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.
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?"
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.
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.
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 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?
I'm away at the 2015 Annual Unity People's Convention in Albuqurque, NM and have been inspired by the the time for many reasons; yesterday took the cake.
On Sunday, May 31 I shared a few words from my Unity past that have contuined to inspire and sustain me for over 25 years. These words were the "Opening Statement" we used at Unity Christ Church of Wimington, NC that opened the Sunday services at that ministry for many years. There are as follows:
God is All
Both Visible and Invisible
At last night's "Background of New Thought" class, we spent some time examining an idea put forth by the ancient Greek philopsopher Plato called "forms." According to Plato, everything that exists in the material world has a correspending perfect ideal - "form" - that exists in the immaterial world.
Last night at Unity of Fairfax we started a 5-week adventure called "Background of New Thought," a spiritual education and enrichment class that explores the origins of not only Unity but other related spiritual movements. These movements include, but are not limited to, Christian Science, Divine Science, Science of Mind, Centers for Spiritual Living, Theosophy, and Unitarian-Universalism.