What is Unity to you?
Have you ever really paused to reflect What Unity is to you? This last week at service I encouraged everyone to take a moment and consider what it means to be a part of this spiritual community. I know I’ve thought about it more and more as we prepare to move. But I also think about it a lot because I get excited about growing our congregation and that means knowing how to describe it to others.
As someone who has spent many years dodging questions like “What religion are you?” (Insert awkward pause here…) I used to always say I was “Spiritual but not Religious.” I’ve never really identified myself as Christian even though I follow the teachings of Christ. In short, I’ve often had difficulty accepting the traditional viewpoints of Christianity and it turns out I’m not alone… Sixty-five percent of Americans have no vital church connection and do not consider themselves Christians and 85% of all churches in America are either plateaued or declining.
Part of that may be the negative associations people have with “Church” & “Christianity.” In 2009, Unity conducted research of more than 3,000 respondents. When asked what would be your motivators to seek a new church community the top three answers were, “I Don’t Fit In,” “Looking for Like-Minded People.” and “Different Beliefs.” Moreover, over 60% of the respondents said they would be fairly interested in checking out Unity after learning about it!
Over the past several months, the board and several volunteers have been working hard to upgrade our website, create a mobile app and increase outreach to spread our message with those that might find us a refreshing alternative to traditional Christianity. We’re also taking one more big step to assimilate with those open-minded individuals who might be attracted to our offering.
Starting in mid-September, you will see us shift back to our original name of Unity of Michiana. We have research and reflected on this decision to adopt the suggestion from Unity Worldwide to drop the term “Church” from out name. As believers in all paths, we recognize that this may be a difficult move for many and we honor and support those perspectives. But we also are trusting the research that shows it will benefit others looking for something different.
We encourage you to continue this discussion with us and welcome all thoughts on the topic.