Life is changing rapidly on our planet and the ways in which we connect with you, our readers and callers, must change too. In the world there is an excitement about future possibilities, technology and easier ways of connecting and helping each other. And there is fear because as we step into the unknown, disruption and chaos often come before the growth and peace. We are witnessing this in the world and in Unity we want to find ways to better serve you and the changing life on this planet.
These thoughts were very much in my mind when I recently travelled to the US to attend Unity’s Annual Convention, held in Kansas City. I was privileged to join with Unity ministers and leaders from the US and around the world, all of us eager to get updates on what is happening in Unity and how better we can serve our Unity churches, groups and supporters.
There were several specific questions in my mind as I joined the conference on its first day:
– How do we better connect with people who want to develop themselves and their abilities within a spiritual setting?
– How can we better help people deepen their relationship with God using the technology of today?
– How do we make Unity fun, real, meaningful and experiential?
How amazing it would be, I thought, to incorporate these ideas into our work as we continue to build a spiritual community here in the UK: A community that connects and empowers us, transforming our selves and therefore our world. Because, let’s face it, Unity has always been at the forefront of change. Charles Fillmore was one of the first people to use the radio to reach people around the world with his message of faith: That the power of God is within each of us to heal, prosper, guide and transform. Unity’s message then was empowering. And Unity continues to look at how we can change and grow as we evolve our thinking into the Oneness language we use today.
Well, the conference was jam-packed with uplifting and inspiring energy. There was music from the amazing musicians, Spiritus; ministers who shared how they have successfully worked with their churches and groups; workshop seminars sharing new ways in which we can serve and empower our groups today, and much discussion on how the future may evolve and our role within it.
Thus, several important themes quickly emerged as the conference began:
- Yes life is indeed changing dramatically and these changes are expected to continue even more rapidly in the future.
- Being authentic and real in all our communications is extremely important. Our goal is not simply to teach, but to build empathy for others and so support our communities emotionally as well as spiritually.
- Unity is focusing on ‘oneness’ within its organisation so we may be authentic in how we connect in ‘oneness’ with the world.
- The younger community especially are connected to the latest ‘cloud’ technology and therefore we need to better use and understand it to support and enable people in their quest for spiritual connections.
- It is vital that when we do these new things, we continue to provide good pastoral care in a safe environment.
- Beyond this, we are being encouraged to connect more broadly with other communities and looking to greener ways to live.
Right now we have our traditional methods connecting with you via letter, telephone and email. We also use Zoom software to live-stream our prayer meetings to anyone anywhere, and we encourage involvement with a two-way video connection so that online visitors to our events can be involved and contribute in a very real way. And finally of course we have our wonderful Silent Unity prayer ministry and our printed material including Daily Word which we post around the UK.
However I believe it is time to evolve in the ways we serve. We embrace the new, while we continue to serve in the ways we have always done. I brought the excitement, ideas and inspiration from the conference back with me and it has inspired me to share this question with you, the reader:
Is there something you would like to experience with us, through a medium we have not yet used with you?
This could be:
– Pod casting
– Crowd sourcing
– Facebook live meetings and discussions
– Something else?
If there is anything you would like to experience with us – and do you have concrete suggestions as to how we might do this? Whatever your thoughts, we would love to hear from you. Our strong desire is to serve authentically, compassionately, wisely and in the best way we can.
Let us think outside the box together. Let’s get excited about the possibilities before us and within us now. Let’s be authentic and real together. Let’s make a difference by being the change we wish to be. And you can begin by emailing your thoughts and ideas – we look forward to hearing from you.
Bless you for all you do and will do, with Unity in the UK.