Introduction to the New Thought Movement
The New Thought Movement is a philosophical movement which developed in the United States in the 19th century.
New Thought promotes the ideas that
- God/Spirit/Infinite is everywhere
- divinity dwells within each person
- all people are spiritual beings
- the highest spiritual principle is loving each other unconditionally
- that divine thought is a force for good
- that through your thinking you can align yourself with the positive creative force of the universe.
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Founders of Unity
Charles married Myrtle in Clinton, Missouri, on March 29, 1881, and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Charles established a real estate business with the brother-in-law of Nona Lovell Brooks, who was later to found the Church of Divine Science. After the births of their first two sons, Lowell Page and Waldo Rickert Fillmore, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri.
Two years later, in 1886, Charles and Myrtle attended New Thought classes held by Dr. E. B. Weeks. Myrtle subsequently recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks' classes. Subsequently Charles began to heal from his childhood accident, a development that he, too, attributed to following this philosophy. Charles Fillmore became a devoted student of philosophy and religion.
A Growing Movement
In 1889, Charles left his business to focus entirely on publishing a new periodical, Modern Thought. In 1890 they organized a prayer group that would later be called "Silent Unity" and in the following year, the Fillmore's Unity magazine was first published. On December 7, 1892, Charles and Myrtle penned their Dedication and Covenant.
We, Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, hereby dedicate ourselves, our time, our money, all we have and all we expect to have, to the Spirit of Truth, and through it, to the Society of Silent Unity.
It being understood and agreed that the said Spirit of Truth shall render unto us an equivalent for this dedication, in peace of mind, health of body, wisdom, understanding, love, life and an abundant supply of all things necessary to meet every want without our making any of these things the object of our existence.
In the presence of the Conscious Mind of Christ Jesus, this 7th day of December A.D. 1892.
Dr. H. Emilie Cady published a series titled Lessons in Truth in the new magazine. This material later was compiled and published in a book by the same name, which served as a seminal work of the Unity movement. Although Charles had no intention of making Unity into a denomination, his students wanted a more organized group. He and his wife were among the first ordained Unity ministers in 1906. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore first operated the Unity organization from a campus near downtown Kansas City. Unity began a formal program for training ministers in 1931. Myrtle Fillmore died in 1931. Charles remarried in 1933 to Cora G. Dedrick who was a collaborator on his later writings. Charles Fillmore passed away in 1948.
Unity is perhaps best known for its bimonthly publication of The Daily Word (available in our bookstore), and their ongoing ministry of over 125 years of consistent 24/7 Silent Prayer. (You can access this service by calling 800-NOW-PRAY.) They produce an inspirational radio program you can access at www.unity.fm, as well as Unity Magazine.
Organizationally, Unity Village focuses more on education and prayer ministry, while Unity Worldwide Ministries focuses on development of churches and study groups.
Unity is often referred to as "Positive, Practical Christianity" or "A Positive Path for Spiritual Living", which teaches effective daily application of the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. We engage in affirmative prayer, which includes the release of negative thoughts, and holding in mind spiritual truths. We don't use prayer as a way to inform God of our troubles, but to align ourselves with the power that is God, which allows us to overcome our troubles. We view ourselves and others not as sinners, but as learners. We welcome you to attend services, events, and/or classes at Unity of Kalamazoo! Please check our calendar to see how to get involved!