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.
Our latest choice features some eloquent words by Dorothy Pierson, whose spiritual talks and recordings were very popular half a century ago. Here, in this YouTube video, she reflects on how the amazing richness and connectedness of life reflects the presence of the ‘that one Power and Purpose…’
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 November, led by Rev. Kimerie Mapletoft, focuses on peace not just in antithesis to conflict situations or restlessness of the heart, but as a powerful and positive state of mind and being that brings us ever closer to god. You will notice that we always have a candle burning in our prayer services and we invite you to light a candle as you pray and focus on its calm flame as the inspiration for this special form of ‘Peace that passes all understanding’….
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 September 2018
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 November is Tuesday November 13th, with its simple yet memorable affirmation, ‘I find joy in the journey’. So often in our modern world we become obsessed with goals and targets; and this particular Daily Word reading is a very important reminder that we need to stay in the moment, enriching our lives with an awareness of all that is happening right now as we continue our journey through life. Fittingly, the images in this YouTube video document a restful walk through springtime woodlands upwards towards sunny mountain slopes:
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.
For our latest meditation we go back over thirty years ago to an archive recording, and a Divine Order Meditation led by Rev James Sherman whose archive recording on ‘The Law of Opposites’ we are featuring below in archive talk section. Jim Sherman was a charismatic Unity speaker in his day and this meditation gently and beautifully led. We are sure you will find peace and inspiration from it …
Meditation on Divine Order
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.
Our Sunday Service for October attracted six online visitors from around the UK, testifying to the growing importance of live streaming as part of our Unity Ministry. Rev Kimerie Mapletoft led the service and gave a very insightful talk on the ‘I Am’ statements made by Jesus in the Gospels – and how we can interprete them today as empowering us in our everyday lives. The service also featured Ken Bradley, with a lively interpretation of the Daily Word reflection for that day; meditations; and a beautiful recitation of James Dillet Freeman’s poem ‘I am There’ by Patricia Rosser.
This YouTube video features an audio recording of the highlights of the service and lasts around 30 minutes. .
Jim Sherman may not be a very familiar name to us, however as the senior Minister at Unity Church Toronto for a number of years in the eighties and nineties, he was held in especial esteem, not least for his skills as a teacher and speaker.
In this archive recording he deals with a subject not often treated in any great depth in Unity – although it is perhaps the most challenging of spiritual topics: the place of ‘good and evil’ in our lives and daily experience. Jim Sherman’s words encourage us to face truths which perhaps we sometimes may choose to push away. A Vietnam war veteran, he has reason to know that even the ugliest reality needs sometimes to be faced.
Rev. James Sherman
It may sound strange, but out of this uncomfortable stance, Jim Sherman produces a memorable and indeed an inspiring talk which we strongly encourage you to experience for youselves. The talk lasts around 30 minutes.
Law of Opposites
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 from America for Autumn 2018 is, as usual, vividly atmospheric in its description of his daily life in Washington State. And yet this is set against the background of those ominous global changes which now seem to impact on so many aspects of our lives around the world.
Using the simple image of the ‘Spotted Duck’, seen on a recent trip to the countryside, John explores those new challenges, as we are confronted by a different order of injustice and inequality, created in our twenty first century high tech world. Where does it leave the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the disabled? This is a letter you must read!
Letter from America – Fall 2018
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.
Traveling across the many narrow paths and bi-ways of the internet recently, we discovered an intriguing public service website called the Dictionary of Spiritual Terms. In Unity we often use the word Love – but if you are fascinated to know exactly what a Greek word for love, ‘agape’, means in the Bible; or wonder how Platonists define the word ‘eros’ (yet another word for love!), then this is the web page for you.
Simply click on the religion you are interested and scroll down the page to visit all the key terms used by their devotees. We are sure you will find this website both illuminating and intriguing. Click on the following image to be taken to its home page:
Vigorous and robust (though not always tuneful) singing has been a keynote of Unity Services and other gatherings over the years. And there is nobody who sings with more vigour and robustness than Tom Thorpe – and we should add that his voice, very accomplished, is also always in tune!
Here he is instructing his audience at a Chadwick retreat a decade a go on a rendition of that lovely spiritual air, ‘This is the Day that the Lord has Made.’
This is the Day
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.
Watch this space for our next Unity Video newsletter for November/December 2018, which will feature details of all our preparations for this very important Advent and Christmas season. Coming soon!
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 46-50, read by David Barnes for the public service audiobook website, Librivox.
46 – The Six and Fortieth Chapter – A good teaching how a man shall flee these deceits, and work more with a listiness of spirit, than with any boisterousness of body.
47 – The Seven and Fortieth Chapter – A slight teaching of this work in purity of spirit; declaring how that on one manner a soul should shew his desire unto God, and on ye contrary unto man.
48 – The Eight and Fortieth Chapter – How God will be served both with body and with soul, and reward men in both; and how men shall know when all those sounds and sweetness that fall into the body in time of prayer be both good and evil.
49 – The Nine and Fortieth Chapter – The substance of all perfection is nought else but a good will; and how that all sounds and comfort and sweetness that may befall in this life be to it but as it were accidents.
50 – The Fiftieth Chapter – Which is chaste love; and how in some creatures such sensible comforts be but seldom, and in some right oft.
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 third and final installment, Patricia talks about another very important part of her life, exploiting her creative talents as both a singer and, most recently, a writer of spiritually arresting and also highly witty and entertaining poetry…
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’:
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!
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