100 North Winchester Blvd. Suite 250
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Phone: (408) 244-5060
Fax (408) 244-5060



I wasn’t always a Unity Minister.  My past was just a tad more checkered than that.

June, 1966.  Sitting in my 1960 Ford Fairlane out front of my parents’ home I paused before turning the key and driving off to college.  There was one more thing I had to do as I left my parents, my hometown and so much of me behind.   I had to leave God too.

I said “God, if you’re really there, you can’t be as angry and as bad as they’ve taught me. From now on I’m an agnostic.  If you really exist and you want me, you know where to find me. Otherwise, I am an agnostic.  I don’t know if you exist and I don’t care.  I am free.”  Those were the most powerful words I had spoken in the first 18 years of life. 

With that final declaration I put that old car into gear and drove away from family home the religion of my past and the angry God who had inhabited that church, that home and my life for far too long.  I felt free for the first time since before my first Holy Communion.  I was free of an angry, vengeful God and I felt wonderful!

The 60’s.  If you were there you know about “sex, drugs and rock’n roll.”

The 70’s.  More of the same, only I was making money.

The 80’s.  The money was gone along with the self-respect.  And I learned a new term: Higher Power.

“If you want to survive in this life you’re going to have to find a Higher Power, John” said the therapist in the alcohol and drug treatment center. 

“I’m afraid that you’re about to go ‘round the bend and never come back.  People die of this disease.  And worse.”


I was scared.  I was desperate.  I had tried over and over on my own to quit the addiction that was threatening my life and I had found it impossible.  So I had checked into the Beachcomber, a recovery center in Delray Beach, Florida.

I was scared.  They gave me little chance to survive.  “You may be too smart for recovery” the wise counselor said with a startling frankness and bone-crushing irony.  “If you know it all, you can’t learn anything.”

Uggggh.  I had prized myself on knowing a lot.  After all, I had a graduate degree. I was smart.  And that smartness was capsizing me.

I went back to my little cottage  that afternoon, closed the door and did something I had not done in 25 years.  I got down on my knees and prayed.  “God if there is a God, if you’re really there…please make yourself known to me.”

And the response I received that afternoon, and continued to receive in the days, weeks and months to come has totally transformed my life.


I am, for the most part, happy, joyous and free now.  I have developed a relationship with a Higher Power.  It is not a relationship dictated by 4th  century church councils and governed by church-mandated creeds.  It is not a relationship prescribed by a top down theology that tells me and my Higher Power who is to do what and when and how. 

This is a relationship between the Higher Power of my very being… a Power nearer to me than my very next breath, closer to me, and you, than the very next sentence you read.  Here and Now is this dramatically powerful, this deeply loving Divine Presence.  Before churches was this Higher Power.  Before Popes and ministers and bishops and catechisms…. before Bibles even was this Higher Power in love with me and in love with you.


This was the great message I got in my first few Sundays at Unity.  Unity is an easy, comfortable fit for recovery.  No dogma or  creed you must believe, just a freedom to find the God of your understanding… a few suggestions…  meditation techniques… interfaith Sundays, supportive friends in and out of recovery.

You may be a participant in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous talk about this Higher Power on Sunday mornings at Unity Church of the Valley.  Come and bless us with your presence.  I’d love to get to know you.  We can share with each other afterward.  I have a free book for you called “Radical Forgiveness” by Colin Tipping.  I’d like you to have it as my gift for coming this, or any Sunday. 

My main job on Sunday mornings and during our classes and workshops during the week is to remind you – and me – that you are deeply loved, that the God of your being is within and around you and wants so much for your great success and happiness. 

Come see me at Unity Church of the Valley this Sunday, 10am.