Unity Practical Christianity: Prosperity Part 2

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Would you agree with me that life has a way of sending us curve balls? One of those curve balls landed with us and it has caused a disturbance in the field. Consequentially, this translates to the need to cancel our Women’s Retreat, which was scheduled on the 27 – 29 of this month. We had a situation come up with the venue that we were unable to resolve. So, the retreat team is taking a breath and now looking for a new venue for 2018. If you had already registered you will be receiving an email personally to discuss your refund. Life happens! And please hold the vision with us for an even more incredible Women’s’ Retreat at an earlier fall date in a perfect location next year!!

Now, switching gears… when you come to service next Sunday to hear Sherri Mitchell, you will have the opportunity to see our new portable classroom for our children. It will be delivered this week!

childrenI want to give a huge shout out to all who participated in the weekend events to raise money for the Children’s Education Fund with a trunk sale, food sale and 50/50 raffle. They raised $842 toward our immediate goal of $3,000. If you would like to help us reach our goal, you can donate here or send a check and make a notation on the memo line for Children’s Education Fund. We hear Sunday after Sunday that our little people are getting the Unity message embedded in their consciousness. When little Gabe, who is four and a half, can recite the Unity blessing, and when others can sing the Peace song and know the Prayer for Protection, we know they are getting a solid spiritual education. It is our responsibility to give them space to grow.

In keeping with the talk series Unity Practical Christianity, “Prosperity Part 2” was the topic. I touched on these subtopics:

  • Source vs. Channel — God is the Source; all else is but a channel of supply. The mind while yet in ignorance sometimes fixes itself firmly on the idea that supply can come only in some certain way.
  • Work vs. Service — There is nothing in the idea of working for a living. The true object of work is service and the expression of all man’s God-given faculties and powers.
  • Love of money — Money is not a curse to those who see the place it fills and keep it in its place.

All who have the understanding of true spiritual prosperity, keep the law of giving and receiving, and take the right attitude toward money, shall have plenty of it. It will flow into their hands and through their hands in a constant stream of blessing. They know it is not Substance, but the symbol of Substance, and they avoid the errors that follow the confusion of symbols with realities.

I also remind you that much of this is directly from Charles Fillmore’s writing of the early 1900s and therefore is not gender-sensitive.

Here are three affirmations for you to use to strengthen your faith:

  • I have faith in God as the Substance of All Good.
  • I have faith in the Substance as it is now manifest in me and my affairs.
  • The inexhaustible resource of Spirit is equal to every demand… there is no reality in lack… abundance is here and now manifest…

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

Unity Practical Christianity: Prosperity Part 1

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. ~ William Pollard

Change is once again in the air! We see it in nature as the leaves are beginning their change in color and it is happening at Unity of Greater Portland, as well.

Our Prayer Chaplain program is evolving and the change begins with a new name. It will be known now as our Prayer Partner Ministry. Sue Vittner, who has been the team leader for the Prayer Chaplains for the last few years, is stepping away as her life moves in a new direction. We are so grateful for Sue’s leadership and the dedication and commitment she has given to us. With this change, we saw the program also was moving in a new direction. The changes are mostly internal, except for the name. You will not be affected at all. If you are receiving prayer calls, that will continue. And personal prayer on Sunday will be offered as it has been. The new leaders will be Barbara Kowalska and Jack Cole. From all of us at UGP, a hearty thanks to the folks who make up our Prayer Partner Ministry: Barbara, Jack, Lorrie Adams, Carolyn Sanford, Bonnie Grover, Mimo Otis, Karen Bailey, Christine Wolf, and Matt Purinton.

The series Unity Practical Christianity continued this week with the topic of “Prosperity.”

To know the real meaning of prosperity and to find out what true riches truly are, we must get away from the realm of appearances. In cleansing the mind of base ideas concerning prosperity, the first error to be erased is the belief that the possession of things constitutes prosperity.

True prosperity is the consciousness of abundance based on and steeped in the understanding of God as the inexhaustible infinite Resource always open to everyone. This quote says it all: “The Inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand. There is no reality in lack. Abundance is here and now manifest.”

One of the Attributes of God IS Substance and the manifestations of Substance are life and love and wisdom. Substance is omnipresent, all-penetrating, and is the foundation of the Universe, all things being formed from it. Substance is invisible to the eye of the senses, but is visible and tangible to the mind and is handled by thought. By our thoughts we form from it whatever we will.

Understanding of God as Substance forms the foundation for true spiritual prosperity. Those who know God thus have an assurance of unfailing supply.

We then have the law of giving and receiving and its relationship to Substance. We live, move and have our being in this sea of Substance, and there is a law that it must have both an inflow and outflow. This we call the law of giving and receiving. Substance flows into consciousness, where it is given form according to the faith and understanding of the receiver; then it must be given out in blessing in whatever form he is able to express it. People sometimes say, “I have nothing to give,” but they do not say it after they come into the understanding of Spirit-Substance.

Looking for something meaningful to do this Friday evening? Here it is: I am extending a special invitation to observe the Fall Equinox with Visionary Authors, Filmmakers and Futurists, Connie Baxter Marlow and Andrew Cameron Bailey for the Maine Premiere of the short film SEEDS OF FREEDOM: A Vision for America Liberty! Justice! Equality!

This new perspective presents a revolutionary look at the syntheses between European colonists and the American Indian in the evolution of the American democracy, mind and spirit.

Oh, did I mention that there is a potluck happening at 6 p.m. with Connie and Andrew?

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

Sacred Service

Amy Cousins

Rev. Amy Cousins

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Rev. Amy Cousins

Follow-up message from Steph Plourde: This week’s letter is coming to you from me, Steph Plourde, as Revs. Pat and LeRoy are away at the Unity People’s Convention in San Antonio, TX.

This past Sunday, I did the 8 a.m. talk on Edwene Gaines’ Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity. These laws are: tithing, goal-setting, forgiveness, and living your divine purpose.

If these principles had not had a profound impact on my life, I wouldn’t feel nearly as compelled to share them. All of the information below is directly from her book.

For starters, it’s important to define prosperity. Edwene’s definition, to me, reflects the scope of the abundance we hope for:

  • A vitally alive physical body to provide a comfortable worldly home for the spiritual beings that we are
  • Relationships that are satisfying, nurturing, honest, and work all the time
  • Work that we love so much that it’s not work, its play
  • And all the money we can spend

The spiritual laws Edwene outlines for us, she explains, “are just as much a force in life as is the law of gravity. They are very simple laws, but none of them are optional, and it does not matter a whit if you believe in them or not. They play a powerful role in your life regardless.”

Law One: Tithe. The law of tithing says you must tithe 10 percent of all that you receive to the person, place, or institution where you have received your spiritual food. What is “spiritual food”? Anything that inspires us and causes us to remember what we are – children of the living God with infinite possibilities for expression and with no end of joy in our lives.

Charles Fillmore says that when we begin to tithe, out faith increases a thousand-fold. He says this giving is based on a law that cannot fail, and “it is the surest way ever found to demonstrate plenty, for it is God’s own law and way of giving.”

Edwene explains that tithing represents “a dynamic act of courage. When we tithe, our faith and ability to stretch, to move forward, and to expand your vision of yourself and your life increases a hundred-fold.”

Law Two: Set Goals. You must set clear-cut, tangible goals. Setting concrete and practical goals creates a vessel with which you can catch the new wealth and good fortune that tithing brings you.

We are invited to imagine what our life would be like if you could do anything we wanted without any constraints or limits. Without worrying about how, because God knows how.

Once the message has been sent, ask in earnest: is there anything I could or should do. Listen. Stay in tune. Setting goals is directing faith.

Law Three: Forgive. Edwene says, “You must forgive everyone all the time, especially yourself”. Unity teaches that we are all original blessings – innocent in the eyes of God. If it is true that one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is the power to choose our thoughts, then we must remember, as A Course in Miracles reminds us, that we can choose peace instead.

Edwene goes on to say, “On a spiritual journey, we are aspiring to a forgiveness that’s so deep, full, and complete that no traces of any bad feeling at all will remain in us. Very gently and very lovingly, we open our hearts so there is truly no condemnation in us. Even toward the people who do truly bad things. We must strive to feel no disapproval. You can get on a train ride of condemnation, finding fault, and assigning blame, but you don’t want to be on that train. Because riding that train will make you sick, and you don’t want to be sick. You want to be well.”

Unity Minister and Prosperity writer Catherine Ponder offers another perspective: “Since other persons are children of God, there is really nothing to forgive. If they have crossed our pathway, it was because they needed and wanted our blessing. They were unconsciously looking to us to be steadied and set right. Our progress has not been hindered, no matter what they did or did not do. They did not, they could not, keep our good from us. They crossed our path by divine appointment, even though they seemed to hurt us for a little while. When people bother us in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get our divine attention, and our blessing. When we give them that, they no longer bother us. They fade out of our lives, and find their good elsewhere.”

Law Four: Commit to Finding and Fulfilling Your Divine Purpose. Seek, discover, and follow your divine purpose. Every single one of us has some special gift, some special interest, some special talent, and some special way of impacting this world so that it becomes a better place for everyone. We are asked to hold fast to our divine purpose prayerfully, persistently, and patiently.

The premise here is that when we make 100 percent commitment to do or be something, and take every step with integrity, the universe will open up a way where before there was no way at all; the universe will rush in to support you. We find our great spiritual commitments by following your passions, by seeking to identify the one thing that you really, really are committed to changing for all humanity.

After looking carefully at the world, we must pick out one thing that we feel needs transforming, something that would be fun for us to get involved in repairing, shifting, restructuring, fixing, and perfecting. Edwene says this should be fun! It isn’t about martyrdom or great personal sacrifice. It’s about focus, joy, and a sense of purposeful possible achievement. Once we’ve identified it, we must take a bold step and make a 100% commitment to “fixing” the problem we have identified, followed by devoting our energies, time, talents, skills and money to transforming that one piece of the earthly puzzle.

I cannot recommend this book, these teachings, and their affiliated practices highly enough. I truly hope you will find in here a nugget that resonates with you!

Rev. Amy Cousins did the 10 a.m. talk on Sacred Service. She did a beautiful job of sharing her personal experience and passion for service, and inspiring us to find the same within ourselves.

This coming Sunday, Father’s Day, Rev. LeRoy will be sharing a special message about fatherhood.

Please join us!
Steph Plourde
Sacred Service Coordinator

 

My Cup Runneth Over

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

For several years, I have been pretty successful getting through the winter without a pesky cold. Not so this year! If you were here on Sunday you would know that I was pretty congested, which actually added some extra impact to the message.

The message title was “My Cup Runneth Over.” Having not talked about money in the entire time I have been at Unity of Greater Portland, I decided to capitalize on my physical congestion and share from the platform what can happen when we are metaphysically congested. So the answer to the question, “How does money and a stuffy nose end up in the same sentence?” is that in the same way we experience physical congestion and discomfort when we have a cold, we may experience profound metaphysical congestion and discomfort in the area of personal finances when we aren’t putting certain key principles into practice.

After having a very restless night and ruminating on finances, I saw that I was entertaining lack and limitation. Upon waking the next morning, I was still congested, and I was directed to a six-point practical financial plan that author and visionary Alan Cohen wrote many years ago.

Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen wrote: “I am not an economist, and frankly I don’t understand all of the complexities of the current market. I do, however, understand the relationship between thought, belief, feeling, attitude, expectation, identity, and practical prosperity. So here is my 6-point plan, which will surely work if you apply it.

“The first point is Vision:  A visionary sees and remembers the Big Picture in the face of current appearances to the contrary. A visionary thrives under all conditions. There are always people who do well in difficult economic times, as well as those who fail in prosperous times.

“It is not the economy at large that determines your well-being; it is the consciousness you hold in relation to it.

“The second point is Trust: When human affairs appear to falter, the hand of the divine becomes very real and practical. A Higher Power is currently running the universe far more intelligently and successfully than even the best economists.

“The third point is Reframe:  You may remember that the Chinese written symbol for ‘crisis’ is a combination of two other symbols: ‘Danger’ and ‘Opportunity.’ If there is danger in your current financial position, know that there is also an opportunity.

“The fourth point is Reset Priorities: When money seems tight, we have a window of insight to recognize how rich we are, no matter how much or how little we have in the bank. When financial challenges arise, we can use this time to grow closer to our families, homes, nature, activities that truly bring us joy, and to grow closer to ourselves and our Higher Power.

“The fifth point is Circulate: Keep moving your energy, financially and otherwise. The brilliant metaphysician and Unity writer Florence Scovel Shin noted: ‘All disease is due to congestion and all healing is due to circulation.’

“This dynamic applies impeccably to personal economic congestion. When people are afraid to spend money, there is less money in circulation, then people grow more afraid to spend and the cycle goes on.

“The sixth and final point is Milk Every Moment: It would be easy to think that you will be able to relax and enjoy your life as soon as your current crisis is averted or offset. But that’s the carrot at the end of the stick – the one that you never get to bite. Either life is rewarding NOW, or it never will be.”

And from Norma Gentile – a larger perspective:

“This transition in our corporate and financial world reflects humanity’s continued growth toward Unity Consciousness.

“We are being called to totally undo everything that’s been built with a hierarchical format – everything that has been built without a sense of true heart and integrity.

“We as a race are moving into greater prosperity. While it may not seem that way in your personal affairs, you are in the process of releasing that which no longer serves your financial world, which is the underpinning of our present society.

“Because of the loud external circumstances, it becomes harder to choose while not in a state of fear or panic. Fear separates you from all that is. Love binds you to all those around you and to ALL that is. Choose one expression – love or fear – and you choose the resulting influence in your life.”

Return to Source – The God essence of Love. Acknowledge Spirit as the Source and substance of the universe. Take delight in the many blessing you already have. Live in gratitude and greater riches will be bestowed upon you – to have and to share.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey