On a Wing and a Prayer
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
August 27, 2017

All Rights Reserved




I invite you to close your eyes & become still in body & mind & feel that you’ve come home this morning to feel loved & to experience the presence of God. Today I’m sharing the words Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity used during a meditation that dedicated the first Silent Unity Building in 1928. Her words are based on Unity’s Prayer of Faith by Hannah More Kohaus.

“Dear one, close your eyes & allow Truth that is timeless to infill you. “God is your help in every need.” Let the past be gone. Wipe out all worry thoughts for tomorrow with the joyous realization of the presence of God filling your every need. “God does your every hunger feed.” God’s presence fills you & enfolds you, satisfying every hunger of your mind, soul & body. Open the channel of your mind & wait upon the Lord & receive the blessings God has prepared for you.

“God walks beside you, guides your way, through every moment of the day.” With God’s hand in yours, God is leading you onward & upward into all things, which are for your highest good. God’s spirit goes before you, preparing & making smooth the way. Trust God unwaveringly. “You are now wise & you are now true, patient, kind & loving too.” With God’s love filling your heart & Christ Mind expressing through your mind, you become a channel of blessing to all. You have no fear of what others may do. You place them in the care of God & trust God to lead them in wisdom, love & good judgment. “All things you are can be & do through Christ, the Truth that is in you.” In constant realization of the Christ presence, all wisdom, strength & understanding are given to you. You are shown the way to solve every problem & meet every obstacle that comes into your path. “God is your health. You can’t be sick God is your strength unfailing quick.” God within you is the ever-flowing fountain of eternal life. As you contact this life through silent prayer & meditation, all inharmonious appearances of mind & of body are dissolved & the expression of perfect life & health is brought into manifestation in you & through you. “God is your all. You know no fear. Since God & Love & Truth are here.” God’s loving presence reveals the Truth of being to you & wipes away all fear. In God, there is Love, peace & perfect assurance for the 1 that knows, God is here & there is no place in your whole being for a single fear thought to lodge. Have the faith in God through Christ Jesus. Know these Truths for yourself. Know that God is with you. You are God’s child & God is leading you in wisdom, love & good judgment into all things, which are for your highest good. God loves you & will never forsake you. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray on this glorious day celebrating our prayer ministry, Silent Unity. Amen.


Wherever you walk around Unity of Vancouver you see evidence of some ones’ love & dedication. Everything that has been done here & that is still being done, is part of the realization of a dream to have a Unity Center in Vancouver. & if you go to Unity Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri & walk around the beautiful Rose Gardens, fruit orchards, our chapel & the Silent Unity Building you would realize that we are an offshoot of an even bigger dream that came into manifestation. Unity is the manifestation of a dream of 2 relatively young people – a 35-year-old man named Charles & his 44-year-old wife Myrtle. It was a dream that came into manifestation because they prayed & believed & knew with God, “all things are possible.”

Unity’s symbol is the winged globe. The circle in the very middle represents the Soul & the Soul has wings on both sides of it & therefore the Soul is in flight. This is the symbol of the soul that is free. Free from what? Free from lack, limitation, sickness, disease & any other physical appearance that you might be tempted to believe has more power than God in your life. To get free, you must find a way to fly above & beyond those limiting things. & you can but you have to look to God & go high in your consciousness.

This was the dream of Charles & Myrtle Fillmore. They did just that & here we are today. When I lived at Unity Village I visited the original Unity building at 9th & Tracy in Kansas City. The original Silent Unity Room was a 10’ X 12’ space. Countless miracles poured forth from this small space. I am still amazed that something as great as Unity started in a space that small. But I really shouldn’t be. Many great things have grown from something the size of a mustard seed & seemed to get by on a wing & a prayer. I think we all need to be reminded that “Big things often come in small packages.” & If we put forth our best effort & give it up to God, God will take our effort & multiply it beyond our wildest dreams.

There are Unity Ministries like ours all over the earth fighting to stay in existence & to keep doing the good work of raising the consciousness of the people & communities we each serve. Sometimes we may find ourselves wondering or even doubting whether our efforts are worth it. Will we just throw in the towel or can we muster the faith, strength & spiritual courage to keep on keeping on? We can & will if we remember that Unity started in a small 10’ x 12’ room & long before that in an obscure village in Palestine called Nazareth. Unity began with 2 people literally working night & day trying to change themselves & the world & they succeeded. Anything worthwhile takes effort. My dad & uncle worked their gas station 24 hours a day for 12 years to get it to a place where it supported 2 families. They literally worked their butts off. I was living in Germany in the 70’s when the economy tanked & the gas wars started. My dad almost had a nervous breakdown. He had put his heart into his business & suddenly there were people trying to burn it down. When the Pittsburgh steel mills closed, many people lost their incomes. Some people saw daddy as a ‘rich’ business owner because he still had a job & income & because my sister & I had gone to collage. I said he almost had a nervous breakdown. What he had was a heart attack. After 3 of them, he sold the business & it was turned into a convenience store.

There isn’t a time when you can just sit back & rest on your laurels & say, “Ok, I’ve done my fair share God. It’s your turn to take care of me!” Well, I guess you can say that but God isn’t going to dump cash into your lap just because you’ve grown tired of working. There are people who think Unity should somehow live on air. Ask them, “Don’t you have bills every month?” Don’t you expect to be paid for the work you do at your job? We all have ongoing bills to pay each month.

The Christ teachings & the Fillmore’s dream of Unity are alive today because of us & people like us willing to give of their time & work to manifest that dream & who give freely of their talents & financial treasures. & that dream is for all Souls to rise on Earth to Christhood so that the Earth becomes a free Earth; a Heaven on Earth.

The Bible quote Silent Unity was originally based on is Hosea 14:2: “Take with you words & return to the Lord.” Now, if you are going to ‘return to the Lord’ what kind of words do you take with you? Do you take with you the words, “Oh, God it is Sunday, my body is sick & my pockets are empty? I don’t know what kind of guidance you’re going to give me today, just please help me.” No! You want to use words that will flow through you, with God power & that will manifest health, prosperity & all the good that GOD desires its children to have.

In the beginning, Silent Unity was called “The Society of Silent Help.” The Fillmore’s sat together in a small room in a building on Tracy Street in Kansas City or in the bedroom of their home, where they held thoughts of God. They wanted those thoughts of God to infill every cell in their body & mind. They held to the Truth, the Absolute reality of oneness with God & did not entertain in their minds thoughts to the contrary & as a result miracles began to happen.

In April of the year 1890, Mrs. Fillmore announced the birth of the Society For Silent Help in her husband’s Magazine, called, “Thought.” Here is what she wrote: “All over the land, persons are yearning for Truth & yet they are so dominated by surrounding error thoughts, that they find it almost impossible without a helping hand to come into harmony with Divine Spirit. To open a way for those & to help them overcome their sickness, ills & troubles is the object of the Society of Silent Help. The wonderful success of absent healing demonstrates that bodily presence is not necessary to those in spiritual harmony. As Jesus said, “If 2 of you agree on Earth as touching anything, whatever they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in Heaven.” Those who have had this experience know it’s true. Hence, a little band in this city has formed & has agreed to meet every night in silent soul communion for 15 minutes to hold the words that we shall give once a month. Hold to that affirmation of truth & hold not to appearances. Whoever may desire to join this society, the only requirement being that members shall sit in a quiet place, if possible at the hour of 10:00 o’clock for 15 minutes.” Establishing the Society For Silent Help resulted in a tremendous change in prayer ministries everywhere because they realized that “If God is everywhere present, then God power is everywhere present.”

“If we pray In Kansas City, Missouri in that little 10’ x 12’ room, we are not alone. We are just opening a channel to the Divine Mind of God. If we are praying with you in Nigeria, you can feel our prayers, just as much as if we were holding hands & praying & looking eye-to-eye. We believe that. We never doubt it & when you call us or write us for prayer, we hold to the Truth of what you are asking. We never doubt it. Not one little iota of doubt. Therefore, we were 2 people agreeing in touching on a thing & it becomes so.

People felt that there was something magical about this prayer group that would believe with you in Kansas City. Letters asking for prayer support started to roll in immediately. In May 1890, in Charles’ magazine “Thought”, Mrs. Fillmore wrote: “Although the Society of Silent Help as an organization has been in existence for but 30 days, it has in a very short time, demonstrated its potency in opening a way for the Spirit of Truth & it will increase in proportion to membership, purity & persistence.” & then Myrtle the dreamer, started to dream again & to share that dream & ask others to join her in it. She said, “At the end of 1 year, there ought to be at least 5000 people in this country alone that will give 15 minutes each evening in silent soul communion with the Spirit of God. With that number of earnest souls holding to the Truths of God, every member should be lifted above sickness, sorrow & poverty.” In the beginning of Silent Unity, Silent Unity was Mrs. Fillmore & Mrs. Fillmore was Silent Unity. Charles was very busy with his magazine “Thought” & working fulltime in the real estate profession. He hadn’t yet given that up because he had a family to support. But they were both absolutely dedicated to prayer. For years, they ran the Prayer Ministry alone. Every night Myrtle would go to bed early & Charles would pray until 2am. Then Charles would go to bed at 2am & Myrtle would rise & begin to pray at 2am so 1 of them was continually in prayer. This complete dedication continued for years in that 10’ x 12’ room. I want to read the oldest known letter in Mrs. Fillmore’s handwriting found to date: It is dated September 7, 1891.

My dear, you ask why you do not enter the understanding that you so desire. I will tell you it is because you are already in it. But you think you must do some great thing to get in there. The Kingdom of God is within you. The key to that Kingdom is acknowledgement or affirmation. You have only to open your eyes to the sunlight in your lungs & they will be filled with fresh air provided by an ever-present Supplier of All. Let consciousness lay hold of this, of the boundless supply of life love & wisdom now. It is your birthright. All you need to do is to be still & know.”

I want to share a story about those early days. As the Society of Silent Help went on, they decided to print the monthly affirmation of prayer on a removable section of their magazine. This page could easily be found because it was colored red. People around the United States started to call it the red leaf. Well, to the dismay of Charles & Myrtle people started to think that the red leaf had healing power & people would apply it to various parts of their body. They would tape it on anything they could just to hold that red leaf all the time. Charles repeatedly wrote to all the members of the Society of Silent Help that the red leaf had no power of its own whatsoever. He said, “It is the affirmations printed on it, the use of those affirmations & the belief in those affirmations as absolutely truth that is the power.” No matter what he said or did people continued to tape the red leaf to body parts & finally, it was discontinued.

In the beginning, they couldn’t answer all of the letters in a timely manner that poured in so Charles Fillmore wrote: “It is because so many ask for words of help & comfort that we have not been able to make our pen fly fast enough. But our thoughts are not so slow. You have all, each & everyone, been held in strong & loving Truth by us.” It was years before they had help answering letters. The Fillmore’s didn’t call themselves Ministers, Pastors, or even Teachers. They didn’t see themselves as the heads of a new church or movement. They called themselves; “The Central Secretaries.” & they truly were because around the clock, they were doing secretarial duty along with prayer. They dreamed of a time when they could ensure that every letter could be read & answered. Their dream has come to pass.

In 1891, Charles had a revelation to name their work Unity & “The Society of Silent Help” name was changed to “The Society of Silent Unity.” At this time, the name of Charles’ magazine also changed from “Thought” to “Unity Magazine.” In 1891, Charles asked people to form ‘Societies of Silent Help’ everywhere around the country. Listen to this next statement because it was the ‘seed’ that caused the Unity ‘church’ movement to manifest around the world. It established the foundation for the way we do church in Unity.

In an article in Unity Magazine in 1891 he wrote: “I am asking you to start a Society of Silent Help wherever you are. Start at once even if you have but 2 persons to begin with. Do not seek numbers but seek harmony in those that meet with you. Meet regularly every Tuesday night & Spirit will eventually draw to you those desired. 2 persons & harmony will do the work of 100 that are in discord. Begin with music & sing frequently during the entire time of the meeting. & immediately after each song, hold in the silence for a moment, some thought of Truth. You can’t overdo the feature of this meeting. It is always uplifting & harmonizing to hold in unison some high spiritual thought. Speech is silver, but silence is golden. The early part of the evening may be passed in general discussion of matters spiritual. But when the clock strikes 9pm, go into the Silence & hold in consciousness a few minutes, “Be still & know that I am God. Then after the music, hold the monthly affirmation in unison for a few moments. It’s sometimes advisable to repeat it audibly & then silently until the mental vibrations become harmonious. In holding these universal thoughts, let your consciousness go out & take in all the minds of all men & women. Feel that you are talking to every soul in the universe & that all are listening to your call. This mental drill will center your thoughts & those of you who are spiritually alive will sense the vibrations of Spirit. Then is the time to do the reflective work. Take up those you desire to help & hold them in thought by name separately. The only object, the aim of this Society is to get people to listen to this still small voice, to know God will lead them in all wisdom & health & happiness. If they will but spend a few moments each day in his company.” In a matter of months, there were 6000 groups around the United States. In 5 years, there were 6000 memberships issued to the Society. By 1903, there were 10,000 members & by 1906, 15,000. Unity began On A Wing & A Prayer because people were healed & because people felt the power of the new kind of healing prayers they were doing. In the beginning all prayer requests came by mail. But very early on & before most people knew about & understood the telephone, the Fillmore’s installed 1 of the new crank telephones. Charles Fillmore was an incredible visionary & he knew what it could do for the ministry of God.

Before WW1, they started the first around the clock telephone ministry, again something very innovative. & In the window of the prayer room, there was a light that continually stayed on. Many working people out walking at night, looked up & saw that light & it lifted their spirits because even though the rest of the city & world was asleep, someone up there in that room wasn’t sleeping. Someone was there waiting for the phone to ring & ready to listen, to care & most importantly to pray. And they began to say, “That’s the light that shines for me. The light that shines for you.”

That first prayer space was 10’ by 12’. It has now grown to an 80,000-square foot building & is part of the Unity Village Campus in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. From 2 people, together in prayer to 250 Silent Unity Workers & over 400 ministries & countless study & prayer groups worldwide. & our ‘Prayer For Protection’ was carried by an astronaut to the moon & left there to radiate over us.

In his book, “The Unity Way of Life”, Marcus Bach wrote. “I have been in many of the great spiritual places of the world. I have been in the holy rooms of the Vatican, in Mormon temples, Baptist temples, & Buddhist temples and the feeling that I have in Silent Unity is above all these other experiences. The rooms in Silent Unity are sacred & you feel it profoundly.

I’m closing with words Myrtle Fillmore said about the miraculous healings, imparted through the prayers to God through Silent Unity & our Worship & study centers worldwide. “It isn’t that our prayers do anything magical. We simply hold you in the Truth consciousness & help you to remember to place your faith in God, the good, omnipotent & omnipresent. And to use your faculties in laying hold of & using this Good. The moment you sense a need & ask for a blessing, have faith in God. Know that God is responding to your need & Good will come forth. The daily repetition of prayer is not necessary to reach God, but rather to hold your own mind & heart steady until the thing that you require is more real to you than the appearance to the contrary. It is your own constructive use of the power of mind which lays hold of & molds the qualities of being to meet your individual needs & that determine your success, satisfaction & freedom from all appearances.

Unity is a dream come true & we must keep dreaming it into the tomorrows of men & women’s lives. We serve an eternal God. May we serve in eternal ways until there are freed souls everywhere & we have established Heaven on earth. Amen



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