Unity Center

Mills River, North Carolina

Rev. Chad O'Shea, Minister
Lytingale, Minister of Music

"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."
~ G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908)

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What is Unity?
What Do We Believe?

The heart of Unity religion is a positive faith in universal principles rather than doctrines. We are far more interested in practices than in articles of faith, and in character and conduct than in doctrines or creeds.

"But what do you believe in Unity?" we are asked. "What is your creed?"

We have no creed or catechism. We follow The Ten Commandments, the sayings of Jesus, and the calling of our own hearts. We are expected to follow the dictates of reason, conscience, and experience. Unity churches make no official pronouncements on God, the Bible, immortality, codes of morality, or any other theological questions. We believe in individual freedom of religious belief - that we must each open our mind and heart to receive truth and inspiration from every possible source. Further, we believe that the mere confession of faith is a poor substitute for its practice in daily life.

We view religion as an ever-changing journey, rather than a destination. We are continually challenged with new opportunities to test the strength of our convictions, to keep our hearts open. As we search for answers, we must each learn to "walk the walk, not just talk the talk."

We believe that the Bible is one expression of divine thought. Transcribed and translated by the limited understanding of humans, the Bible is a wonderful guide to spiritual unfolding, but it must be understood as a metaphor, rather than literally. We especially focus on the teachings of Jesus, who taught through parables - stories - rather than the gospels written by Paul (who never met Jesus). The works of Bible scholars  Dr. George Lamsa and Dr. Rocco Errico in translating the Bible from the original Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus) are especially useful ways to clarify teachings in the context of the culture and language idioms.

We believe that we must each accept responsibility for our actions and for the way we experience our world. We create our inner reality one thought at a time by choosing where to focus our attention. We can gain dominion over our mind through conscious study and spiritual practice, such as meditation.

We believe we are born in the image and likeness of God... therefore, with infinite potential and with NO "original" sin. Every person is a child of God. 

We cultivate responsible behavior by remembering we will each "reap what we sow." The Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - like the Hindu idea of karma - teaches us that the "good" you do comes back to you.

Do you have questions that traditional religion can't answer?
  • I cannot accept religious beliefs on faith alone. Is there a church for me?
  • I believe in many things: equality, human dignity, the need for community, the ongoing search for truth. Is there a church for people with open minds, instead of dogma?
  • Is there something more to life than producing and consuming? Is there a church that can open my heart without closing my mind?
  • Shouldn't "family values" apply to all kinds of families? Aren't "freedom" and "acceptance" values worth nurturing in our society?
  • Is there a religion that honestly encourages the full use of logic and reason?
  • Don't all the world's spiritual teachers teach an essentially similar message: love for God and each other? Why do so many religions think they have the "only right way" to God?
  • Can persons of any religious background - Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, etc. -- find welcome in one church... without conversion or renunciation of their other beliefs?
  • Some of the things in the Bible don't make sense in our modern world. Is there another way to understand Jesus' teachings?
  • If God is just and loving and compassionate, then why would He condemn half the world's people to eternal damnation just because they've never heard of Jesus?
  • If you find your own thoughts, experiences, and searching in these questions, consider finding a church home and a spiritual family at our Unity Center. We accept and encourage a wide variety of religious opinions, believing that we can find unity in our diversity.

    Together we quest for:

  • Exploration of religious beliefs and spiritual practices.
  • Respect for the individual search for truth and the spiritual practices of all cultures.
  • Healthy enjoyment and appreciation of the many blessings of life.
  • Reverence for the teachings of Jesus rather than the person.
  • Desire for religion to be relevant, practical, meaningful, and personal.
  • Faith in the working of Universal Spiritual Principles.
  • The necessity for selfless service on the spiritual path.
Community with Diversity

We welcome all people into our spiritual family, without any requirement that you give up other spiritual paths, and without regard to your gender, race, politics, sexual orientation, age, dress, hair color, or any of the other artificial barriers to seeing our oneness.  We are all children of God... all one family. 

Jesus taught an uncompromisingly spiritual gospel centered on love, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We choose to work on overcoming all forms of injustice and bigotry, in the world and in our own thoughts and hearts.  

Because we are all still learning, we learn to forgive each other and ourselves, recognizing that each human being is a process. We look for the spiritual truth beyond the ego-centered appearances.

Every interaction, indeed every moment of our lives, is a lesson, an opportunity for growth and spiritual practice.  How can I transform this moment? Challenges can be our greatest lessons; "difficult" people, our greatest teachers.  

We encourage each person to find their "bliss" - to express and share their own unique gifts and talents through service, an important part of the path of spiritual growth.  We encourage you to find friendships and meaning through participation in our Love In Action volunteer program or in community outreach, like our Habitat For Humanity Interfaith Build team or our Feed The Kids team.

Our Worship Celebrations

What can you expect at a Unity Sunday morning service? People of all ages, dressed however they feel comfortable (from jeans to suits), coming together for fellowship, to learn to create a more joyful, harmonious life, and to experience a spiritual connection to God.

A typical worship service includes:

  • Contemporary, original music, both sung together by the congregation and performed by Lytingale and The Unitic Band,
  • A few teaching jokes and stories,
  • A time of meditation and healing prayers,
  • Singing The Lord's Prayer together,
  • A lesson from our unique minister, Rev. Chad O'Shea (described as a cross between George Carlin and Ram Dass!)
  • We laugh, we sing, we cry, we meditate, we learn, we hug, and we do our best to take this joyful experience out into our daily lives to transform our world.

What is Unity?

Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity, based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual's right to choose a spiritual path.

Unity was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, Missouri, during the late 1800's. Begun as individual prayer and study groups, Unity has evolved into a religion that embraces the modern diversity of philosophical thinking. Belief in the healing power of affirmative prayer has led Unity to the forefront of exploring new methods of healing and toward the reconciliation of scientific thought and religion.

Often labeled "New Thought" or "New Age," Unity has deep roots to sustain the search for Spiritual Principles to guide our lives. In addition to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we embrace the Universal Truths which were taught by all the conscious master teachers who have walked the earth.

Unity Village in Missouri currently publishes two magazines: Daily Word (a daily devotional) and Unity Magazine (spiritual articles and poems), as well as books by the Fillmores, Emilie Cady, and modern metaphysical authors.

A light is always shining in Silent Unity at Unity Village, Missouri, for someone is always praying, 24 hours a day, continuously for over 100 years!

Each Unity church is autonomous. Although we belong to a voluntary national Association of Unity Churches to share resources and support each other, each Unity church is governed by its own Bylaws, hires its own minister and staff, and elects its own Board members. The "home office" does not tell us what to do or believe.

Fast Facts about Unity

Get in touch with Unity...

"Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly."

"Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God." ~ Teilhard de Chardin

"I have come that my joy might remain in you." ~ Jesus

"Every man, every woman must take time daily for quiet and meditation. In daily meditation lies the secret of power. No one can grow in either spiritual knowledge or power without it." ~ Emilie Cady, Unity author

"Our most important study is our own consciousness." ~ Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity

Because Unity is open-ended and diverse, we invite you to visit other Unity churches and their web sites for a different view!


  • Fast Facts about Unity
    • The Unity movement was co-founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1889.
    • Unity Worldwide Ministries is a religious, educational organization based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    • Unity Worldwide Ministries is the world headquarters of the Unity movement. We welcome all people, regardless of religious background, and serve their spiritual needs through prayer, publishing, and education.
    • Unity's world headquarters is located at Unity Village, Missouri, a 1,400-acre incorporated municipality 15 miles southeast of Kansas City, MO.
    • Unity mails approximately 34 million pieces of mail each year, including braille materials.
    • Unity employs a staff of more than 700 at its headquarters.

    Silent Unity Prayer Ministry

    • The Silent Unity Prayer Ministry ~ "the light that shines for you" ~ offers confidential prayer support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year... continuous prayer for over 100 years!
    • The Unity approach to prayer is affirmative, based on positive prayers and affirmations that have universal, interfaith appeal.
    • Silent Unity: The Light That Shines for You" - a light shines in Silent Unity 24 hours a day, representing the spiritual light generated by thousands of voices who join in speaking words of faith and blessing. It is a light lit by hearts and minds united in the love of God.
    • Silent Unity receives nearly one million letters and 1.5 million telephone calls for prayer annually.
    • Currently, 200 dedicated & well-trained prayer associates answer 4,000 calls every day  with this greeting: “Silent Unity, How may we pray with you?”

    Education Ministry

    • Unity Institute provides a 24-month Ministerial Education Program for ministerial candidates, leading to ordination. 
    • Unity offers numerous sessions of adult curriculum annually through its SEE Spiritual Education & Enrichment program.  Classes are taught for credit at Unity Village, online, and in local churches.
    • Unity trains lay leaders in its Licensed Unity Teacher program.
    • At least 12 Retreats for adults are offered throughout the year. Spanish-language retreats are also offered.

    Publishing Ministry

    • Unity operates one of the largest religious publishing houses in the Midwest.
    • Unity publishes two periodicals - Daily Word daily devotionals and Unity magazine - along with pamphlets, books, and audio-visual products to help people in their daily lives.
Our church is one of hundreds of Unity churches across the world.
Our Unity Wings in stained glass
The Unity Wings - the meaning of this Unity symbol
  • Association of Unity Churches ~ our international association of churches serves member ministries with administrative support & materials.  We are a member of this Association.

  • SE Unity ~ Southeast Region of Unity churches

  • UMMAS ~ Unity Ministers of the Mid-Atlantic States, our sub-region for NC, SC, GA, TN
    • UMMAS Annual Retreat ~ a Mountaintop Experience for your growth & inspiration
Unity Worldwide Ministries is a religious, educational organization based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, co-founded by Charles & Myrtle Fillmore in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1889.

Visit Unity World Headquarters:

  • Read today's Daily Word
  • Unity Village in Missouri offers retreats 
  • Request prayer from Silent Unity, confidential prayer support, continuously for over 100 years.


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Unity in western North Carolina ~ click here to visit our front page

Unity Center
2041 Old Fanning Bridge Road
Mills River
, NC 28759
(828) 891-8700,

Email: unity(at)unitync.net

Affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries


© 1996-2012 Unity Center of Christianity, Inc., Mills River NC                  Last modified: 2012-02-01
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