Unity San Diego
Contact: 3770 Altadena Avenue, City Heights, 619-280-2501 www.unitysandiego.org
Pastor: Blair Tabor
Born: Minneapolis, MN
Formation: University of California San Diego; Unity Institute & Seminary, Kansas City, MO
Years Ordained: 37
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Blair Tabor: Love. The key to finding peace is being able to love yourself and others in the context of that love that God has for us.
SDR: Why Unity?
PT: Unity’s roots are a mystical approach to Christianity based on healing experiences of the founders, their families and friends. It’s grown to see the things that Jesus taught are not unique to Christianity, but really show up in the perennial philosophies and religions of the world. Rather than being exclusive in the way we teach and invite people to participate, we open it up to all the ways in which we understand what God is, what Spirit is, what we are and our relationship is, and what we’re called to do and express in our daily lives.
SDR: What work of literature has inspired you in your work?
PT: I had done meditation studies and read Sufi mysticism, and the Tao Te Ching, and studied the whole mystical part to classical music that composers talk about – they don’t write the music but only hear it and write it down. Mozart was open about that, and Brahms said that’s how he works, but he told his friends not to tell anyone until he was dead. I also read Joel Goldsmith, who comes out of the Christian Science tradition. All those things that I had studied and thought about and was writing poetry and songs about, when I found Unity. So it all came together for me there. Two Unity authors also come to mind. There’s a poem we have by Martha Smock called “No Other Way,” that for me is a wonderful description of the process we’re in. Another prayer poem called “The Answer” by Lowell Fillmore. When things are in upheaval, I like to turn to those two poems and say to myself, “Yes, it’s an upheaval, but things are going to be OK.”
SDR: As you head into retirement at the end of June, what made it all worth it for you being a minister?
PT: I would say my greatest satisfaction came from being able to feed people by catching an idea that changes the way they live their lives.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PT: Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is among you. So it’s not that heaven is a place. There’s an aspect of heaven in our current human experience. When we die, we don’t go to another place. I’ve been with persons dying who have been able to see some of their relatives who’ve passed on and yet had gathered there to take the dying over to the other side. The “other side” is a euphemism for another aspect of reality that intersects this one. So what’s next after death? I’m not sure except that it’s more life. In my experience and talking with people being clinically dead and brought back to life, there’s a life review and an experience of regret that happens that reshapes people. There are a lot of Unity folks who believe in reincarnation, and I’m not sure I do, but I know there’s more life after death and whatever was unfulfilled or needed correcting from this lifetime, there will be an opportunity to do that.