Welcome to 2022. For many it has been another challenging year. Yet, as we leave 2021 behind, we can know that together, we are stronger, wiser, happier and healthier.
Unity has proved this in many ways – not least with Daily Word and our prayer ministry, which supports so many in the UK and around the world.
As we reflect on the year gone by, perhaps we have learned more about ourselves: What works in our lives, what does not; how we can support ourselves with kindness and compassion, so that we are able to respond more positively to what is happening in the world and in us.
This may mean we have found ways to support our mental and physical care, as well as our spiritual care. If we did not know before the pandemic began, we know now, how important this is, for everyone.
One thing is for sure – there is always hope, often found through the beauty of nature around us, when we look for it. As this time of writing, we have a glorious sunset of oranges and pinks against the deep blue of the sky. My soul is lifted, through this simple gift.
Because there is hope, we can remember that we are never alone. Whatever we need, we can tune into God-Presence: To open to the deep experience that every need is met and we are loved more than we could ever know. Here is our faith and our joy.
At the turn of the year, and the beginning of longer days and more light, we naturally think about what we want to experience, learn, or know more deeply. For me, there is a definite pull to experience even more mental and emotional peace – to move beyond the thinking, critical mind. For here, I find true peace, joy, fulfilment, and ways to more deeply live and serve in our world.
I also recognise that my greatest joy throughout the pandemic has been all the ways we have connected – on Zoom and finally in person at our summer retreat and Christmas Service.
My desire in Unity is to keep this energy and experience alive and grow it even more. In 2022 we have lots planned – study classes, home retreats, in-person retreats, online workshops. As well as continuing our daily online meetings, which you can also dial into with your landline or mobile phone if you do not have access to the internet.
We can connect in many ways. This is our call. It is my call.
This New Year, I invite you to make this commitment to yourself:
We use affirmative and loving thoughts and prayers, and we learn to still the mind and access Divine Heart/Mind in the silence.
From this deeper experience of connection, we move forward with right action, able to encourage others to know that they, too, are beautiful, worthy, and loved.
It is only together that we can really wake up to our beautiful, joyful, creative selves, and be the divine Self we came here to be.
Join us on the journey – we are here and we celebrate the Divine You.
Rev. Kimerie Mapletoft
The importance of self-care within spiritual community.
Our faith in God, the Presence that we reside within, is something that keeps us stronger, healthier and peaceful. However, even with faith, there are times when we feel pushed to the limit, completely outside of our comfort zone, afraid of what is going on around or within us.
This is when it is so important to turn to our spiritual community for affirmative prayer and support. Mental health has really come to the fore through lock-down; and prayer is such a powerful resource and tool, to develop and use.
Perhaps the most important step is learning not to make anything wrong, including ourselves!
When we can surrender our judgements of what we think should be happening, or how we should respond, we make space for Divine wisdom and love, comfort and care. We discover we can see the way forward and take the steps that are ours, with renewed clarity, authority and faith.
The first step in prayer is release: To let go of judgements, or ask for help in letting go, is to make way for the flow of Divine life, love and wisdom, eternally present.
None of us like feeling alone or isolated, so it is very important that we reach out to others who will not judge us, but listen, support, encourage and uplift us. This is where Silent Unity, our prayer ministry, can really help.
We pray affirmatively, listening with love and compassion, then inviting the caller to come together to connect with God’s love, guidance, life and peace, that is here in our midst.
Prayer is such a powerful tool – it connects us with each other and with God. Perhaps this is what is needed more than ever: To know that we are part of something greater than ourselves that is, for us, loving, compassionate, understanding, non-judgemental and actively present to bring forth the highest good for everyone.
To connect with Silent Unity in confidential prayer and pray in person with our fully trained volunteers:
Call: 01628 628916
Write: 10 Lake End Court, Taplow Road, Taplow, Bucks, SL6 0JQ
Silent Unity is here to pray with you – to see the Christ energy being born in all of us anew as we move into this New Year. Together let us honour each other, love each other and celebrate all the ways that God as good is being born in us, and in our world.
Rev. Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK
I am blessed to know a wise man that, after a difficult first half of his life, has now been living and breathing a quietly spiritual path for many decades. He is a friend and mentor. This week we were discussing the pitfalls of being overly self-focussed, and he shared with me one way that he guards against this tendency. He recalls a famous speech that President Kennedy made, where he said,
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
My friend then adapts this phrase to any situation in which he is becoming overly obsessed with his own needs, or when reviewing his day ahead. I like this practical idea. It is the antidote to my all-too human self-centredness.
‘Ask not what my day can give to me, but what I can give to my day.’
This approach may be useful as we head into the festive period with all the demands on our time, and family events that might not be all that we would wish!
More than this, at the heart of such an ‘other-focused’ attitude is surely one of the deepest expressions of Love. As St Francis said, ‘it is in self-forgetting that I find’.
And yet, paradoxically, I cannot truly give love if I have no sense of self-care, if I am living from a place of low self-esteem and fear, which lurk deep beneath all self-centredness.
Authentic Love arises from a deep, quiet inner knowing of our own worth as spiritual beings. In our purest essence, we are beings of Light who are gently, powerfully, and unconditionally loved by God.
Nothing we can do or say, neither our failures nor our successes will change this beautiful truth.
When we know, in the deep-most part of ourselves, that we are completely loved and accepted just as we are, then we will begin to radiate this outwards, naturally, to others.
Deeper still, we know again, in this present moment, that we are One with God.
God is Love
I am One with Love
I am Love
Long term Unity member
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Join us for our Advent programme.
Being with each other on Zoom has become a joyful part of my practice of being peace.
Today's Unity Advent reading by Rev Evin Wilkins (A Christmas to Remember) includes the peaceful image of resting in a hammock in the summer breeze. We are given the affirmation " I remember the peace of God is available in any season".
As I read these words today I thought about how when we rest in a hammock we are held and supported. There is nothing we need to do in that moment.
You might like to use this image and take a moment out of your day to connect with this feeling of peace and being held and supported.
We are meeting every day to read our Advent Booklet together on zoom. Please do join us at 9am Monday- Saturday (10am on Sundays) and 8.30pm Monday-Sundays all on zoom.
Click here for more details
-Ruth Humphreys, Daily Word UK Editor
Picture credit: Angelina Kichukova on Unsplash
Unity in the UK