Some of you may already be subscribing to our free weekly Thought for the Week email which provides an inspiring Unity reflection for every week of the year. As a tribute to this, we celebrate here for the Friends Room a Thought for the Week classic, taken from the Unity archives, featuring a short, memorable wisdom from the past – but one which will be just as fresh and relevant today.
Occasionally in our browsing of the Unity sound archive we come across something very special. Here is Rev. David Davenport – who for good reason so often features on this page! – speaking about what recovering alcoholics call a ‘rock bottom’ or a ‘jumping off point’ – that moment when we seem completely powerless over the pain and confusion in our lives, and then suddenly we reach out to Spirit for help and all is transformed… David’s description is very memorable and comes so freshly to us now, despite the decades that have passed since he spoke them at a Unity retreat:
Moments of Surrender
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 March is led by Ruth Humphreys, our UK Daily Word editor; and as always features Silent Unity’s Monthly Prayer Guide (see below) as well as periods of silence for your own prayer and meditation. We invite you to join with us by clicking on the link below, then you can either watch the video, or simply close your eyes and listen, becoming part of our daily prayer time….
You may also wish to download a text document of our latest 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:
Silent Unity Prayer Service March 2019
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.
Our Daily Word choice for March is the very last day of the month, Sunday the 31st – and the reflection dwells on that ‘day of rest’ in the Genesis creation cycle, suggesting that it is so important that we too take time to pause in the busy rush of modern life to dwell in spirit, reviie, refresh, reawaken…
In this short video, Ken Bradley’s lovely reading is accompanied by a moment of stillness on Caldey island, West Wales. The building in the distance is the old monastery which stood there for many many sabbaths through history:
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.
We have so many recordings in our sound archives, including lots of meditations, that it is easy to forget how evocative and richly rewarding some of them are. This new choice therefore came by chance as we were sampling some of these past audios. It dates back to the summer of 2011 and is a meditation led by one of Unity’s famous elders, Margaret Felbah-Kyeme, who has given Silent Unity such wonderful support over the years. Margaret has a very special and very spiritual presence which makes this celebratory and envisioning meditation all the more memorable – but we should end with a warning: Margaret’s meditation time ends with some loud and robust Unity singing! This recording lasts around 20 minutes.
Unity Maidenhead’s ‘Peace Seat’ as it was in 2011 at Unity Centre garden, Boyne Hill.
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. Of course not many people are able to join us in Maidenhead regularly each month but here at the Friends Room everyone can now have a chance to taste these lovely occasions via a highlights video on YouTube where you can begin to feel a real part of the fellowship life of Unity.
March’s Sunday Service is something we very proudly present as, unusually, it is led by Nancy Sandoval and features a talk by Beth O’Connell. Beth and Nancy are both current Unity students, training to be Unity licenced teachers and this event is in fact part of their training. The opportunity for their wonderful participation was offered as Kimerie Mapletoft, who normally leads our services, is away on holiday. This audio edited version on YouTube lasts around 40 minutes:
Delving again into the Unity South Archive we find another insightful talk by David Davenport entitled, ‘The Cost of Living’, as it deals with those times in our lives when there is a cost to be faced as we meet the challenge to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually. As always David’s words both instruct and entertain and he has one very funny story to tell about a GP, faced with the highs and lows of his profession…
David’s talk lasts around 30 minutes.
David Davenport in 1975 at Unity Fairfax, during his very early years of Unity Ministry in the US
The Cost of Living
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 his Letter from America for Spring 2019, John reflects on the need to find that place of peace, harmony and inner truth in our often troubling modern world. Unity has always prized prayer and meditation, but some think that this is just an escape from reality. So how exactly can we make prayer and contemplation honest and practical in these challenging times? John as always honestly faces the issues and comes up with answers tested both by history and the timeless truth of the human heart….
Do we seek places of peace as something real, or just as a form of denial and escape?
Letter from America Spring 2019
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.
Last month we featured the main Unity Village website in the US, which of course has so much to offer the internet browser. However it is easy to forget that there are a number of independent Unity Centre websites throughout the States, not least Unity of Independence Missouri which is led by a very familiar figure in the UK, Rev. Tom Thorpe. So why not visit Tom’s church website and get a taste of all that they do over there amongst Missouri’s rolling hills. To go to Tom’s site simple click on his cheerful smiling face!
Occasionally we receive an email with a difference here at Unity. We had not heard of Laura Topper until her message arrived at our Inbox a month or so ago. Laura wanted us to listen to a piece of music, which we did.
Would we like to spread the word about this thoughtful, yet delightfully engaging song? Yes we would! And so here it is.
Laura’s songs, she tells us, are all inspired by the deep knowing that she has gained as a Religious Science Practitioner, based in Brighton UK. . As a new thought singer songwriter she continues to grow and teach life principles to children and adults.
Jason Salmon a healing musician and didjeridu player, creates and performs with Laura and together they share their songs to awaken hearts to love and beauty.
Return to Love
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 Video Newsletter for March focuses on our preparations for Lent, including distribution of our very popular Lent booklet, ‘Fasting and Feasting’. As this title suggests, Unity’s vision of the Lenten period includes not just the traditional sense of measured reflectiveness and sobriety – but also the implication that we are also, in this process, celebrating our spiritual nature. This latest YouTube video lasts around six 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 61-65, read by David Barnes for the public service audiobook website, Librivox.
61 – The One and Sixtieth Chapter – That all bodily thing is subject unto ghostly thing, and is ruled thereafter by the course of nature and not contrariwise.
62 – The Two and Sixtieth Chapter – How a man may wit when his ghostly work is beneath him or without him, and when it is even with him or within him, and when it is above him and under his God.
63 – The Three and Sixtieth Chapter – Of the powers of a soul in general, and how Memory in special is a principal power, comprehending in it all the other powers and all those things in the which they work.
64 – The Four and Sixtieth Chapter – Of the other two principal powers Reason and Will; and of the work of them before sin and after.
65 – The Five and Sixtieth Chapter – Of the first secondary power, Imagination by name; and of the works and the obedience of it unto Reason, before Sin and after.
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 the second part of our recent interview with Rev. Vernon Thomas a very experienced, warm and popular Unity Minister, whose association with Unity London goes back many years. In this segment, Vernon talks about his ministry in the UK after returning from Unity Village in the States, speaking movingly of his work as a spiritual counsellor, supporting others in their spiritual journey.
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.
As we move into 2019 we continue with June Daniel’s spiritually evocative photographic contributions to Unity.
This is how June describes the taking of the above snapshot, sent to us recently: “I came across this photo taken some years back but the impact it had on me still amazes me. At the time friends were kindly reading me messages on the phone as I was not able to get to the church or read much.
“One Saturday morning a friend left a poem about a kingfisher which had the line, ‘a flash of inspiration’. The next day, Sunday evening, I was just switching on Songs of Praise and I looked across to the flats opposite and saw to my complete amazement the cross as shown in the photo.
“It literally was there for just a few minutes, enough time for me to crab my camera and take this photo. I felt very much that God was saying to me that I didn’t have to be in a church to find him….”
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!
Privacy and Cookies Policy
© 2019 Unity UK. All rights reserved | Sitemap | Web design WPNS