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Unity Center - Links.




  1. Why Unity Center - Bakersfield?
  2. What is practical Christianity and how does it differ from Christianity in general?
  3. What are the basic tenets of the Unity teachings?
  4. What does Unity teach about Jesus, His birth, and the passion?
  5. Do Unity ministers and teachers believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?
  6. What is the significance of the blood of Jesus Christ?
  7. What about the Crucifixion?
  8. Does Unity accept the virgin birth?
  9. What are Unity's distinctive characteristics?
  10. What place does the Bible have in Unity teachings?
  11. Does Unity look for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
  12. Do Unity ministries practice baptism and communion?
  13. How does the Association of Unity Center regard the Trinity?
  14. What does Unity teach about sin and salvation, heaven and hell?
  15. What is the Unity movement?
  16. Who are Unity students?
  17. What is the relationship of Unity ministries to other churches?
  18. What is the Association of Unity Churches?
  19. Is there any connection between the Association of Unity Churches and the Unitarian church?
  20. Are Unity churches an offshoot of the Christian Science church?
  21. What are the advantages of attending a Unity ministry?


Why Unity Center - Bakersfield?

          Unity Center - Bakersfield (UCB) was founded by the Rev. Della Strutts as a study group in her home on Monterey Street in 1938. UCB helped fill a void for those free thinking individuals who were looking for a place that honored the diversity of humankind. Since that time UCB has seen many changes but one thing stayed constant creating a spiritual home for the 21st century where love resides, truth abounds, faith is enriched, and spiritual freedom is cherished.
          Unity Center - Bakersfield is committed to creating a safe, accepting, loving, and caring environment for those seeking a greater awareness of God in their lives and affairs. UCB is an inclusive faith community that believes in the sacred worth of all people and does not require membership to attend services, classes, workshops, or socials. Membership in UCB is totally a free will activity based on guidance of Spirit in ones' life.
          All activities at UCB embody its central mission to help those who are seeking spiritual freedom from bondage to dogmatic doctrine and ritual that stagnates and condemns spiritual expression and demonstration. Spiritual education and enlightenment is at the core of all we do here so that we can leave the world a better place.
          From children to adults UCB teaches we are free to discover our spiritual identity, purpose, and mission and then apply, share, and demonstrate it to others. As Jesus taught, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father" (John 1412).
          Unity Center - Bakersfield is the perfect place for those seeking spiritual refuge and respite, for the unchurched who are looking to re-connect with their spiritual roots again, and for those who were physically and emotionally hurt and abused by a faith not of their own choice. UCB offers everyone who walks through its doors the opportunity to take control of their lives so that they may heal their hurts and build their dreams, so that they may live the abundant life they were meant to live.

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What is practical Christianity and how does it differ from Christianity in general?

          Practical Christianity has been described as "the teachings of Jesus Christ applied to everyday life." During His brief ministry, Jesus taught eternal values that still serve today as a practical guide for living. His timeless instructions offer us helpful insight for any situation that might confront us.
          Through His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered His listeners the most useful insight they could ever hope for "Do not worry about your life... but strive for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all will be given to you" (Matt 625-34).
          Practical Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus and reflect the positive, uplifting, inspiring, and abundant messages that He gave to all His listeners. He taught we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. He taught the truth in parables, precepts, and miracles. He taught people how to be free from guilt and shame.
          Just as Jesus inspired His listeners to question the old ways of thinking, practical Christianity frees us to question the rigidity of outdated doctrine, dogma, and ritual and to find new understanding and application to help us meet the challenges of today's world. Practical Christianity teaches one how to take responsibility for creating the kind of world they would like to live in by providing spiritual tools, techniques, methods, and frameworks that are found in the teachings of Jesus.
          Practical Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and His doctrine of original blessing found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 181-15;1913-15; Mark 1013-16; and Luke 1815-17) that teaches the sinlessness of all children and their right to inherit the kingdom of God. He also states in His doctrine that all of us must honor the child in us and let it be expressed, let be open and receptive to what is possible, to question, to seek, to ask, to knock, to explore so that we may find our blessing and share it with others.
          Practical Christianity does not teach the Augustine doctrine of original sin. This was a man-made doctrine based on an idea to enslave people into guilt, shame, and obedience to man-made authority. No where in the teachings of Jesus will you find Him teaching that children are born in sin and in need of salvation. Just the opposite. We are free to accept or decline the kingdom of God through the choices we make. The kingdom is a gift freely given to all God's children right here and now (Matt 423,53&10,633; Mark 115; Luke 620,1231-32).

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What are the basic tenets of the Unity teachings?
  1. Nature of GOD Jesus taught that God is Spirit and everywhere present. (Matt. 1917; John 424). Unity's basic statement of Truth, "There is only one Presence and one Power in the universe and in my life, God the Good."
  2. Divinity of Man Genesis tells us that humanity was made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 126) and we forgot our connection as we turned from God to the world of appearances and material gain. Jesus rediscovered his divine "Sonship" (of Christ Self) and taught the divine nature of each person (Jn. 1034-36), capable of even greater works than He (Jn. 1412). Paul went on to echo this aspect of our beingness when he proclaimed our divine connection, "Christ in you, your hope of glory" (Col 127).
  3. Kingdom of Heaven The primary message of Jesus' ministry was that the Kingdom of Heaven can be experienced within us, in the "now" moment (Lk. 1720-21). The state of illumination, peace, joy, and wholeness can be experienced as we seek first the Kingdom (Mt. 633).
  4. Prayer and Meditation Through His example of drawing apart, Jesus taught the importance of prayer and meditation (Mt. 66-8). It is through prayer that we lift our awareness of Truth. It is through meditation that we experience the Presence of God.
  5. The Power of Thought Jesus continually taught that what is inside of us (thoughts and feelings) is far more important than outer acts (Mt. 1235; 1510; 2325-26). Unity teaches that the quality of our life (health, prosperity, relationships) is determined by the thoughts and feelings we choose to hold in mind.
  6. The Power of Love The greatest of all commandments is to love-- to love God, others, and ourselves (Mt. 543-44; 2237-40). Love is expressed in many ways (I Cor.13) and has the power to transform everything while healing all hurts.
  7. Do These Things Jesus taught that only he who practices these teachings will experience the promise of a transformed life (Mt. 724-27; Jn. 1317) and God's kingdom of abundant blessings (Luke 1230-32). Knowing about Truth is not enough, it must be applied to daily living.

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What does Unity teach about Jesus, His birth, and the passion?

          Although Unity's understanding of Jesus differs from mainstream Christian thought, the entire Unity philosophy is based upon the message of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, the humanity of Jesus, as well as the divinity of Jesus. We understand Jesus to have rediscovered the divine essence and spark known as the "Christ" (our spiritual DNA - God's image and likeness from which we were created.) He saw himself on equal footing with all people and made it very clear that He was not to be placed above God; "And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone" (Mark 1017-18). Because He lived as we all lived, Jesus gave us an invaluable gift teachings that are simple, plain, and perhaps most important, livable. Through these teachings, He gave us new hope, new ideas about loving, new ways of living, and new ways of thinking. Where others saw darkness and sin, Jesus saw light and hope. When others judged and condemned, Jesus forgave. When others walked away in self-righteousness indignation, Jesus showed compassion and understanding. When others voiced their hate, Jesus radiated love.
          We understand Jesus to be our Way-Shower. He showed us that change, real change, takes place in the heart and mind of a person and that to change our outer world, we must first change our ways of thinking and feeling. Jesus showed us how to live the abundant life, how to love one another, how to be healed, how to be prosperous, how to get along with our enemies, and how to experience the fullness of life in all its aspects.
          Because Jesus lived both as fully human and fully divine, we can see what the embodiment of God is like and how it is to be demonstrated in our lives. Jesus' birth, life, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection are events that have significant meaning for us as we seek to live fuller, more meaningful lives. In these events we begin to see our own potential for reaching the fullness of spiritual understanding that Jesus did and told us we could do also (Jn 1412). The birth of Jesus was marked by the humility of a stable, the awareness of shepherds, the wisdom of Wise Men, the mystery of a star, and the magnificence of angels. Though none of us has been born under the circumstances of Jesus' birth, we have all been born with the attributes of humility, kindness, gentleness, wisdom, and, yes, even some mystery and magnificence. And every day, we are reborn -- born into a new world filled with choices and decisions.
          As we live our lives, we find that we also experience trials. Who has not experienced a trial? Have we not felt judged and condemned unfairly by a family member, a peer, a stranger? Have our friends not seemingly forsaken us or denied us in a time of need or understanding? Have we not had to stand alone for what we feel was right and true? What happened to Jesus has happened to each of us and because of that there is hope.
          By going within ourselves to the Christ presence, God's living spark of light, love, radiance, and perfect truth, we find the power to overcome, to be transformed to a new life and new way of living. Once we have accepted our true identity we are able to face any trial or tribulation for we know the Truth -- we are not alone, but one with God. We find that we now have the courage, the strength, and the determination to do what we must do in the face of adversity.
          After the trial of Jesus came the crucifixion. After we experience a trial, we may feel that a part of us dies. Through the crucifixion, Jesus showed us that as we are willing to give up our perception of earthy gains and realize that God is present in every situation and event, we achieve more than we could ever dream possible. His moment of death on the cross represents the opening of the door of humankind's consciousness to spiritual understanding.
          Just as the curtain was torn in the Temple, the barrier -- any barrier -- between God and humanity was torn away so that every person can freely enter the "holy of holies." This act of love showed that nothing separates us from God. That God is to be found in the temple of the human heart, mind, and awareness. Jesus' resurrection shows us how the embodiment of the divine idea God has for His children can never be lost or destroyed. God is life and life is eternal. Therefore, as children of God we are eternal too. As spiritual beings we can also rise above physical death to claim our rightful place in the kingdom of heaven. As human beings we also have the ability to be resurrected from the human condition any time we are will to let go and let God work in and through us. The least understood and used teaching that Jesus gave us is also one of the most important if we are going to experience a greater awareness of God in our lives, "Not my will but yours" (Luke 2242) and help us to usher in a new heaven with peace in our hearts, a new earth with peace to the world.

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Do Unity ministers and teachers believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

          Yes. Unity church leaders teach that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it indwells every person; and that every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life.

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What is the significance of the blood of Jesus Christ?

          The blood of Jesus Christ represents the spiritual energy of God-life that purifies or redeems the body through a cleansing and renewal of the consciousness by the spoken word. Regarding the "spilled blood," or the "ransom of many," the emphasis in Unity is not so much on the death of Jesus as on His life. He did not relieve us of the necessity of working out our own salvation, but His example and teachings show us the way.

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What about the Crucifixion?

          Unity teaches that the cross symbolizes the crossing out of all false beliefs. Here again, emphasis is on life and living, through the resurrection rather than on the Crucifixion.

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Does Unity accept the virgin birth?

          Unity accepts the virgin birth as an experience in the spiritual unfoldment of each individual. Thus the virgin birth is spiritually interpreted as the birth of the Christ consciousness (the awakening of the awareness of God's Spirit within) in the purified soul.

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What are Unity's distinctive characteristics?

          Unity students are encouraged to align with the spirit of the Christ within for personal guidance and direction that will best enhance their spiritual growth. The Unity ministry provides a safe and sacred space for study, participation, fellowship, support, transformation and awakening to the joy of living in God's world. Each Unity ministry is supported by the freewill offerings of those who share its vision. Unity ministries, in turn, support the Association of Unity Churches and the regions in which they are located, and the community in which they live. Unity affirms the freedom of each individual to advance spiritually according to his or her own level of understanding. Respect for and faith in the spirit of God in every person makes it unnecessary to set down fixed creeds or impose limiting beliefs. Each individual is encouraged to follow the Unity teachings in determining personal responses in his or her life. Therefore, Unity Center - Bakersfield strives to create an environment where love abides, truth abounds, faith is enriched, and spiritual freedom is cherished.

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What place does the Bible have in Unity teachings?

          The Bible is Unity's basic textbook. It is accepted as a body of history, as a moral and ethical teaching, and as a great literary work. Beyond this, Unity finds deep significance in the Bible through its metaphysical interpretation, wherein names of places and people and their experiences symbolize the unfoldment of human consciousness. Through the study of Unity, the Bible is made more meaningful to individuals. Scripture comes alive when it is understood as a clear and helpful guide for today's experiences. The Bible reveals the spirit of Truth and the word of God. Holy Spirit, working individually through those who study Scripture and listen within, is the final authority in spiritual awakening.

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Does Unity look for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

          Members of the Association of Unity Churches understand the Second Coming as the individual expression of the Christ consciousness. This is not an event to be anticipated in the future. It is happening here and now, through prayer, meditation, study, and application.

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Do Unity ministries practice baptism and communion?

          Yes, symbolically. Whereas baptism by water represents the cleansing of the consciousness, spiritual baptism signifies the inflow of the Holy Spirit. No person can truly baptize another. Baptism is a mental and spiritual process that takes place within the individual as he or she aligns with the spirit of God.
          Spiritual communion takes place through prayer and meditation in the silence. The word of Truth is symbolized by the bread, or the body of Jesus Christ. The conscious realization of God-life is symbolized by the wine, or the blood of Jesus Christ. Unity practices communion by appropriating, or partaking of the spiritual energy represented by these elements. In Unity services, ritual is de-emphasized as a general rule, so that full attention may be devoted to the teachings and their practical application.

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How does the Association of Unity Churches regard the Trinity?

          Unity interprets the religious terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit metaphysically, as three aspects of mind action mind, idea, and expression. This is the process through which all manifestation takes place.

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What does Unity teach about sin and salvation, heaven and hell?

          Sin is our separation from God in consciousness, caused by our belief in the "devil" or a power other than God, the good. This belief leads to our unwise use of our God-given powers and abilities. Salvation is now-not something that occurs after death. It happens whenever we turn our thoughts (repent) from fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt, to thoughts of love, harmony, joy, and peace. The "fall" takes place in consciousness whenever we fall into negative habits of thinking. Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, not geographical locations. We make our own heaven or hell here and now by our thoughts, words, and deeds.

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What is the Unity movement?

          The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. After Myrtle Fillmore's remarkable healing utilizing prayer and affirmations, many who were seeking help became interested in how she accomplished this healing. From small prayer circles in living rooms, Unity grew. The first issue of Unity magazine was published in 1889. The teaching of the practice of prayer, through classes and correspondence, led to the establishment of Silent Unity, the Unity School for Religious Studies Continuing Education Program and Ministerial Education Program and the Retreat programs. "Unity" publishes inspirational magazines and books.

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Who are Unity students?

          Unity students are those individuals who have found a deeper understanding of God, of themselves, and of their world through the practical methods presented in the Unity teachings. Often this has come about as a result of some very trying and seemingly hopeless experience. Unity students include many who are readers of the various publications; others attend Unity services and classes, finding in such attendance a spiritual "home" in which they are strengthened in their spiritual unfoldment. They are from all walks of life, and of all races, creeds, and nationalities.

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What is the relationship of Unity ministries to other churches?

          Unity puts into practice a true ecumenical approach. Unity sees itself as a vehicle for instruction, inspiration and prayer support for spiritual seekers, regardless of their religious affiliation. Rather than a denomination, locked in tight parameters that restrict, Unity views itself as an ever-expanding expression of love, light, and peace. Therefore, it freely shares its teachings with all people. Unity believes in the oneness and freedom of all people. Emphasis is always on the similarities rather than the differences in the human spiritual expression.

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What is the Association of Unity Churches?

          The Association of Unity Churches is comprised of approximately 1000 member ministries and satellite ministries throughout the world. Each ministry is under the leadership of a licensed or ordained Unity minister, or authorized spiritual leader. The emphasis in Unity organizations is on spiritual activities, such as worship services, healing meetings, prayer groups, counseling, study classes, and youth education, including Sunday school and programs for young people of all ages. Since acknowledging God's presence in each person is part of Unity's spiritual purpose, social functions are also an important part of Unity organizations.

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Is there any connection between the Association of Unity Churches and the Unitarian church?

          No, there is no connection, although there is sometimes confusion because of the similarity of the names. Many beliefs are held in common, including the importance of individual freedom in the quest for Truth. This very freedom, however, makes it difficult to determine the basic differences. In a very general way, it might be said that the two differ mainly in their beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Unity places great emphasis on spiritual healing, while this is not practiced by Unitarians as a rule. In turn, Unitarians place great emphasis on social and political action.

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Are Unity churches an offshoot of the Christian Science church?

          No. Unity and Christian Science, as well as many other New Thought groups, had their beginnings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Many of the leaders in these groups studied under the same teachers. There are similarities in the teachings of Unity and Christian Science, including the importance of prayer, the practice of spiritual healing, and some fundamental theological points. Also, both have great publishing operations. However, the application of principles, the methods of teaching, and the organization of the two movements are quite different.

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What are the advantages of attending a Unity ministry?

          To attend Unity is to be assured that one will be kept constantly in the remembrance of his or her own inner Christ potential. This awareness, plus the practical principles for living a happy and successful life, is experienced at Sunday services and weekday classes. By joining with others, it is possible for the local Unity ministry to provide expanding services, such as Sunday school, a radio and/or TV ministry, community outreach, prayer and support groups, and counseling. It is very helpful for individuals to have a place where they can be involved in putting these teachings into practice in serving others. Through the local ministry's affiliation and participation in the Association of Unity Churches, such individuals are part of a global movement which forms a base on which to stand as we build a better world together.

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