1.) WE AREN'T SLAVES TO TRADITIONS, TEACHERS, OR TIMES GONE BY.
Unity is a new church seeking to establish our identity and culture. We want to create an atmosphere and environment at our church that doesn't tend to drift towards an overemphasis on tradition-keeping or unhealthy nostaligia of the "old days." Sometimes these tendencies create a rear-facing, sentimentalized, and irrelevant church culture. There is nothing wrong with fondly reminiscing about the "good ol' days", but there is a real danger in attempting to ignore the reality that those days have passed. The challenge is to learn how to appreciate the past without dwelling there.
Traditions are sometimes good, but sometimes they can become rituals that become almost sacredotal. Sometimes traditions become so deeply ingrained that they dominate the life and ministry of the church, robbing it of energy and resources that should be spent on gaining new ground for the Lord Jesus Christ. Churches that bill themselves as "old fashioned" often lose touch with this generation who needs more than antiquated re-creations of church from the 1970s. Sometimes in their attempts to hold on to the past, the church becomes rear-facing, sappy, and preservationist about their past. They become rigid and inflexible, and unwilling to minister to the new challenges of a secular culture rapidly changing and in collapse. What is needed is a church that is focused and on mission - not to preserve history, but to make history. Unity is "reaching out for the things which are before...pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14)
There is a great danger in ingrained traditions and a fixation with everything "old" - that is how the Roman Catholic system gained and held such power during the medieval period of the dark ages. They attributed spiritual value to performing rituals and ceremonies, of honoring saints, and creating relics out of objects within the church. Many Baptists today have done similiar things in their churches today (i.e. placing brass nameplates on every donated item, giving special honor to certain ones within the church, conducting worship services according to an undeviating form (like a liturgy), and attributing sacredness to the position of furniture and appearance of the building). These sorts of practices will eventally bring a new period of darkness upon a church, just as Roman Catholicism once did.
At Unity, we won't be held slaves to tradition, teachers, or times gone by. We have discovered the difference between appreciating how God has blessed us in our past, and honoring the past for its own sake. We do look back and treasure the lessons history has taught us. We cling to what we have learned from beloved preachers and teachers in our past. We do have times where we remember and celebrate what God has done for us as a church - but we are careful to ensure that everything centers upon God alone. Rather than claiming to be "Old Fashioned", we are endeavoring to be timeless - not fashioning ourselves to the past or to the fads of the present; we only want to find faithful methods and fresh opportunities to continue to serve the Lord in our present day!