keep her photography even from her own bed! And this is what she wrote about the image we present below: “not having been out so much recently…. the variety of skyscapes outside my window never cease to amaze me, no two skies are ever the same…. God’s majesty….”
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.
We have recently received a poetry submission from Chris Roe in the form of two short but very evocative and mysterious pieces, exploring the place of Spirit in our lives. We are very pleased and honoured to present these beautiful poems here:
One 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: