Sunday Audio Files

Sunday Audio Files

Listen here to previous Sunday talks or download and take them with you on your phone or tablet. Rev. Pat Bessey’s follow-up messages, published with the audio files, provide additional insights and news about Unity of Greater Portland. Just click or tap on a title to reveal the audio player and message.

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Gandhi the Man – Transformation

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

My heart light is shining brightly as I write this… I got to connect with many of you on Sunday and although it had been only a couple of weeks it seemed like forever since we had been together. I know this has been a most difficult winter and I would like to offer you this quote that comes from Genevieve Behrend, who wrote a book in the early 1920s called Your Invisible Power. It is “I decline to be discouraged.” I think this is something we all can hold as we move toward spring.

As we continue with the Season for Nonviolence, the focus of the next six weeks is on the “Wisdom of Gandhi.” This past Sunday was the first in the series call Gandhi, the Man.

Some highlights from this message. You might not have known this about Gandhi but this is what he writes: “I used to be shy and avoided all company. My books and my lessons were my sole companions. I would run home from school afraid somebody might speak to me. Moreover, I was a coward. I used to be haunted by the fear of thieves and ghosts and serpents. I did not dare to stir out of doors at night. Darkness was a terror to me. It was almost impossible for me to sleep in the dark, as I would imagine ghosts coming from one direction, thieves from another, and serpents from a third. I could not bear to sleep without a light on in the room.”

We wouldn’t have thought that a person who we saw as a great man, courageous and eloquent would have ever experienced what he describes here. So how did the transformation occur? How did he become the man we all know about?

Gandhi reshaped his belief system about himself and about others. He reshaped his thoughts, followed through with actions reflecting those thoughts, and his life changed.

He reshaped his thoughts… principle 3 of Unity basic tenets. Our thoughts create our reality. As the Apostle Paul says, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Gandhi reshaped how he saw himself and went on to do great service for our world. He was an observer of his own behavior. He took what he was seeing and applied it in his life as a lawyer.

It was as he said, “I learned the true practice of law. I had learned to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.”

Without realizing it, Gandhi had found the secret of success. He began to look on every difficulty as an opportunity for service, as a challenge, which could draw out of him greater resources of intelligence and imagination.

Later it was written about him that wherever he went in the world he transformed lives and situations because he changed human beings by regarding them NOT as what they thought they were but as they WISHED TO BE. He called forth the highest and best in others in both his ardent followers and even his enemies, who often became followers.
Gandhi believed that “the good in them is the ALL of them.”

So as you go forth this week become an observer of your own mind and know that in any moment you can be transformed by making changes to your thoughts. During this season of Lent make it part of your practice to see people as who they wish to be… and see the good in them as the ALL of them.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

 

Another Snow Day

Oh my, another snow day… I wonder if we can tack a couple more Sundays onto the year, sort of like what the schools do to get in the number of days needed…

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There is always a bright side to every situation and for me having the opportunity to use this message to share my excitement and enthusiasm with you regarding the upcoming “Turn on the Light” event on March 27 is a win.

In a previous writing I shared that in the almost 23 years that we have been in our building we have never completed the original plans. I feel it is the right time and we are the right ones to see this project through to completion.

In 1992 I was a member of the Board of Trustees when we purchased this building. I can tell you how grateful I am that we had visionaries on the board at that time as well as a community that could see what was possible. I remember walking in for the first time and thinking “oh my word are we crazy looking at this building.” It was one long open space with a wood stove on the back wall facing the backyard.  No windows and everything was black from the smoke of the stove. There were only two windows… one in the men’s bathroom and one in the now office. There were two holes cut in the wall for air conditioners in the summer.

I was being asked to visualize what could be our new home. As I said, I was glad we had people who could see beyond appearances. When the drawing for our new building was complete I was able to get excited. You see I am very visual. I had to see it! In looking at that drawing that hangs in the foyer we have one last step to complete the picture. It is the Light Tower.

I feel during my tenure here as minister this is part of my personal mission to get this completed. Your Board of Trustees have entered into this mission with me and I am now hoping that you will join as well.

Here are many ways that you can support us in making this happen! Right now you can decide what service you want to donate to the silent auction that is part of the gala event on March 27. Here is the list of ideas for silent auction items. However, I bet you have already thought of what is yours to donate. Open, print or download the auction donation form and complete it right now!!! Everybody has something to give!

Another way you can help is by donating a gift basket that you create. It can be “Think Spring” and fill the basket with gardening items. It can be “Pet Lover’s” or “The Little Princess” or “Dollar Store Gift Basket”… the list is endless. Check out Pinterest.com; it has a large selection of gift basket ideas.

We are also looking for donations of quality items to auction off live. Do you have a timeshare or cottage for the weekend… are you an artist and have a painting or photograph… a piece of quality jewelry… these are just a few ideas.

portlandplaybacklogoI would be remiss if I didn’t speak to the great entertainment we will have that evening as well. The Portland Playback Theater joins the art of improvisation by taking the real-life stories of individuals and by using movement, dialogue and music to bring them to life.  We, the audience, will be supplying the real-life stories from our “Sharing the Good News” about Unity of Greater Portland.

This quote came from their website: “It was incredible how they understood all the stories and were able to bring laser-like focus to the real-life events being shared. Watching them being “played back” was wonderful… I laughed so hard I cried.” – Pam Avery Witham

What an opportunity for you to introduce family and friends to Unity of Greater Portland at this event. Oh and did I mention, we will be having hors d’oeuvres and light desserts.

Everything starts at 6 p.m…. let this be a night of completing the Light Tower and having lots of fun!

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Admissions: A Film for Peace

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-iron-heart-buried-snow-wrought-railing-decoration-image30823029URGENT…WHO EVER IS PRAYING FOR SNOW PLEASE STOP! Have you had enough of winter? I was talking to a colleague in southern California today and she was asking how we were doing with all the snow. I said it is a real strain on all of us at this point; however, snow is to be expected when you live in Maine. But enough already… Of course, with all this snow and cold comes extra expenses with snow removal and heat so please remember us even on the Sundays you don’t make it to church. You are the channel through which God sources this ministry and we are prosperous!

It is day 13 in the 64 days of the Season for Nonviolence. This past Sunday we stepped outside of the box by showing a film during the time when I usually deliver the message. The film title was “Admissions: A Film for Peace.” It was a very powerful 20-minute film that stirred the emotions of everyone in the room. It was a story of peace, of transformation, of seeing a situation from another’s perspective, about the power of forgiveness and about love. Its purpose is to start a conversation that heals. If you missed it, join Rev. LeRoy and me at the workshop on the Freeing Power of Forgiveness, and we will be showing it again as part of the workshop. This film and the workshop will be a healing process for you.

To learn more about “Admissions” go to www.admissionsfilm.com.

We have more events coming that you will not want to miss. On Sunday March 8, Reza Jalali will be delivering the message on “Welcoming the Stranger.” Reza, Coordinator of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Southern Maine, is a Kurd from Iran, a human rights and refugee activist who has lived in Maine since 1985. His essays, short stories, and commentaries have appeared in the local and international newspapers. As a member of Amnesty International USA Board of Directors, Jalali led delegations to different refugee camps in Turkey and Bosnia. He has participated in numerous United Nations-sponsored international conferences in Korea, Japan and Austria. Please mark your calendar and invite friends and family to attend the service with you.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Peace

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey and others

I am filled with gratitude that again the snowstorm didn’t interfere with our Sunday service or classes that are in progress. This winter is certainly starting to shape up into what I remember winter in Maine to be as I was growing up… lots of snow!

Another reason for my gratitude today is the New England Patriots are the World Champions… being a football fan the game was pretty intense. If you have followed the Patriots you will know that coming back to win after being down by 14 points is not unusual. The lesson we can take from this is… outside circumstances do not dictate what is possible. Tom Brady shows what it means to be centered and poised in the face of adversity. In an interview earlier in the day, he spoke of being mentally prepared for this game. The team also demonstrated mental toughness and they believed in each other’s ability to do their job. The result was “World Champions.”

The game changer was when Malcolm Butler made the interception on the last play. In an interview he said, “I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true.” Mary Morrissey in Prosperity Plus says everything is created twice, once in mind and then in the material or outer. Malcolm Butler demonstrated this law… so you see I get a lot out of watching football.

This past Sunday we kicked off the Season for Nonviolence. Many of you are receiving in your inbox daily a word for the day, followed by a quote, affirmation and practice. Our intent in sending these is that when enough people live a life of nonviolence we will see a spiritually transformed world.

The service was focused on nonviolence as taught to us by Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. Prayers from many different religions were shared and you can read them on the attached document.

You will not want to miss the service this Sunday. As we continue with the 64 days of the Season for Nonviolence, we will be sharing a transformational tale about what it takes to find lasting peace. We know you will be moved by what you see and hear that we have set aside time following lunch to have a discussion. We hope you will break bread with your community and then join at 12:15 to continue the discussion as we each search for lasting peace.

As we continue the search for lasting peace, forgiveness is an important element needed. Rev. LeRoy and I will be doing a Forgiveness workshop on February 15 at 12:15. One of my mentors and teacher told me once as long as we are in this body we have forgiveness work to do. Will you be joining us? Please email me directly.

Although we have just entered the Season for Nonviolence I am looking ahead to the Season for the Earth that begins April 5 and ends on May 31. Season for the Earth is devoted to focusing our consciousness-in-action so we are better able to heal, nurture and transform the environment — an undertaking now vital beyond description. I am looking for folks who have a passion for transforming the environment and would like to work with Rev. LeRoy and me. Let us hear from you…

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

Grace is Amazing

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

My heart is filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support to the resurgence of the Sunshine Team. Kudo’s to Betty Gates and Mary Ellen Doyle for championing this new team. To know more about how you can get involved read below…

Recently I was asked to do a talk on “grace” which I did on Sunday.

While in ministerial school, I learned this prayer:

THE GRACE PRAYER

For Thee I thirst. Into thy hands, I commit my spirit.
Thy will is my will. Thy will be done through me.
Heal me at depth now. Reveal that which needs to be revealed. Heal that which needs to be healed. So I can glorify you God, and live in the fullness of grace.
It is finished.

For thee I thirst. I thirst for an experience of my oneness with God’s love and grace.

Into thy hands, I commit my spirit. (i.e. my soul, my body, my life, this problem, and all unforgiven states.) This is ultimate surrender of the self to God. Of my little self, I can do nothing. Only the Father (God, Christ, my true Self) within can do this forgiving, healing, resurrecting work. I let God be God in me now as love expressing.

Thy will is my will. Thy will be done through me.
Learning through Grace/love is the will of God. The will of God has never been nor will ever be that we learn through suffering. Yes, we grow in wisdom and understanding when we learn from making mistakes or error choices that cause us pain and suffering. But learning in this way has nothing to do with God’s will for us. The more we align our choices with love, faith and trust, the less suffering we will encounter.

Heal me at depth.
This statement indicates our willingness to be healed and transformed at the deep subjective or subconscious level of mind. We are asking for God to be revealed in all the memories and perceptions or misperceptions of reality that our soul has accumulated in this incarnation … or other incarnations.

Reveal that which needs to be healed. Heal that which needs to be healed.
This states our willingness to become fully conscious of any memories or perceptions of reality that we need to know for whatever purpose God deems necessary for our continued spiritual unfolding. This also indicates that we do not insist on knowing everything in our consciousness that has been the cause of pain and suffering or misperception.

So I can glorify you God and live in the fullness of grace!
As we glorify God, we begin to realize that we are each God out-pressing and expressing as us. The ultimate grace teaching is then understood. There is nothing to be healed, only divine Love/God to be revealed.

It is finished!  
You are now free from all unforgiving thoughts. Forgiveness is complete. You now realize that you are the Love of God in expression. It is finished with this realization. Spiritual growth and understanding will continue to evolve in your consciousness but the thing you have surrendered to for healing by grace has been done. Amen.

Please join us next Sunday as we begin the Season for Nonviolence with a Taize-like service for Peace.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat