New Age author Marianne Williamson won't cut church's ties with the Unity faith

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2002

WARREN, Mich. (AP) -- A best-selling New Age author and leader of the Church of Today said at Sunday services that her congregation won't be quitting the Association of Unity Churches.

Marianne Williamson said a handful of her 2,300 members threatened to file suit if the church proceeded with a planned break. Though the church could win in court, money shouldn't be spent on litigation, Williamson said.

She was given an ovation when she said she wouldn't resign over the issue.

Williamson has led the Church of Today since 1998 and her congregation has hosted visits from notables such as Oprah Winfrey. At her urging, members voted in December to leave the Unity association, based in Lee's Summit, Mo., to underscore a new mission as an interfaith fellowship.

Unity, founded in the 1880s by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, emphasizes freedom of belief but offers particular views on matters like spiritual healing, reincarnation, God, Jesus and the Bible. The organization reports 915 member ministries in North America.

The Church of Today plans to change its name to Renaissance Unity, Williamson said. A future membership meeting will review legal details of the Unity relationship.


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