Frequently Asked Questions

As pre-pandemic conditions begin to return, Sunday children’s services will start to be conducted for all ages including teens, as well as a nursery staffed by our volunteers. Children’s programs will begin at 11:00 a.m.

The opening of children's serves may vary as the pandemic conditions vary.

Sunday Morning, 9 – 10 a.m. — First Service Cancelled

This service is cancelled during the pandemic and will resume when pre-pandemic conditions return.

Held in our Sanctuary, this one hour service is an experience of quiet contemplation, with a longer period of silent meditation. We sing and we are led in silent meditation. Rev. Russ or a guest speaker delivers a thought-provoking, soul-stirring lesson based on Unity principles and an interpretation of the Bible or other scripture for these times. The messages are always practical and can be immediately applied to your life and upcoming week

Sunday Morning, 10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. — Adult and Youth Classes

Adults are invited to dive into a live-streamed class:

When pre-pandemic conditions return,  Youth Education classes are held from 10 to 11 a.m., so that children can attend the worship service with their parents.

Sunday Morning, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Second Service

You may register to attend a Sunday 11 a.m. service in person. Registration is required during the immediate post-pandemic period.

Held in our Sanctuary, this sixty-minute, soul-stirring, high energy, worship celebration is live-streamed. It incorporates music from our live band, our Unity Chorus, or guest musicians and vocalists. Music in this service can range from contemporary Christian, gospel and original inspirational spiritual ballads to heart opening solos and festive chants and praise songs. Rev. Russ delivers a high energy, interactive, thought-provoking, Spirit-filled but practical Life Lesson that you can apply immediately to your week.

Youth of Unity

When pre-pandemic conditions return, our high school group, Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.) meets at 11 a.m.

What kind of prayer do you have during the service?

During each service there will be a guided meditation and prayer, with an extended period of silence to go within, and commune with, the divine. This may seem unusual to first-time visitors who aren’t used to this type of prayer, but we have found that this quiet stillness becomes a favorite part of the service for many people.

Rev. Russ speaks at Sunday Services except when he is away on speaking engagements at Unity conferences. Rev. Russ himself selects guest speakers, Unity Ministers, or  New Thought affiliates who are renowned in their fields of expertise.

As a non-profit 501 c (3) tax-exempt, philanthropic organization, Unity of Fairfax depends upon the generosity of its members, congregants, and friends. We provide various vehicles for the giving of tithes, gifts, legacy giving, and more to support our administration, ministries, departments, and humanitarian local and global outreach services.

Collections are received during our services, and you may learn about other tithing and giving opportunities here:

Donate Now

To inquire about membership, you may talk to Rev. Russ after any Sunday service, or keep an eye out for new member classes which are held several times each year.

Please also see New to Unity of Fairfax for more detail.

Prayer Chaplains are individuals who are trained and commissioned in the sacred practice of prayer.  They have taken specific classes to practice a form of prayer that is in alignment with Unity principles and the universal spiritual laws governing the cosmos.

Prayer Chaplains are available for prayer at the end of each Sunday service.

Yes, we consider Unity to be a Christian denomination, but we do acknowledge that we don’t conform to some of the more conservative interpretations of some Christian denominations.

Yes, we are Christian if you mean do we follow the example and teachings of Jesus-the-Christ. Yes, if you mean do we love God with all our minds, hearts, souls, and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Yes, if you mean that we lead lives of devoted service, seeking to compassionately care for those who may be marginalized, and in need of grace.  Yes, if you mean do we stand up in the public square for justice and fairness as did Jesus.

Unity does not teach the acceptance of Jesus as the only savior and Christianity as the only path to God and eternal salvation.  We do not subscribe to the religion created about Jesus that is often exclusive, laced with highly restrictive dogma, frequently overlooks Jesus, and emphasizes “doctrine”, which for many has been the source of tremendous confusion and pain.

Unity of Fairfax teaches that Jesus was not the great exception, but rather the great example. Classically, Unity and those in the New Thought–Ageless Wisdom tradition of spirituality regard Jesus an enlightened being, one who attained Christ, or liberation from a sense of separation from the Source of all that is. Jesus, like Gautama The Buddha, is revered as a way-shower, as an exemplar of unconditional love, selfless service, and self-mastery.

The Bible is the source and chief reference-point for Rev. Russ’s services and Unity of Fairfax’s classes, and it remains the cornerstone of the Unity teachings.   We apply a metaphysical interpretation to the Bible, not a literal interpretation.  To that end, we seek to find the practical inner-meaning of the Bible, as well as other ancient sacred writings and texts that have been handed down through the ages.  Like our co-founder Charles Fillmore, we are always in search for the universal spiritual principles found in the ancient wisdom of the Bible and other holy texts. The Bible that is primarily used by Rev. Russ is the New Revised Standard version.  He also references the Gnostic-inspired edition  translated and interpreted from the original Aramaic, rather than the Greek translation used in traditional Christian churches such as the King James version or the Saint Gregory version used by the Catholic church.

Yes.

But Unity of Fairfax is not only a church. We’re the most loving place on earth. In everyday parlance, “church” is associated with Christian denominations and their houses of worship. Unity of Fairfax is much more than a traditional church but sees itself as a positive path for spiritual living. We are a local and global trans-denominational spiritual “center”. This terminology best describes the inclusiveness and diversity for which Unity of Fairfax is known and respected.

Unity of Fairfax embraces a Reality that the world’s scriptures and sacred texts endeavor to describe, even as they acknowledge the impossibility of such a task. Some call it God, Great Spirit, Yahweh, or Allah, while others simply prefer to leave it nameless.  Unity of Fairfax teaches that this Ultimate Reality is the Source of our life, that we are made in its image and likeness, which makes us co-creative participants in the three-dimensional world in which we live.

Through Unity of Fairfax’s teaching of the New Thought–Ageless Wisdom tradition of spirituality, individuals are taught the universal principles governing the cosmos and the practices by which one can apply them including meditation, affirmative prayer and sitting in the silence and sacred service. Many of these technologies have been practiced by spiritual seekers for thousands of years, teachings which to this present day are practical in meeting humanity’s challenges of 21st century living.  Unity of Fairfax’s teachings point the way to how an individual may cultivate their own unique relationship with the Ineffable and live from a place of conscious connection with the Essential Self while being a beneficial presence on the planet through selfless service and the giving of their unique gifts.

In Unity of Fairfax’s services and classes, we refer to the world’s scriptures and sacred texts, as well as the writings of ancient and contemporary mystics, teachers, sages, philosophers, pundits, scientists.

CiviCRM, Eventbrite, Brown Paper Tickets and Google Forms are being used for online registration.

Pre-printed Tickets

Church staff, upon request, can print paper tickets for use in the bookstore and the atrium. Brown Paper Tickets, if selected, also offers optional pre-printed tickets.

CiviCRM

Pros

  • Integrated into the UoF website; a ticket buyer remains on our website
  • Accepts credit card payment, ACH/Direct Deposit or Apple Pay using the stripe payment processor
  • For 2017, our first year with stripe, all credit card and direct deposit fees are waived
  • Can send email notifications to event organizers when there is an order
  • Identifies name of each attendee when buyer purchases multiple tickets
  • The Webmaster, on demand, can provide a list of current registrants
  • Optional limit to the number of registrations

Cons

  • Requires the webmaster or a trained Unity staff member to implement
  • Offers limited questionaire options, and requires the webmaster to customize new ones

Payment Details

  • Stripe charges $0.30 + 2.2% per ticket for most credit cards
  • Stripe charges $0.30 + 3.5% per ticket for American Express
  • Stripe charges 0.8% for a direct debit from a bank account ($5 cap).
  • Apple Pay is an option.
  • Fees by default are deducted from the proceeds paid to Unity, but may be added to the ticket price.
  • Pay Later is an option for individuals who prefer to mail a check to Unity.

Eventbrite

Pros

  • Accepts Paypal or credit card payment
  • Offers a wide variety of questionaire options
  • Can send automatic notifications to event organizers when there is an order
  • Allows the event creator to give online access to event organizers
  • Event organizers granted access can log on and get a list of attendees or email all attendees.
  • Offers ease of event posting to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Tracks registration source, i.e., a direct Eventbrite registration or a registration from Facebook or other Eventbrite promotions.
  • Allows creation of special tracking links, e.g. from a Pathways listing, as registration sources to track registration source.
  • Does internal Eventbrite cross-promotions with similar events and suggests Unity events to people on Eventbrite who are looking at similar events or events in the same area.
  • Sends emails to Eventbrite users suggesting events in their area.
  • Can integrate with MailChimp for event promotion
  • References to unityoffairfax.org on external sites, such as Eventbrite, can strengthen Unity's exposure on the web.
  • Offers paid advertising as an option.

Cons

  • Eventbrite is hosted on an external website; ticket buyers are no longer on our website
  • Does not identify names of attendees when buyer purchases multiple tickets
  • Somewhat more costly than other options

Payment Details

  • Payment fees are separated into two categories: the Eventbrite processing fee and the payment processing fee.
  • Eventbrite basic processing fee:
    • $0.99 + 2% per ticket since Unity is a non-profit organization. This fee is passed on to the user.
    • Fee options: by default the Eventbrite fees are added to the ticket price; however, they may be deducted from the proceeds paid to Unity.
      • All Eventbrite fees are in some circumstances refundable.
  • Payment Processing Fee Options (One option must be used for all transactions):
    • Paypal processing fee: (THIS IS THE OPTION CURRENTLY IN USE BY UNITY OF FAIRFAX)
      • In addition to the Eventbrite basic processing fee, which by default is passed on to the attendee, Unity also pays a Paypal fee (2.2% + $0.30 per transaction).
      • Eventbrite cannot refund a Paypal fee, but Unity of Fairfax can refund a Paypal fee.
    • Eventbrite Payment Processing fee: (credit card payment through the Eventbrite website)
      • 3% per ticket. This fee is passed on to the user.
      • This option is not currently in use by Unity of Fairfax.
    • Pay Later is an option for individuals who prefer to mail a check to Unity or pay at the door; this option still incurs the Eventbrite basic processing fee.
      • If you're using Eventbrite Payment Processing, the service fee is automatically deducted from your payout. If you're using PayPal, this fee is included in your monthly invoice.
      • This option is not currently in use by Unity of Fairfax.
    • Fee Summary:
      • Paypal: ($0.99 + 2%) + ($0.30 + 2.2%) = $1.29 + 4.2% per ticket
      • Credit Card: ($0.99 + 2%) + (3%) = $0.99 + 5% per ticket
      • Pay by Mail: $0.99 + 2% per ticket

More information:

Brown Paper Tickets (BPT)

Pros

  • Accepts credit card payment
  • The webmaster, on demand, can provide a list of current registrants.
  • Offers a wide variety of questionaire options
  • Can send email notification of signups to the organizer
  • Optional limit to the number of registrations
  • Pre-printed tickets are an option; tickets are numbered and cost $0.10 each plus shipping - there is a two week order to delivery timeframe.

Cons

  • BPT is hosted on an external website
  • Somewhat complex to implement; webmaster usually responsible

Payment Details

  • BPT charges $0.99 + 3.5% per ticket.
  • Fees by default are added to the ticket price, but may be deducted from the proceeds paid to Unity.

Google Forms

Pros

  • Suitable for event registration
  • Easy to implement and free - either church staff or the webmaster can author
  • Optional access to the listing of responses (requires a Google Gmail account)
  • The form author, on demand, can provide a list of current registrants.
  • Offers a wide variety of Questionaire options

Cons

  • No online payment processing
  • No email notifications to organizers
  • No option to limit the number of registrations

 

updated December 2, 2021

Establish Width & Height, Reduce Image Size

  • Resize your photo to the correct width and height for display on a web page.
  • For example, 1200 pixels is the maximum width that will display on most browsers. A width of 300 pixels will allow text to wrap around your photo
  • The second consideration is that large size photos take too long to display in a typical web browser.
  • Please downsize your photographs to about 100 KB each.

If you have access to it, you can change the width and height in pixels, and also reduce the file size of an image using Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Other options are free online services:

For examples of how your photos will look on a web page, review the Elements page.

How to Submit Your Photo

Choose one of the three options: A - Send an email to webmaster@unityoffairfax.org and attach a photo with an explanation. B - Sign up for a free account with Dropbox, SugarSync, Amazon Cloud Drive or other cloud services.

  1. Upload your photos to any of the free cloud services.
  2. Copy the URL of the photos folder or an individual photo.
  3. Send an email to webmaster@unityoffairfax.org and paste the URL link into the email.

C - On the Unity of Fairfax web site:

  1. Select Suggestions under the Connect Menu
  2. In the webform, paste the URL from any of the cloud services into the designated box.
  3. Fill in the other boxes, giving a rationale for submitting your photo or album
  4. Submit the webform, and you are done

The web master will acknowledge receipt of your photos.

updated June 8, 2016

Unity World Headquarters and Unity Worldwide Ministries have useful FAQs that apply to all Unity ministries.

To open a new page with Unity's FAQs : CLICK HERE

Unity recognizes that there are many paths to God and honors those who choose to worship in other ways. We make no effort to convince others that they are wrong, but offer opportunities to explore spiritual teachings in a new way so that the spiritual seeker can discover which path is best for them.

Because of this belief, Unity does not proselytize, but members are more than welcome to share their faith with others who they think might benefit from it.

Unity of Fairfax does not require formal affiliation and is accessible to all individuals on equal terms.

This applies to all aspects of taking classes, receiving pastoral care services, volunteering in outreach programs, and so on.

The exception applies to those individuals who wish to become a licensed Unity teacher/spiritual counselor or minister and therefore must fulfill the requirements relative to these licensed ecclesiastical positions.  Furthermore, membership is required for those wishing to participate in voting and/or serving as an elected member of the Board of Trustees.

Absolutely.

Many within the Unity of Fairfax community maintain their Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Buddhist faith, while others continue to practice the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, or other spiritual master teachers of past or present generations. As a result, mixed-tradition couples and families often find common ground at Unity of Fairfax without compromising other loyalties.  

We believe that you do not have to abandon the faith tradition or belief system that has served you up to this point.  However, we encourage you to integrate the Unity principles into your life and we believe in so doing, you will naturally release any beliefs, habits, or traditions that no longer serve you at this point on your spiritual path.

Although Unity of Fairfax has no religious icons in its sanctuary, the space itself is considered sacred and the vibration within it holy. As with all temples, mosques, synagogues and churches, Unity of Fairfax expects that those attending services present themselves and conduct themselves with respect and reverence for the total environment and other individuals within the space.

No food or beverages are permitted in the sanctuary, but water is fine.

While there is no formal dress code, we encourage respect and reverence to inform individuals about what is appropriate.

Yes there are nearly one thousand Unity Centers, churches, study groups and satellites worldwide.  Please visit www.unity.org for more details and to find a Center in your area.

Last updated on December 16, 2021