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State of the Unity 2015

 I'm posting my "State of the Unity 2015" address that was presented at the Unity of Fairfax Annual Membership Meeting on Sunday, November 1.  If you have comments or questions, please use the dialog option on this blog.  Thanks!

Rev. Russ

 

 The theme of my “State of the Unity 2015” message is energy management.

Divine Audacity

 On Sunday, October 4 Unity of Fairfax launched Unity Awakening 2015 - our annual series of Sunday messages and small group study focusing on the work of a prominent thought leader in the Unity movement.  This year we're studying Divine Audacity, by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett.

Tithes and Charitable Gifts

 On Sunday, September 27, I shared with the congregation of Unity of Fairfax the recipients and amounts of our August 2015 tithes.  Unity of Fairfax made a sacred commitment to itself to engage in the spiritual practice of tithing (10% of gross income) from ALL sources of income - monies received at Sunday services, mailed to the church, class offerings, automatic funds transfer, proceeds from events, rentals - all sources.  Our gross income for August 2015 was around $74,000, so we had $7,400 in tithes.

Unity Fall Festival

Early in my tenure at Unity of Fairfax, I started hearing about a fun and fundraising activity called “Block Party.”  For a variety of reasons the event was not held in 2013, but last year it was revived under the moniker “Blocktoberfest.”  What a blast!  We all enjoyed - maybe a little too much - the dunking tank, the pie eating contest, the dancing, the food!  A great time was had by all to be sure.  And there there were the silent and live auctions that raised several thousand dollars to support the mission of Unity of Fairfax.

Spiritual Labor

 The Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and I wanted to address the topic of "Spiritual Labor."  That's a broad topic, so I'm zeroing in on the idea of why engage in spritual practices.  As anyone who has endeavored to maintain any sort of spiritual practice knows, it takes work, effort and commitment to maintain a practice; but that doesn't answer the question of "why do it in the first place?"

Spiritual Retreat

Currently I'm away on a clergy spiritual retreat offered through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation based out of Washington, DC.  There are 12 clergy in attendance from various Christian denominations. In their 27 year history, I'm the first Unity minister.

Healing Happens

 On two consecutive Sundays, June 28 and July 5 those in attendance at Unity of Fairfax heard stories of physical healings.  The first on June 28 was from Carolee Egan who was told at the beginning of the year she had five months to live; the second was from Janice Collins Coyle, who, though not given any particular time frame was facing a perilous journey.  Fortunately for them - and us - alll tests now reveal no trace of disease.  They've been healed.

Changes

 It was autumn 1992, and the NAMES Project AIDS quilt was on public display on the National Mall for the last time.  Sadly, it had grown so large that displaying it again in its wholeness would be untenable.  Each panel of the quilt represented an individual who died as a result of complications from HIV/AIDS.  Currently more the 48,000 panels have been created.

When Death Comes

When a loved one dies I'm often asked, "why did this have to happen?"  One answer is fairly obvious:  from the day we're born, our death is inevitable; but that's hardly a consolation.  Why is it that some people live to be past 100 years old, and others only survive a few hours.  Why is it that kind and generous people sometimes die while they're raising families or making meaningful contributions?  Why is it that sometimes people die from bizarre accidents or senseless acts of violence?

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