RevRuss's blog

May There Be Peace

I just finished writing a note of condolence to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), on the occasion of the senseless death of 17 year old Nabra Hassanen. Miss Hassanen was killed last weekend while walking from her mosque in Sterling to breakfast.  The cause of death now is considered road rage rather than an official hate crime, but that may change.  But isn't road rage committed as an act of hatred?  The facts of the matter make it difficult for me to believe that road rage could lead to such brutality.

Unity and the Paris Accord

Recently, the President of the United States decided to withdraw the nation from the Paris Climate Accord.  I personally was very disappointed with this decision.  And so was the leadership of of Unity Worldwide Ministries and Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village.  For this blog entry, I've decided to share their response.  I pray that each one of us will be ever more mindful of using wisdom in the use of the earth's resources so that our great grandchildren's great grandchildren will continue to be blessed by the responsible actions we have taken.

After Easter, What?

Easter is the Pinnacle of the Christian experience - the ultimate demonstration of the power of the indwelling Christ to overcome any adversity or challenge - even death itself.  It's a powerful and transformative and  inspiring story.

Jesus was not one to sit around.  He was an active doer in the world - teaching about the immanent Kingdom of God, healing individuals of their infirmaties, feeding the hungry.  In the post-resurrection stories, he is portrayed as carrying on his mission - free from the limitations of his physical body.

Well-Being

In 1967 Unity School of Christianity published a compendium of articles written by Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore entitled Dynamics for Living.  The conclusion of the text provides several affirmative prayer treatments for various intentions.  I'd like to share with you one entitled "Affirmation Treatment for Well-Being."  You may want to commit this prayer to memory (or a close rendering of it) or simply read and re-read it.  I've taken the liberty of updating the verbiage just a bit to reflect modern speech.

Tao, Chapter 31

On Sunday, February 19, I spoke on the topic of the use of force and its relationship to the Season for Nonviolence.  I'm grateful to Steve Marcom who provided me with the text from the Tao Te Ching, chapter 31.  Steve leads the 2nd Tier Circle on Sunday mornings at Unity of Fairfax.  Last year, the group studied the Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tzu.  In simple words, Lao-Tzu has captured the essence of my message; namely, there will be times for the use of force, but those times are always last resorts.

Chapter 31

Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.

The Joy of Fasting

Today at lunch I finished my 2-day fast. 

Fasting is taught in many spiritual traditions as a way to enhance one's since of the sacred and bring about a sense of peace.  I certainly found that to be the case.  In fact, I just might start fasting again tomorrow, it felt so good.

Discernment

At the Unity of Fairfax service on Sunday, January 1, I shared some thoughts related to discernment based on Ignatian spirituality (the spiritual practices developed by Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Catholic Jesuit order).  Here's the source document I used from Loyola Press.  I hope you find it as inspirational as I have.

Discernment: Making Inspired Choices

by Joe Paprocki, D.Min.

“Just do it.”

Was Gandhi Angry?

It's been a few weeks since I last blogged, so I thought it appropriate to make one more entry before year end. I once heard it said that "Advent is like March Madness for ministers," and I believe its true!  Fortunately, most of it is crazy fun and wonderful - getting ready for special services, going to parties, and the like.  The other part of it is that as we prepare for Christmas, ministers and church staffs also have to get ready for a new year.

A Reminder of Truth

For the second time since the year 2000, the United States has experienced a presidential election in which the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote and thus the presidency.  This situation, after a long and bruising campaign, has left the nation in an uncomfortable emotional space in which the post-election vitriol is as strong as the pre-election vitriol.  So how might we work to effect a healing of this apparent divide?  Our first step is always prayer.

Truth Student Credo

Currently at Unity of Fairfax we are engaged in the annual Unity Awakening series - Sunday talks and SpiritGroups based on the study of the book Discover the Power Within You by the late Unity minister Eric Butterworth.  Concurrently, I'm assembling resources for a personal project I'm working on about faith formation in the Unity movement (more on that later).  In a conversation with our Community Care Coordinator Ron Karstetter, he mentioned a resource he had recently found that forms a bridge between both the current Unity Awakening series and my personal research.

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