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The Unity movement began within the larger New Thought Movement that emerged in the mid- to late 1800’s. In spite of its name, New Thought has its origins in Ancient Thought, that is to say, the accumulated wisdom and philosophy spanning Ancient Greek to Taoist to Vedic to Buddhist to Early Jewish & Christian cultures, to name only a few. New Thought coalesced around an inherited common thread from our forebears regarding the interaction between human thought, belief, and consciousness. Enriching and applying beliefs about metaphysics, positive thinking, law of attraction and forms of meditation and prayer, its students sought healing and transformation of the human experience, in pursuit of our infinite divine nature.


Against the backdrop of the New Thought Movement, Unity was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1892. The Fillmores were leading Bible study groups for friends and neighbors, and while they had no intention of founding a new church, the members of their study groups asked them to also hold Sunday services. The Fillmores’ metaphysical approach to understanding the Bible and applying it in a practical way to daily life was unlike what people were receiving from their traditional church programs. Unity churches and spiritual centers developed from these roots and remain part of a world-wide movement.

While not unique to Unity, the following broadly embraced New Thought tenets form the basis for what Unity calls its (teachings of) Truth:

  • God is all there is and present everywhere. This is the force of love and wisdom that underlies all of existence

  • Human beings are divine at their core and therefore inherently good

  • Thoughts have creative power to determine events and attract experiences

  • Prayer and meditation keep us aligned with the one great power in the universe

  • It is not enough to understand spiritual teachings, we must live the Truth we know


A practical application of Unity's basic tenets calls us to live more consciously by knowing that :


  • God is all love, all goodness and is the only power at work in us and in the world.


  • Each of us can awaken to individually expressing our oneness with this Divine Source.

  • We do this when we pray the Unity way, affirming that we are co-creators through aligning our thoughts with God.

  • We are called to make a difference in the world based on being the Light wherever we are. 


       -Rev. Rosalind

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Unity does not require membership or adherence to this Center’s interpretation of the teachings to be a part of our faith community. You may decide to seek membership if any of the following is important to you :

  • Being a student of Unity principles, engaging in learning and service opportunities and supporting Unity Church of Rochester for the six months prior to membership

  • Voting at meetings regarding business issues, operating decisions, and community direction

  • Serving on the Board of Trustees (elected positions)


If you decide to seek membership, you will be invited to participate in a 3 hour, “Basics of Unity” Class (pre-requisite). The Membership Orientation Class is held approximately every six months, times and dates will be announced and appear in the “Events” calendar page of this website.

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