The Light of Strength: The Power of Stability, Courage, and Tenacity

Mary Reed

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

It has been a very eventful week. Mary Reed, “modern mystic,” came on Wednesday evening and her presentation was very enlightening. On Saturday was the Peace Literacy training for teachers and others who were interested. Kim Cowperthwaite – with the support of Pam Mills and me – did a wonderful job in getting a lot of information out in a two-hour period. The support for doing more was unanimous, so another training will be scheduled soon
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Our community lost a matriarch on Friday night with the passing of Louise Flynt. Louise had been a Licensed Unity Teacher for several years and many reading this probably took the Quest class with her. She was so loving and so loved. We will miss her dearly. As soon as arrangements have been completed for her Celebration of Life service, you will be informed.

I want to take the opportunity to recognize a few people who do behind-the-scenes work to keep our ministry thriving, and they can easily go unnoticed. The bulletin board that has the sign-up sheets on it is decorated each season by Cindy Hildreth. Our plants are watered and the chair backs in the sanctuary stocked weekly by Hilary Hayes. The lawn mowing and other landscaping is shared by Bill Taylor and John Michael Roods. Wendy Thomas puts together and regularly updates our calendar of peace/nonviolence events. Starr Stevens is an on-call person when a special project is needed. A hearty thanks to all these star volunteers.

Talking about eventful weeks… were you caught up in the drama that was playing out on the national stage with the Supreme Court nominee? The topic of this week’s message was perfect timing for what was needed: The Light of Strength.

Divine Audacity is the book being used as a basis for Sunday messages, and the Light of Strength has the powers of stability, courage and tenacity. This describes strength from the book: Spiritual strength is our capacity to stand undaunted in the midst of shifting circumstances, to act courageously, and to stay the course.

We are being called into a place of holding the tension, a place of stability, courage and tenacity, as things shift in our culture.

We are not the first generation to have to do this. Historians tell us that every generation in human history has its share of challenges and shifting circumstances. Although we may be inclined to say “It’s all in divine order” or “I don’t want to talk about anything that is negative” (trust me I know this is tempting) – it is not enough, and it is not the time.

We know the call to action comes from within. We often fail to distinguish between inner messages from ego versus those from our Higher Self. Our ego wants us to play it safe… don’t get involved…  or it wants us to attack those we think of as our enemies. Our higher-self calls us to action. It tells us to engage with whatever challenges are present because it is ours to do.

I share two very important messages that exemplify spiritual strength. One is from Marianne Williamson and the other is the story behind the story of Colin Kaepernick. To hear both, listen to this week’s Sunday message.

In closing, there is much we can do, and we have much to offer. Let’s step out of our comfort zones and call forth our inner powers of Love, Compassion, Strength, and Wisdom. Let us engage from these qualities to bring Love into the process at every level in every way possible. Now is our time.

Let us also hear the words of Abraham Lincoln: Let’s have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Our duty is to get out and vote and make sure others do the same.

Join me next Sunday as we continue with the series Divine Audacity. The talk title is The Light of Order: The Power of Organization, Adjustment, and Evolution.

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

 

The Light of Wisdom: The Power of Judgement, Discernment and Intuition

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Life is good all the time! I want to give a shout out to the Women’s Retreat team, Nikki Pulsoni, Sandy Hobbs, Kim Cowperthwaite and Amy Cousins for an incredible retreat this past weekend. Our facilitator for the weekend was Eva Goulet and the theme was healing our ancestral DNA. She took us through some amazing exercises and a lot of great work was done. As a side note, Eva will be doing Spirit Camp for Adults on Saturday, November 3. You won’t want to miss this self-care day.

The retreat was held at Pilgrim Lodge and it got voted to be the place we return next year. We are working on securing dates, so once we do, you will know and can put it on your calendar.

As we continue with the series from the book Divine Audacity, which takes us through the 12 Powers that is a signature Unity teaching, the power this week was Wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are very different, and the great news is wisdom is innately part of who we are.

In Divine Audacity, Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett gives us a three-step process to making wise decisions. The steps are as follows:

Step 1 – Judgment

Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore defined judgment as the mental act of evaluation through comparison or contrast.

Before making a decision, list the pro’s and con’s of the situation. Does moving forward feel like it is life giving? Does it feel like a lot of work? Answers to these questions help determine the wise choice.

What is the right thing to do in this situation?

Step 2 – Discernment

Discernment is exercised through a process that includes questioning, meditating, and envisioning while suspending judgment about any divine ideas generated.

Another practice of discernment is to allow a question of space and time to percolate underneath conscious thinking, allowing impressions, images, and meaning to arise naturally over time.

Step 3 – Intuition

Going with our gut instinct. It is the aha or uh-oh power. We always have access to our internal guidance system. When we practice right judgment/evaluation and discernment, we activate and become familiar with the methods by which our Infinite Self takes charge to express wisely.

Next week we will be exploring the Light of Strength.

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

The Illusion of Control

Guest Speaker: Matt Purinton, UGP Board President.

Message from Rev. Patricia Bessey:

I would like to give a shout out to both Barbara Kowalska and Matt Purinton for sharing their words of wisdom with you at the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services this past Sunday. Rev. LeRoy and I are at the Unity Eastern Region conference in Charlottesville, VA. We will be back on Thursday, so I can attend the Y.E.S. women’s retreat on Friday. We have over 40 women registered – our largest turnout ever! I am feeling so grateful and looking forward to a transformative experience with our facilitator, Eva Goulette.

On Wednesday of last week, we were part of the week of Campaign Nonviolence started five years ago by Father John Dear. Ours were among 2,668 events held throughout the world during the week, and these were our first-ever Campaign Nonviolence events. We had a prayer vigil at the church, a rally at the rotary of 202 and 302, and the day culminated with a Peace concert featuring Women in Harmony Outreach Ensemble and song and gong with Todd Glacy. Thank you to all who participated. This is what it means to get off the sidelines and take an active role in creating a spiritually transformed world. Stay tuned as more opportunities to participate in a growing movement of nonviolence and peace continue to emerge.

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

Heart Thoughts

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From Steph Ploude:

This week’s letter is coming to you from Steph. This past Sunday, we opened our Season for Interfaith and Intercultural Celebration with a Taize-style service to introduce our community to some of the major faiths as represented on the banner over our sanctuary platform: Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikh, Native American, Christianity, Taoism, and Hinduism. The presentation of each faith included some discussion about the meaning of the symbols on the flag, and a short poem, reading, and/or chant. Jack Seery, Trish Vogel, Jaclyn Ashla, and Pat Bartke all participated in sharing these symbols.

interfaithUnity of Greater Portland decided many years ago to adopt the Association for Global New Thought’s (AGNT) Season for Nonviolence, which includes a Season for Nonviolence, Season for the Earth, Season for Humane Service, and Season for Interfaith and Intercultural Celebration. Interfaith knowledge, celebration, and demonstration are foundational to peace-building. This is an important part of the “spiritually transformed” world that Unity aspires to, as expressed in our vision statement. In a world where people are terrorized, discriminated against, harassed, ignored, or made in any way to feel less than human, less than loved, it is more important than ever that we wrap our heads and arms around the beauty of each culture, faith, and person.

We hope you will join us this coming Sunday to hear Rev. Todd Glacy do the 10 a.m. service. This week, we are doing our part to participate in Pace e Bene’s Campaign for Nonviolence Week of Actions — September 15-23 — when thousands of nonviolent actions will take place across the United States.

Blessings,
Steph

From Rev. Pat Bessey:

Last week I sent an email to you and to our entire email list describing our need for a new roof on the back side of our building. At our Community meeting Pat Paine, a beloved member of our community, stepped right up and gave us a challenge: to raise $6500 and she would match that for the total amount needed for the roof repair. You have answered the challenge and at this moment we are past the half way mark! This has happened in just 8 days. If you have not contributed and intend to, please know it is not too late. We have set that by October 15 all the money needed will be in. As soon as we receive $6,500 we will send out an e-blast letting you know we have met the challenge. Thank you for your continued support of our cherished spiritual home!

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