Back in 2001, I attended my first SEE (Spiritual Education and Enrichment) classes at Unity and was introduced to the idea of supporting Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) and Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village (UWH) through the sharing of a monthly tithe. Because I was treasurer on the board of our church at the time, I knew we had not been sending any money to the greater Unity movement in the two years I had been serving in that position. I went back to my church and suggested to the board of directors that we begin sending a monthly tithe. Since then, we have increased our support to include UWM, UWH, and the Eastern Region (UWMER). How has that support served our church, Unity in Edinboro, Penn.?
Prosperity principles have been a part of Unity since its beginnings. We know that we do not give to move God, but to move ourselves into the flow of consciousness of giving and receiving. Through our commitment to these prosperity principles, the spiritual community of Unity in Edinboro has come to a deeper understanding of what it means to know God as our Source. We have come to know more fully how we can be a part of the process of circulation knowing that we can trust the inflow as we simply focus on what is ours to give. Like others in the movement, our community was affected by the downturn in the economy. We chose to continue to give freely, trusting the process, and remaining centered in knowing God as Source. Although we are a small community, we are currently financially stable and prosperous in many ways.
There has been some discussion among Unity ministers whether it is appropriate for churches to tithe. It has been pointed out that nowhere in scripture does it indicate that we, as spiritual communities, are to give tithes. While I understand that scripture may not specifically address the topic of tithing from churches, I go back to the intention behind tithing. I remember that tithing is not for God, it is for us. That applies whether I tithe as an individual, or as a spiritual community. When a spiritual community takes on the practice of tithing, it shifts the consciousness of that community. Just as it has done for me personally, our spiritual community has learned to focus on what is ours to give and do, and then follow through in spite of any appearance of lack or limitation. As we have trusted this process, we have come to a deeper understanding of what it means to allow God as the Source of our good. Our prosperity is not rooted in any one individual’s ability to give and sustain our community. Our prosperity is rooted in knowing God as our Source and the good arriving through a variety of channels, both expected and unexpected! As a result, we have expanded our consciousness of trust, giving, and allowing our good to be revealed in new and wonderful ways.
As a spiritual community, we have had to be in the question of the best place to share our tithes. Traditionally, I was taught to tithe where I am spiritually fed. For an individual, this is typically to my local Unity community. However, where do we, as a spiritual community then choose to tithe? Another idea I have heard more recently is to tithe where I would like to see the Spirit of God expand. This opens up the opportunity to tithe to individuals and organizations who may not specifically feed us spiritually, but who we see being about the work of Spirit. For Unity in Edinboro, we have chosen to tithe to UWM, UWH, the Eastern Region, and individuals and other churches who have made an impact on the work we do.
One of the reasons we have chosen to tithe to UWM, UWH and the Eastern Region is because together they are the foundation of the Unity movement for our spiritual community. While we may not use the services of any or all of these organizations in any particular month, we know the importance of having a strong, solid foundation for the entire Unity movement. We know these services are then available to us as we may need them in the future. We are giving to the greater Unity movement because we believe in the power of a strong Unity movement to change and transform lives. We continue to give where we want to see the Spirit of God grow, and as a Unity community, we desire to see our movement grow in the Spirit of God.
What a blessing it is each month to look at our inflow and be in the question of where to share the prosperity that has come so freely to us. It is with joy that we share our offering with the greater Unity movement, knowing that by doing so we are taking ownership and participating as a channel for God’s good to flow in, through and as us. I invite you to do the same. Expand your consciousness of prosperity and bless this Unity movement as your spiritual community steps into the flow of giving and receiving.