Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I don’t believe God worries but rather I see God as a worry eliminator. Just as the mighty force of water from a fire hose can extinguish the greatest flame, the mighty faith within each of us can extinguish every doubt, worry, fear or anxiety when we turn it over to our higher power and trust in the divine order of life.
There are two kinds of problems in this world. The ones we can do something about and the ones we can’t do anything about. If we are powerless to change the situations or circumstances of a problem, challenge, setback or loss we have no other choice but to adapt to it. This often calls on us to change our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and perceptions about what has taken place or what might happen in the future. In our prayers rather than beseeching God to “take this cup of suffering from me”, we can use Affirmative prayers such as: I now let go of any thoughts that hamper my peace of mind and affirm that I have everything I need to move through this difficult time and establish a sense of serenity in my life. If we can do something about a problem or challenge we face, then we need to draw on our resources and initiate action. Pronto!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Ways to Oneness
The first Truth Principle of Unity is that there is one Power and one Presence in the Universe. Some call this power God. By any name, it is the same Divine Spirit that we each are a part of. On the path of life, there may be times when we feel separate and alone, searching for some encouragement to carry on. When we have those moments of uncertainty, we can remind ourselves of this Divine Spirit that is always with us, within us, is us. How can we better connect to this innate knowing of God? Here are five suggestions:
1. SURRENDER: Accept the unchangeable
2. EMPTY YOUR MENTAL BACKPACK: Forgive - Release - Let Go
3. RELEASE JUDGMENTS: Of yourself and others
4. PRACTICE COMPASSION: See things from another's perspective
5. FIND TIME FOR SILENCE: Prayer and meditation opens us up to God's wisdom
Thursday, September 23, 2010
On September 5, 2010, Duke Tufty took questions from the congregation and answered as many as he could at the time. Here are the answers to those questions as well as all the other questions asked that Sunday.
What is the meaning of life? Progressive creative expression. God-Spirit-Universal Mind holds within it the potential to create everything that will ever be. With every bit of potential, there is the desire to express that potential and manifest it in the physical world. With the big bang, there came the divine idea for all that would follow. As expressions of Spirit, each of us has potential to grow, evolve and become more. Our purpose is to apply ourselves to that potential or divine idea to fulfill the original idea.
What is the purpose of prayer? To settle the mind; affirm the positive; to commune with the spirit of life; to recognize our oneness with "it all".
Do God and Science mesh? ie. Can they support each other? We live in a great age where a bridge between Science and Spirituality is becoming a reality. As science advances, it is recognizing that which cannot be seen and at the same time it is exposing much of religious dogma as myth or superstition. This is great news.
How do you comprehend a God who created the vast universe? God is incomprehensible and can only be experienced through emotion. When one is totally immersed in love, peace, harmony and oneness, God is experienced.
If God is so powerful and all knowing…why doesn’t he show himself so there is not doubt? God is it all. God is not a man, deity or higher being separate from us but the Spirit that expresses as us. God is not independent from anything.
Best way to deal with grief and death of longtime partner? Realize that life is eternal and although the physical body is laid down, the loving heart and responsive mind of the person continues. I believe it is a sure thing for those who have exchanged love in this lifetime to meet again in the next.
Some days the fear keeps away the confidence. Where to I go for support? Turn inward. Meditation is the most effective way to calm oneself, instill faith and confidence. A meditation as short as two minutes can do wonders. To learn certain meditation techniques, you can take advantage of the many meditation classes available at
Why do some religious leaders lay a “guilt trip” on their congregation? Why do others call us “the feel good” church? I love the positive lesson@Unity. I believe religious leaders lay "guilt trips" on people in order to control them. If a religious leader can make you feel guilty, define hellish consequences that may await you, and offer you salvation from your sins, you will pretty much do what that person says and give that person what he/she asks.
How do we reconcile the disasters of the world? Natural and human created. Human beings represent 3% of the life on this planet, yet we seem to think it is exclusively ours and can do with the earth what we choose. Everything we can see has come forth from the earth. It is literally our mother. Until we begin to treat the earth the way we would treat our biological mother, with kindness and respect, things are going to continually decline. Human beings go to battle with each other and drop bombs; we spread deadly chemicals and waste products over its surface; and we deplete its resources with no consideration of the consequences. Each of us has an opportunity to transform our little corner of the world with peace and harmony, regardless of the external circumstances.
How can we live in happiness and peace when so many atrocities occur around the globe? Atrocities are the effects of our actions. We need to discover the cause which begins in the minds of human beings. Each of us makes a difference in this world through our thoughts and actions. Everything we see began as a thought. We can recognize this powerful Truth, and use our incredible power to create more love and kindness.
Is the concept of reincarnation part of Unity Thought principles? Many people in the Unity movement believe in reincarnation, but it is not an official principle of Unity. Reincarnation is an intuitive process engaged in by the individual.
What does Unity believe about an after-life? There is one or there isn't one. Whether there is or not, nothing can be done about it one way or another so it is best to live "now", in this moment.
What does Unity say about reincarnation? see above
Reincarnation? What do you think? Good idea? see above
Would you please say something on Unity’s position on reincarnation. Thanks for being here! see above
Why are most worship Services void of Bible verses? The Senior Minister should minister almost every Sunday. There are too many guest speakers! I would like to see more services that interpret the meaning of the Bible. This is a very good suggestion. The Bible is rich in spiritual direction and inspiration. As the Senior Minister, I would enjoy speaking every Sunday but there are times when situations totally consume my time, and there isn't room for preparation. An average lesson takes 10 to 15 hours to prepare. That is two days out of the week devoted to the lesson alone and on occasion that time doesn't exist.
Duke, I like for you to use your Bible book sometimes when you are teaching it is so much more powerful… nothing like the holy words. This is a good suggestion and i will try to do it more.
Who is Jesus from a Unity perspective? Prophet? Saviour? Christ? All of the above. Jesus was a prophet in that he was able to predict what would happen if people continued in their ways. Jesus could be seen as a saviour in that his message and the Truth revealed by him "saved" people from much of the misery and despair they experienced. Jesus expressed the Christ within him, the Christ being the highest expression of humanity. He also told the people that the Christ was also within them and what he had done they could do also.
What are your thoughts on Jesus? Is he the son of God or just a great spiritual teacher? Jesus was an expression of divine spirit as we all are. He discovered a level of consciousness within him that awakened him to a spiritual way of perceiving life which once again he expressed the Truth that we all can as well.
Could Unity be considered a Bible believe church? In what sense or to what degree? Unity sees the Bible as an incredible source of direction and inspiration. Unity does not take some of the Bible literally as the word of God because it has dogmatic, political and cultural assertions that hold prejudice. Unity does take the Bible stories as allegory, meaning they are parables from which a lesson can be learned but not necessarily factual events that took place.
Explain what it means when they say in the Bible fear of the Lord. Should we really fear the Lord? When it says. . "fear the Lord", it means whoever wrote that wants power over the people. Fearing Love, fearing peace, fearing harmony is akin to fearing God for which there is no possible reason.
From the “Lord’s Prayer” – What is the
Muslim’s Shariah Law a threat to the
When was spirit born? How was spirit born? That is a question I cannot answer. Spirit existed before time, before the big bang; before every before. It is that which has always been and always will be. I just don't know. When I try to think about it, my mind short circuits.
How does Unity differ from the Lutheran religion? The primary difference between Unity and the more traditional religions is that Unity believes every person has inherent within them the original blessing rather than original sin. Unity believes that every person has within them the "Christ" which is the potential expressed by Jesus. Unity does not believe that any person will be condemned to hell or that there is even a destination named hell. Lastly, Unity does not take the Old Testament stories literally but rather as parable to learn from.
Who am I? Who, who? Who, who? It might be easier to tell you who you are not. You are not your thoughts; you are not imperfect in anyway; you are not flawed or unworthy; you are not limited in your potential for happiness, love, peace, harmony and kindness. You, in absolute reality, are much more than you think you are. You are an expression of Spirit which resides in every cell of your body and mind. You are "you". You are what you think about most of the time.
How can we find our purpose? That God has intended for us? Begin with the end in mind. Determine what you want out of life in regards to an emotional experience. I am sure you desire good in some form or fashion. Your purpose is to express what you desire into the world while at the same time discovering that which impassions you.
Will God, “The Spirit that is”, actually manifest in physical form. ie. some type of messiah, second coming, or physical? God, "The Spirit that is" is manifesting in every living thing. An individual like Jesus or another Spiritual Master might express higher levels of God potential, God is not limited to expressing as one but always expressing as all. Manifestation of God in form show him/herself to us?
A question about forgiveness. How can one live without judgment and forgive at the same time? In order to feel the need to forgive we must first have a judgment, right? Thanks.
How or why is patience defined as faith? What can my wife and I do to strengthen our patience and allow the Divine universe to fulfill our desires and needs? What are the best proclamations to deliver to send out the most powerful vibrations? Is this the best technique and if not, which one is? Faith is a belief in that which cannot be evidenced or has yet to happen. Life happens on its own terms and time line which often is not quite as quickly as we would like. Faith gives us the patience to know that everything happens in its own time.
Passages from the Bible as well as teaching and quotes from Buddha and Buddhism are used at Unity. Why are teachings or quotes from Mohammad and the Koran not used? (I’m not Muslim, just curious) Personally speaking it is because I have never studied the Koran and am pretty much unfamiliar with anything beyond the basics. It would be a good objective for me to begin to understand the Muslim faith better.
How does Unity view Islam? Unity believes when diversity is praised, peace and harmony are the rewards.
Why do people believe that their religion, that they believe, is the religion that is right and all others are wrong? People believe their religion is right because they have committed to it's so strongly that they actually believe it is right. A different belief has to be made wrong because of the fear if it isn't wrong they might be. The Tao states the one who thinks he knows is a fool and the one who knows he doesn't know is enlightened.
Share with us several ways how to be an exponential receiver to open our heart center to its fullest capacity. Much love…Thank you! I believe compassion is the key. Put yourself in the place of those who you resist or are angered with and ask if you were them, how would you want to be treated. Then treat them accordingly. Love is a habit that when developed reveals our true nature as spiritual beings.
If we “reap what we sow” energetically, does grace exist? Grace is that power that allows us to rebound from depths of failure, setbacks, despair and addictions. We have all had occasions when we were knocked down by some situation in life or for one reason or other fell into a deep pit of misery. But, no matter how sad, devastated or defeated we might feel, we can always rise up and regain our sense of well being. The power that allows us to do that is Grace.
If suffering comes from attachment, how do we avoid attachment to our desires? (From Janet Taylor) From a Buddhist perspective, letting go of attachment begins when we first become fully aware of what (or who!) we are attached to. This first step enables us to see clearly what outcomes we are clinging to, to see clearly the suffering our unskillful attachments have caused. By shining the light of awareness on our thoughts and actions, we begin to make friends with our mistakes, forgive ourselves for the past, and begin anew: To desire liberation from suffering MORE than any fleeting pleasure—that is when we begin to let go of attachments.
I am struck by how
Is there wrong-right, good-bad, black-white? Judgment and non-judgment seem to me to contradict themselves among us. It is good to judge as to whether something is right for you to do or wrong. The answer lies in the effect of your actions. Judge whether your actions will violate the God-given rights of another person and interfere with them living the life they desire. Judging other people as good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse because of their actions, beliefs or characteristics that are within the boundaries of the law usually comes forth from feelings of inferiority.
What was there before the “Big Bang” – something that could explode? I believe there had to be.
Why do I consume bad things or engage in unhealthy behaviors when I am troubled? Why is everyone at Unity so good-looking? :-> Most of us consume bad things or engage in unhealthy behaviors when we are troubled because it is a quick, short term reward that can allow us to momentarily escape. Everybody at Unity is good-looking because you think they are.
What does Unity teach about tithing? The universal law of cause and effect states that we will get back what we put into the world. Express happiness and you will receive happiness back. When it comes to tithing financially, it feels good to know one is doing one's part in supporting an organization that supports them. Although the rule of tithing calls for a 10% contribution of what one receives, I believe that is an individual choice and whether or not to tithe or the amount to tithe is personal.
What is the progress of building update? What is left to be done? Over the last three years, we have accomplished 75% of our objective in regards to building projects. Bruce Maxwell, a
What is the status of the 2010 campaign. We haven’t heard an update in quite a while. The 2010 Campaign will come to an end in December of this year. We raised approximately $3.5 million dollars and made incredible progress in renovating our building. An update newsletter will be going out shortly detailing funds raised and where the money was spent.
What’s going on with the floors downstairs? Are the walls getting painted? The tile floors throughout the building were getting chipped and broken. Because they were laid with an asbestos adhesive this caused a safety problem, so all new asbestos-free rubber tiles are replacing them. Because of the school schedules, this project won't be completed until late December.
It’s important to have a bookstore inside the church. What’s the future of the bookstore here? The Unity Temple Bookstore has moved from the lower level to the main level just inside the front doors. The Bird Sings, a card and gift store, will be going into the old bookstore space downstairs. It will open in late October.
What classes/resources do you have for both Adults and Children to learn about the world’s religions? (I want to learn about Buddhism, and I want my kids to be exposed to many) Through the
Where is the lost and found? Please contact any staff person about a lost object. We keep the lost and found items secured to prevent theft.
Briefs or boxers? Are these the only two options?
When will that Chaplain Ron give the lesson again? He is so nice! You can experience Ron's lessons more frequently at the Wednesday evening service. Outside of an occasional guest speaker, Janet, Heidi and myself will be doing the Sunday services.
What do we call ourselves? Catholics are Catholics. I never know how to label myself as a congregant of Unity. I usually refer to myself as a student of Unity or a Unity congregant.
I’d like to be notified of illnesses or deaths of my Unity family. They do a great job of that at other churches. This is a great idea. You can look for this information on our web site in the near future.
Can Unity help get me a monthly bus pass so I can get to work and doctors appointments? Unfortunately our financial support services do not include bus passes.
What is a Unity funeral/memorial service like? A Unity memorial service begins with addressing the grief and great sense of loss that has come about as a result of losing a loved one. It then moves into gratitude and appreciation for having the person in our lives and ends with celebrating that person's life.
How old are U. How much to you weigh. I just turned 62 years old. Born September 14th, 1948. I just returned from my son's wedding and four day celebration in
Which Sunday does Rev. Duke sing a solo? Reverend Duke sings a solo every Sunday. At home, in the shower.
What if I’m the Rutabaga? If you are a rutabaga, be the best rutabaga you can be, and rutabaga lovers will flock to your presence.
Where was the first Unity church at? How many are there in the world? The first Unity church was at 9th and
Is there really a “Cousin Ozzie”? And if we go to
What is your middle name? David
On my way to church this morning, I saw a man carrying a wooden cross up the Wornall hill. Is Jesus back? I don't know for sure, but he very well could be.
Is that Duke’s real hair?? Yes it is. Norwegian heritage has endowed upon me thick clumps of hair all over my head very much like the "tufts" of grass on the prairie. Thus the name Tufty.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Knowing the power of prayer,
We pray that we open our minds
To affirm the new vision of world peace
To the health and well-being of all people
To the dissolution of all conditions that may seem to separate us.
We pray that we deepen our understanding of nature,
Radiate our compassion to all of life
And realize our oneness with the natural world.
We pray that we restore the Earth
To a pristine wellness so it can thrive
As our source of wellness and prosperity.
We pray that each of us is
A beneficial presence to our world
By adding to it our peace, love and harmony.
And so it is.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
We all know that our brains are more sophisticated than the most advanced computers, but scientists have also discovered that our hearts have an intelligence as well, not with words but with emotions/feeling, a radiating center of energy. That energy that we radiate from our heart actually touches and affects others. So, whatever feeling we hold in our hearts is impacting us and the rest of the world. In this present moment, each of us has an opportunity to examine what kind of energy we are holding inside of us as well as sending out into the world. Knowing this, we can make choices for how we want to be in the world, and how we can have a positive impact on ourselves and others. In the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians, it says, “We shall all be changed, in a moment, faster than a blink of the eye.” Each of us can be changed for the better that quickly, in this very moment.
In this moment, we can choose to have an open heart, which means allowing the love in our hearts to radiate out. The open heart is like a two-way path—one direction tells us not to initiate or express any words or actions that can be hurtful to another. The second direction is to accept others with understanding and compassion, wherever they are, how ever they are, at any given moment.
If someone’s words or action are negative or perhaps even attacking nature, you have a choice to remain in their presence or remove yourself from it, but an open heart continues to hold them in the light, even when they are acting in an unlovable and unacceptable way. The open heart gives us access to a deeper understanding of others. We may not know all the details of a person’s life or understand what happened to make them the way that they are, but we can understand that they are doing the best they can with the situations life has given them.
Through the deeper understanding that comes from an open heart, we can move to a place where we don’t take responsibility for the way another person acts towards us, but we do take responsibility for how we react towards them.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus teaches us about having an open heart. The good person, out of the good treasure of his heart produces good. The abundance of what we hold in our heart is the abundance of how we experience the world. Jesus told us to not see our treasure as that of the material world, because those things can be stolen or corrupted or waste away. But rather, we can store up our treasure in our heart, where it is unaffected by worldly things. The place where your treasure is, is the way you will end up being.
There are three lessons of the open heart. First, always assume the best about somebody until there is factual evidence to prove otherwise. With the lack of fully understanding another person, the imagination comes into play, which can spin a false and unfair judgment. Imagine the best in others.
The second lesson is the power of the Golden Rule—treat others the way you want to be treated. How is that we all want to be treated? We want to be respected and seen as a valuable part of this world. We want to be understood. We want others to understand that even though our behavior isn’t ideal at times, that we are trying and we are doing the best we can in any situation. We want to be loved, which in its simplest form is acceptance. We want to be encouraged. From time to time, we need to be told that we are doing fine, and that we have the potential to do better.
The third lesson of the open heart is that the affect we have on the world around us radiates out from us and touches those around us. It is exactly the same effect that we see the world having on us. So each of us can choose today, in this very moment, to open our hearts and let love flow out in all directions, love for ourselves and all others. We can change our lives in the blink of an eye…
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Affirmations for Living an Abundance Life
My higher good is in motion, and I expect its arrival momentarily.
The Christ within guides me in all I do.
I am blessed in many ways, and I am the blessing in many ways.
I give thanks for my Divine Potential to be healthy, wealthy and wise.
I give thanks for my inner power to create the life I desire to live.
My expectations are bold and hopeful.
My blessings are many; my regrets are short lived; my future is flush with great benefits.
In the prosperous circle of light, as I give so shall I receive.
I now manifest in my life the good that is mine to have!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
How do we know what scripture is the voice of God?
It tells us in the Bible that human beings were made in the image of God. That may very well be true; however, human beings have also invented a God in their image. If an ancient ruler governed the people with anger, punishment and wrath, it is most likely he projected those attributes onto God when overseeing and approving what would be written in scripture and what wouldn’t. At the same time, if a ruler was compassionate and benevolent, that became the character of God. So which ruler is right? Or perhaps they are both right leaving us with a volatile God that we have to tiptoe around lest we get struck down by lightening.
I don’t believe that God is a person perched on a throne somewhere in the far reaches of the universe looking down on our every move. I believe God is spirit; the life-force within us; the one and only power in the universe that is the creative energy behind all that exists. God is it all; the whole shebang; everywhere present. Scripture that is divinely inspired is totally supportive, compassionate and loving of the “whole”. Scripture that dips into inequalities, prejudices and divisive lines of demarcation is not sound thought, and therefore, I believe, not representative of the God spirit that is the essence of all life.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We are Pure Potential
In this moment, we recognize that everything exists in the realm of potentiality. We recognize with gratitude the tremendous potential each of us has to be a beneficial presence to the world through loving, caring, giving and sharing. May our potential for love radiate out like the warmth of the sun and touch the hearts of those who feel alone. May our potential for caring be like a summer rain that serves all of life with a nurturing touch. May our potential for giving be like the earth which gives its nutrients to every seed that is planted, yet never depletes itself. May our potential for sharing be as free as a gentle breeze, flowing without resistance and providing relief where it is needed. For this we pray, in the name of the Universal Spirit which provides for us unceasingly. And so it is.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It feels good to do good
Monday, May 10, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Beyond the physical there is a common energy, a spirit, that is the very essence of life. We call this spirit God, and it permeates everything in the universe around us as well as every cell in our bodies.
There are two basic ways that we can strengthen our relationship with God. The first is to have an understanding of God that moves beyond myth to an awareness of the God Presence within us as love given unconditionally and continually. The spirit of God within never leaves us, never withholds from us that which we need, and never condemns us as unworthy. To truly know our oneness with God is to move from our mind to our heart, because it is from the consciousness of love that we resonate with the presence of God within.
The second way to strengthen our relationship with God is to have absolute trust in God. When problems appear to abound and challenges seem to overwhelm us, we remain confident and secure. During the most difficult of times, we will have faith, hope, love, strength, and peace of mind as we turn to God, affirming God's presence and supply. That which we need will be provided.
There is one Presence and Power in the universe and in our lives. As we believe in God and trust in God, our cup shall truly overflow.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
EARLY UNITY CHURCH THRIVES IN KANSAS CITYBy Lysa Allman-Baldwin (in latest Unity.Org online magazine)
In 1928 Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Unity's founders, purchased land on Kansas City's beautiful Country Club Plaza with plans to build the first Unity church. Charles Fillmore intended the structure to be a tribute to his beloved wife.
It took 15 years of planning and five years to build the detailed structure, which includes a massive limestone foundation. Charles Fillmore believed it was symbolically important for a church to have a solid foundation—just as it is important for a person to have a strong spiritual foundation.
The church structure is full of symbolic accoutrements selected by Charles Fillmore himself. Details include murals, beautiful stained glass and an awe-inspiring 1,260-seat sanctuary. Senior minister Duke Tufty says Charles Fillmore went to great lengths to honor his wife. “[The Temple] was his prize to her. He made it the best that it could possibly be.”
Regrettably, both Charles and Myrtle Fillmore made their transitions before the distinctive landmark building was completed. Unity Temple on the Plaza held its first services in 1948.
Although most people refer to the Temple as a church, it encompasses much more, says Tufty. “Unity Temple is a center for well-being. We are a church and we hold church services, but our primary purpose is to be a center that helps establish and support well-being for the body, mind and spirit by providing space for many different approaches to spirituality.”
Unity Temple attracts a broad spectrum of people for a variety of spiritually based services, programs and classes. “The Temple is so wonderfully inclusive, and we have many different community activities here. Anybody that walks through the door can find something with a spiritual attitude that increases their sense of well-being,” notes Tufty.
Over the years, the Unity Temple community has continued to evolve. Historic milestones include the addition of the Cornerstone Foundation, a group which presents an array of community author events and programs; Spirituality and All That Jazz, featuring some of Kansas City's best jazz artists and musicians; and Eden Alley, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant.
Other popular features at the church include alternative Catholic and Buddhist meditation and worship services, a bookstore, fitness classes, addiction support groups, concerts and theater productions.
Now 120 years since the Unity movement began, Unity Temple stands strong as one of the hundreds of Unity centers worldwide. Together they carry on the Fillmore's legacy to honor the universal truths in all religions and to respect each individual's right to choose a spiritual path.
For more great history about Unity Temple, go to: http://www.unitytemple.com/about/history.asp