RevRuss's blog

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.


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.

Nobel Comes to Unity

Blessings are all around us, and sometimes they manifest in quite unexpected ways.  One of them happened on Monday, September 26 when 2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Kailash Satyarthi stopped by Unity of Fairfax.  Actually, the visit was arranged by parents of a Pinnacle Academy student; fortunately, Pinnacle extended the invitation to attend Mr. Satyarthi's talk not only to Unity of Fairfax, but to the general public.  He spoke in our sanctuary and was a natural in communicating with the children present.

Kindness and Justice

In the book Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, author Brian McLaren wrote these paragraphs that highlight the relationship between contemplation and justice.  I've found them to be inspirational, and would like to share them with you.

Contemplation as Letting Go

This spring, Unity of Fairfax engaged in a collective study of the book The Naked Now by Richard Rohr.  He has a daily blog, and I found today's blog especially meaningful and have decided to share it with you.  If you're inspired by his words, you may want to subscribe to his blog.  Although a Franciscan priest, Rohr's teaching aligns well with Unity teachings.  I am always delighted to find seemingly different teachers coming into alignment!

Contemplation as Letting Go Friday, September 2, 2016


The word "discernment" is an important word for anyone on a spiritual path.  The word itself comes from a Latin root meaning "to separate."  Discernment is to be contrasted with another word "decide," which also comes from a Latin root meaning "to cut off." Why is this important? In making a decision, one "cuts off" the other options.  It's either A or B, not both.  Decisions are decisive and sometimes made in haste and often - more often than not - made in one's head.  


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