Let’s Celebrate Life
This theme for our summer festive gathering at Unity Maidenhead, 17th July, is exciting us, as we plan to be together at last in person again. So much has made our lives feel difficult, and for many this continues, so it can sometimes almost feel wrong to celebrate life.
Our primary role here at Silent Unity and Daily Word UK headquarters, is to hold all people in our hearts and prayers, supporting each one who is struggling and feels alone, through affirmation and faith. For we know that in the midst of all chaos, all challenges and distractions, God is here. This is always worth celebrating. For when we know this, we experience the greater good that is God here in, through, for and as us all.
Further, as Eric Butterworth, Unity author and minister, writes beautifully in his book, ‘Celebrate Yourself’:
“It has been said: When the ties that bind the mind are broken and a person is introduced to his real self that has no limitations, the bells of heaven ring for joy. This is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “… it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). As the universe rushes and streams into you from all sides, it is a veritable cosmic celebration of ecstasy. It could be said, and should be, that you are the universe celebrating yourself as you.”
As a Unity friend from Yorkshire says, ‘WOW! Wonder of wonders!’ Take a moment and read the paragraph again. What a totally different way to view life and live our lives, from the way most of us have been brought up.
So, just as the Queen celebrates 70 years on the throne, (and we are celebrating a 4-day bank holiday weekend, thank you, God) let us also celebrate the wonderful human and spiritual beings we are.
As Unity always encourages us, let us find ways to live the truth we know, let our light shine and help others know how beautiful they are too.
There is a lot going on on this planet we call home. However, every experience and person is calling us ever higher in our thinking and living. The invitation is to awaken to our True Self and be the activity of Pure Awareness in our own unique way.
Of course, this has always been so. But, with so much showing us what is not working in our world, we have lots of opportunities to live and share what does work. It comes back to us, for, as one of my favourite sayings goes: if not now, when; if not you, who?
So … How can you celebrate life? What joy and laughter, beauty and creativity do you bring to the world? For you do. What unique and amazing ways does God show up as you? Yes, you!
Let us celebrate together at our summer events in Unity this year. We are worth celebrating.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK
As we move out of Lent into Spring and Summer, we are busy, here at Unity UK, preparing our summer events as we arrange to be together again in person, not least at our Unity retreats and celebration days.
Everything we do, whether online or face-to-face, is designed to support and enable us, as human and spiritual beings. Where do we begin? By practising the presence of God.
How? We practice affirmative prayer and stillness, turning our attention to the One Presence, God, out of which all life is formed. ‘The One’ is to be experienced within us ( “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10) as well as around us in life and nature. Yet getting still can be hard when we lead busy lives, when we are struggling with challenges, or in pain.
This is where our prayer ministry, Silent Unity, and its devotional booklet, Daily Word, support us, reminding us that whatever we are experiencing, God as our good is always here in our midst. Although it may not feel like it, our challenges (or suffering as Buddha described it) are in our lives to remind us to focus once more on God as our love, life, wisdom and good judgement. This helps us to stop making people or situations wrong in our minds, so we can come to know our oneness with God more fully, in ourselves and each other. (“The Father and I are one.” John 10:30). Now we are more able, with compassion, kindness and courage, to live from this awareness; and to learn to focus on what is good and perfect and true, rather than changeable, uncertain or frightening.
This goodness is within us, not as a separate identity but as our True Self, our awakened Christ awareness. My practice is to be as present in each moment as much as I can: to my body and emotions and to the ground beneath my feet. Being present, without the critical mind, helps me connect with the Ground of Being, Pure Awareness. I have made space for God and can experience my true nature. Now I can take right action, for me and life around me.
This is an ongoing practice – something to practice each day. We all need help and support with this for we are not supposed to struggle alone. Here at Unity we believe in the power of spiritual community. Because of lockdown, many found their way to our online services, and a deep, abiding experience of family and connection has grown. This continues through our morning and midday prayer and meditation services, as well as our monthly service and weekly evening meditation.
However, what we are now getting excited about is being able to come together in person again:
Until then, I encourage the practice of loving kindness – to yourselves first and then to those around you. Face your challenges with compassion, courage and kindness for you are not alone. Further, recognise that when we experience something as wrong, we are being invited to respond with authenticity and integrity to our own right action – what can we do to help bring more love and wisdom into each situation?
Then, when challenges seem to strike, reach out to our prayer ministry. We are here to listen, support, love and reconnect with God here in our midst. As we are reminded in Matthew 18: 20, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Have a beautiful Spring. We look forward to being with you soon.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Another important facet is making this process practical. In Unity we practise different techniques to help us ‘release our inner splendour’, as Robert Browning wrote. To live the truth we know, we use the teachings of Jesus as our guide and example. Historically, we have called our movement ‘Practical Christianity’. For we all need tools to support us, and spiritual community to connect within, so that we can become the change we seek. Jesus, who expressed the Christ energy, is the best example we know to follow.
At Easter, we celebrate this; and our Easter Service on Zoom is a great way to come together, to honour and give thanks for the Christ energy we are learning to express and live more effectively.
During the pandemic, our online presence grew and expanded into a community of new friendships as we offered spiritual and practical support to help all of us through the challenges experienced. This is what Unity does best.
Now, having moved through lockdown, we can once more meet in person and offer opportunities to come and share the love, laughter and wisdom that we generate together.
We are delighted to hold two retreats this year, where we will move into subjects that will include:
- ‘Peace begins with me.’ We will share tools to practise experiencing deep peace within us, to then live and witness in the world.
- ‘The Father and I are one.’ These powerful words of Jesus, who knew the deep, abiding love of God, will guide us into this experience for ourselves. Instead of separation, we know connection, through which all healing happens.
- Many have found themselves in change and transition, often unexpected and difficult to deal with. Using the writings of Robert Brumet, Unity author and minister, we will share tools and practices to guide us through change, to live our full and true potential, individually and creatively.
- The practice of presence is perhaps the greatest teaching we can share. For Eckhart Tolle, Unity author and minister Jim Rosemergy, myself and many others, this is transformative.
- At our May retreat, we will focus on God’s grace that is ever giving, loving and welcoming us home. We will explore what this means to us: To awaken into our Divine Self and live more deeply from here.
- At our August retreat, we will look at tools and practices that free us from old beliefs about ourselves so we can truly know, and abundantly live, the truth that sets us free.
If any of this excites you, join us in London or Yorkshire on retreat. Still not sure? Check out the comments shared from previous retreats.
Any questions, email me
We are grateful for Unity and this spiritual community that we are building together. We invite you to dive in and join us and be part of it in any way that serves and supports you.
We offer our prayer ministry, Silent Unity that offers affirmative prayer that helps you awaken to the truth that you are.
We offer Daily Word, our bi-monthly devotional booklet, full of daily readings to inspire, encourage and support you on your spiritual journey.
We hold daily online meetings on zoom, to help us connect through prayer, meditation and stillness.
And monthly services, a book discussion group, retreats, workshops and much more.
The intention in all we do is to help us connect with our inner truth, our spiritual light, all that we came here to be, know and do together.
Find out more about Unity and our offerings here:
Have you noticed how you are changing? That you are responding to life in a different way, a more holistic way? I invite you to stop for a moment and think about this.
I believe that we are seeing this much more, through all the support and help being offered by many people so generously, in many different ways, as we respond to what is happening in our world. We are seeing how connected we all are, and how what happens in one part of the world impacts us all.
I believe that the light is coming into the world and impacting all of us. We are not waiting for one saviour but recognising we are the ones we have been waiting for.
It is up to us to allow ourselves to be changed in a positive way, for the light is coming in and through us and we are being changed.
Our role is to not resist the light and the changes, but run with them. This light, at a physical level and a spiritual level is changing us for the good.
The light is coming into the world, and the darkness cannot overcome it. (John1:5)
As we let the light change us, we also know that the light is changing others. We see war and fighting where this light is resisted. Some do not want change but want to revert back to the old ways of doing things. However change cannot be resisted and is happening.
Can each of us respond in a healing, wise and strong way, with whatever we see going on outside of us, so that the light shines as us, and we no longer see darkness.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK
We practice prayer in Unity as praying 'from the awareness of God', rather than to the experience of God that is seen outside of us.
This means, instead of praying for peace, that is seen as not here or visible and is somehow in the future, we connect with the 'peace that passes all understanding' that is right now within us.
Praying as peace, we extend the peace we know and recognise that is here within all people, no matter how they are living or what they are experiencing.
This is our focus in Unity. We are praying as strength and peace, in support of all the people of Ukraine, Russia and the neighbouring countries and we invite you to join us.
Let each of us be grounded in strength, grace and peace, and know this for everyone.
Let us also know divine light as our light that guides us, and now guides all the world leaders to come together as one, in strength and wisdom. Within us all lies this invincible power that is here equally for everyone.
Rev Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK
New to Daily Word? Order your free copy here.
In Unity's Daily Word Magazine, some of the Affirmations, the key words at the top of the page, are included every month, or at least in most months' issue of the magazine.
One of these slogans is 'Divine Order....I must have repeated it over, sometimes without giving a thought to what it means for me at that time.
But recently, I was wondering what to share about in these monthly Musings. I picked up an old Daily Word and found that I had marked a certain page with a paper-clip. The topic was Divine Order so I read it carefully and found that it relates Divine Order to those little Serendipities, the odd Coincidences that many of us experience from time to time....."
In this episode Rev. Ken Bradley, interfaith minster and Unity teacher, explores the concept of Divine order.
Seeing any form of violence in the world disturbs us, as it goes against the very nature of our being. Whether this is towards a country, as Ukraine is experiencing right now, or whether to an individual, animal or life on our planet, it is shocking, deeply sad and can generate anger and fear that in some situations can take us over.
I remember as a teenager walking our dog, Patter, in the park and seeing a man being violent to his pet Alsatian dog. I remember to this day how upset I was, not only to witness the violence, but also thinking that I could do nothing to protect and defend the animal, as I felt scared by the violence. In fact, that is what has stayed with me the most: My fear, anger and sadness at my inability to help.
I remember many years ago reading the WWI poem for my O’ Level English Lit exam, Dulce et Decorum est, by Wilfred Owen, and being dreadfully upset by the actions that human beings made at that time, on both sides of the trenches.
However, what I have come to realise is that whenever any stressful emotions arise in me, I must address them in me before I take any action, or decide not to take action. Any feelings of fear, anger and frustration at my seeing inability to do anything, must first be felt and acknowledged in me.
I do this by simply being present to the feelings that I feel in my body and not making anything wrong with my mind. By being the gentle witness to our own emotional pain, we can then take our own right action, for we find that the emotion, whatever it is, dissolves of itself, leading to a deeper inner peace. It is from this point of balance, harmony and peace that we can then take any steps we are guided to take.
This is the activity of Grace at work. For we are divine beings having human experiences. Not human beings striving to be perfect and getting upset when we do not experience this. It is a profound difference.
As we practise being present to what, in us, is in the way of peace and right action, we know what is ours to do and we can do it. This is what Jesus taught to those around him. The story of The Samaritan comes immediately to mind.
Right action can be in any form. Again, it is not about reacting because something is wrong, but responding from the inner point of balance and peace.
I believe action is required, even if it is simply addressing our own hidden violent thinking, for we live by example. Again, Jesus is the perfect example of this. Whatever happens to one person affects all of us. This is the human experience of being one with everything and with God. There is no hiding from this.
So perhaps, what is happening between Russia and Ukraine right now, is giving us, on a very personal level, the opportunity to heal our inner anger, fear or emotional pain. For as we each address this in us, the world will be changed.
Let us hold Ukraine and all world leaders in prayer. Let us affirm oneness, right action and peace in us and the world. And let us do this as a united front, together.
One of the joys I experienced in my early days of discovering Unity was the letters I received from Silent Unity. They always included a prayer card with an affirmation, or a pamphlet directly related to my prayer concern. I have accumulated quite a collection!
I re-read them from time to time, and I recently came across one with a lovely story about the love of God.
A father took his daughter to a raised level of land where they could stand and see both the ocean, and a lovely valley. He invited the girl to look up at the sky, down at the valley, out to the ocean, and finally all around her. As the young girl took in the landscape and the natural beauty, her father told her that God's love for us is "so high, so deep, and so wide." The girl's response was, "If God's love is so high, so wide and so deep, then we are living in the middle of it!"
The pamphlet is called In the Centre of Love, and I would invite you, for just a moment, to imagine being in the centre of unconditional love. What does it feel like? For me, in the moments when I can sit still and calm my mind, the whole outer world - including my body - disappears, and it is the closest I get to feeling One.
Eric Butterworth wrote that God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. It is comforting to know that at the centre of all, it is the power of love that sustains and supports us.
So in this month of February, when we celebrate Valentine's Day, people's thoughts turn to love. And when we hear Ike and Tina Turner sing "Do I love you, my oh my/ River deep, mountain high", let's rejoice for being in the centre of Divine Love!
"Do everything in love" - 1 Corinthians 16:14
Licensed Unity Teacher
Unity in the UK