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UNITY of LAKE NORMAN
Unity of Lake Norman held its first service on February 3, 2013. This was a long-held dream of Rev. Jacquie's, and as it turns out, for many others who live in or near the Lake Norman area. Time and time again as people attended a Sunday service for the first time, they would share that they had been praying for a Unity spiritual center in the Lake Norman area for years! Periodically, they would do an online search or check Unity's headquarters website (Unity.org) "just in case" a Unity center had sprung up in the area! And so we've all decided that each one of us has played a key role in this wonderful manifestation.
We hope you will come and "make history" together - one prayer at a time, as we build UNITY together at Lake Norman.
UNITY: A New Way of Life
Myrtle was the eighth child (of 9) of an Ohio businessman-farmer. Born Mary Caroline Page, she adopted the name Myrtle in early childhood and used it the rest of her life. Her parents were strict Methodists, but Myrtle rejected their puritanical teachings. As with many from her family, she contracted tuberculosis at a young age.
At the age of 21, Myrtle enrolled in the Literary Course for Ladies at Oberlin College which was pretty much unheard of for a woman to be educated especially at that high level. After graduating in 1867, she taught school in Clinton, MO, The system she developed was very similar to the Montessori school system that is so successful today. She spent the next 13 years there, with the exception of 1877-78, when she spent a year in Denison, TX, hoping to recover from tuberculosis.
Born in St. Cloud, MN, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore founded Unity, a spiritual organization within the New Thought movement in 1889. He became known as an "American mystic" for his intuitive guidance and his contributions to allegorical interpretations of Scripture.
An ice-skating accident when he was 10 broke Fillmore's hip and left him with longtime physical challenges and a leg that was 4 inches shorter than the other. In his early years, despite little formal education, he studied Shakespeare, Tennyson, Emerson and Lowell as well as works on spiritualism and Eastern religions.
He met his future wife, Myrtle Page, in Denison, Texas, in the mid-1870s. After losing his job there, he moved to Gunnison, Colorado, where he worked at mining and real estate.
INTRODUCTION TO NEW THOUGHT
Charles married Myrtle in Clinton, MO, on March 29, 1881, and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, CO, 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, MO. Two years later, in 1886, Charles and Myrtle attended a New Thought lecture by Dr. E. B. Weeks. Myrtle subsequently and miraculously recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks' lecture. 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.
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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 Myrtle 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 made his transition in 1948.
HISTORY OF NEW THOUGHT
"New Thought is a movement of philosophical-religious thought and action originating in the 19th Century in the United States and which emphasized the attainment of health, wealth, and happiness through the control of one's conscious and non-conscious beliefs, attitudes, and expectations by means of deliberately practicing the presence of a wholly benevolent loving deity. Perhaps the simplest definition of New Thought is that of early New Thought leader Sarah J. Farmer: "It is simply putting ourselves in new relation to the world about us by changing our thought concerning it. . . . We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators ... "(Dresser, 1917, p. 31; Convention Proceedings, p. 33)
Once called the "religion of healthy-mindedness" by the philosopher, William James, the New Thought movement was born almost 150 years ago as a revolt against the negative dogmas so prevalent in the churches of that day. The early New Thought movement was driven by the discovery that physical healing was possible through the power of mind and spiritual awareness. As that initial idea unfolded into successful application, practitioners of New Thought began to see that the power of an uplifted consciousness could also bring healing to negative circumstances and conditions in one's personal life.
As it evolves today, twenty-first century New Thought is driven by a far broader intention. Planetary healing through self-realization is emerging as the new promise of these teachings.