This month's Heart of the House is a little different than usual. Leddy' dad, Unity minister Lowell Turner, was mentioned in the July/August edition of Unity Magazine. We thought you'd enjoy reading about the origin of the Peace Mural that's in our Peace Chapel in this adapted version of the article:
SWEET, PETITE PRAYER CHAPEL
Have you ever thought about prosperity in terms of peace? I seldom take the time to ponder the prosperous benefits my body receives whenever I enter into the Silence and become one with peace–unless, that is, I happen to find myself at the intersection of desperate and frazzled.
Luckily, Unity Village offers many places where taking a deep breath is encouraged. One such place I visited recently is the Peace Chapel, located just west of Fillmore Chapel on the north side of the Education Building. While many visitors to campus have no idea this tiny chapel exists, it’s open 24/7 for anyone who wants to spend a little time in quiet solitude. To get there, walk along the west side of the building (the side facing the tower). The chapel juts out of that side, its only entrance the exterior doors at the far end of the portico.
It’s an interesting space, barely measuring 10 feet by 20 feet, but its vaulted ceiling makes it seem much larger. The room is darker than most places on campus, thanks to the deep wine-colored curtains, that cover two of its three windows. Most of the light that comes in is from the double-door entrance and the large, blue stained glass window featuring the word Peace and a dove with an olive branch—universal symbols of peace. Two small candelabras, each with four dimly lit sconces, hang from the ceiling and provide just enough light to give the chapel a warm, inviting feel. In the back of the room is a telephone with a direct line to Silent Unity.
At the front of the chapel is a mural with the words ‘Peace, be still . . .’ Painted in ornate gold lettering on a luminous cloud in an otherwise empty blue sky. It’s a good reminder to take a moment to slow down before sitting in one of the chapel’s five ornate renaissance-style wooden chairs, carved by Unity Village master woodworker, Ivan Lee around the first half of the 20th century.
The mural was painted by The Reverend Lowell Turner before the Peace Chapel opened in the spring of 1965. (Turner was in ministerial school at the time and was also the personal assistant to Waldo Rickert Fillmore, son of Unity founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and the architect of Unity Village.) In fact, the design and décor of the Peace Chapel was one of the last projects Fillmore commissioned before his transition in 1965. The mural is thought to be the only painting personally commissioned by a member of the Fillmore family. (Later, Turner was commissioned to create similar peace murals at other Unity churches, including Unity of Brooksville in Florida and Unity Church of peace near St. Louis, Missouri.) These words and the chapel itself have remained the same since Silent Unity moved out of the building to its current location in 1989.
In his November, 1994 Unity magazine column ‘Life Is a Wonder,’ Unity poet laureate James Dillet Freeman described how the Peace Chapel came into existence when he answered a letter from Turner’s daughter, Lyla:
‘First of all, we saw that it would be helpful if we could find a place already built . . . . It had to be a room that would always be available; it had to be in a part of the grounds that was not hard to reach . . . . I like to think the little room was waiting to become the Peace Chapel.’
I like to think this small, out-of-the-way chapel was waiting on me to come in and discover its quiet space of peace.” – David Penner, in July/August, 2017 issue of Unity magazine.
Find out more about Lowell at LowellHTurner.com