Giving for a Lifetime and Beyond
Martin Fisher grew up in Unity, has been involved in Unity his entire adult life, and will be supporting Unity after he’s gone.
For Martin, who still attends the Unity Center of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where his grandmother attended and his family attended throughout his childhood, the Unity principles are a way of life. They are also something he wants future generations to discover.
“To me, it’s ethically right that if you support something in your life, you should support it in your estate,” says Martin.
Growing up, he says, he accepted the Unity principles as absolute truth, “but I didn’t actively use the teachings until I was in college in London in 1977.” After arriving on campus, jetlagged and feeling very alone, he wondered if he’d made a mistake choosing to go 4,000 miles away to study abroad for a year.
One day, he picked up a phone book and began searching for a Unity center nearby. He found one, and began attending regularly. It gave him the tools he needed and he ended up “having a terrific college experience.”
Martin was particularly influenced by the late Rev. Eric Butterworth’s book, “Discover the Power Within You” (Harper & Row, 1968).
“I devoured that book, which taught me what I knew intuitively—I had no need to fear or feel alone because I already had all the resources I needed in God. All was in divine order,” he says.
Years later, Martin encountered Rev. Butterworth again—this time in person. On business trips to New York City, Martin would go to hear him speak at Avery Fisher Hall.
“I learned that thoughts are things, the power of prayer, and the importance of staying prayed up. I learned to pray with conviction. Butterworth said you get not what you pray for, but what you expect,” says Martin.
That learning had vital importance for Martin in 2007 when he was diagnosed with a serious form of melanoma. He applied Butterworth’s teachings—using discipline and commitment to hold to the truth and root out error thinking. He prayed and meditated on the same thought Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore had held to heal herself of tuberculosis: I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness. And Martin fully recovered.
Unity principles have guided him to health, peace of mind, and prosperity. He remembers in particular appendix B in Georgia Tree West’s book “Prosperity’s Ten Commandments,” which focuses on “miracle-working prayer.” Martin credits those principles in part for his business success.
“I have always believed I’ve been enormously blessed financially,” he says. “That is from God.”
In return, he and his wife Michele are committed to tithing. “Tithing is about putting your money and your time where it’s most important,” Martin says. “At the least, 10 percent does not belong to me, it is for me to direct to where I am spiritually fed.”
The Fishers support Unity at the Unity Village level—including Silent Unity® and Daily Word®, which Martin has known since he was a little child—and the local Unity Center of Cedar Rapids. “That’s where we get our spiritual nourishment,” he says.
They also support the Eastern region chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, where both serve on the board of trustees.
Martin believes Unity, with its uniting, nonjudgmental message is especially important now. “There is so much violence and lack of love and peace in the world. We need to get the message out there. It supports humankind.”
He appreciates that Unity is open and inclusive. “That is a marvelous distinction for the Unity movement. Some churches say if you’re not like us, you’re not welcome. Unity says we honor all paths and all backgrounds.”
“Unity is going to grow,” says Martin. “It has a very vital role to play—retreats at Unity, Silent Unity, Daily Word, Unity Online Radio, blessing booklet and Unity churches—they all give people a chance to live in abundance and peace.”
In gratitude for the difference Unity has made in their lives, and in support of its future, Martin and Michele have decided to include Unity in their estate plans.
“It is a satisfying thought that Unity offerings are an important source of support for people, and the good works will continue on after we’re gone.”