We Honor Diversity
Diversity encompasses complex differences in perspectives, identity, and points of view among individuals who make up the wider community. Diversity includes important and interrelated dimensions of human identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and age. These differences are important to understand but they cannot be used to predict any individual's values, choices or responses.
The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1890 as a healing ministry based on the power of prayer and the power of our thoughts to create our own reality. The Fillmores regarded Jesus as the great example rather than the great exception; interpreted the Bible metaphysically; and taught that God is present within all of us.
Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore believed that by accepting each other we expand our spiritual consciousness. Today, more than 100 years later, Unity is still dedicated to helping ALL people discover a positive path for spiritual living.
The Unity movement is open and welcoming of all individuals regardless of race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation.
The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are:
- God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
- We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
- We create our life’s experiences through our way of thinking.
- There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our awareness of God.
- Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Unity teaches that all people are created with sacred worth and that no one exists outside the heart of God. Its basic principles state that God is Good, and because all people exist within God, they also are inherently good.
To reflect its inclusiveness, Unity issued a formal Statement of Diversity in 1995:
“We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people within the Unity family in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. We strive for our ministries, publications and programs to reach out to all who seek Unity support and spiritual growth. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to ensure that all Unity organizations are nondiscriminatory and support diversity. In our effort to reach out to all people as did our Way Shower, Jesus Christ, we support the modification of our facilities to make them accessible to all people, regardless of physical challenges; the translation of our materials into Braille and other languages; and respect for the wonderful variety of human commitments and relationships. We encourage ministers, teachers and others within Unity to honor the strength of diversity within their spiritual communities. It is with love and in celebration of our unity, in the midst of our wondrous diversity, that we affirm this position.”
Additionally, in 2011, Unity launched an LGBT Resource Center on its website (www.unity.org/lgbt) to provide spiritual resources geared to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community. The resource center includes articles, podcasts, prayer support and a list of Unity churches and centers around the country. Site resources are provided by teachers, authors and contributors both inside and outside the Unity movement.