Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
Sunday message (audio) by Vaishali Mamgain
Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:
April has arrived… we have another winter in the box and I don’t know about you, but I found it to be a bit challenging. However, we are ready to put the heavy clothes away for another year and lighten up both physically and emotionally. A sure sign of spring is hearing the birds chirping in the morning. We have a woodpecker that we hear every morning pecking outside our window. Another sign of spring is the patches of grass that are now showing up as the snow melts. What was really the tell-all that spring is in the air was on Sunday when the children shared that they had been planting in the gardens. When I asked what they planted the response I got was “food.” I want to expand on what the children were doing and let you know that after the service and lunch this Sunday the Season for the Earth team will be hosting a meeting, and you are invited. This meeting will be to plan the activities that will be included in the season, along with a timeline for preparing the beds and starting the seedlings for planting. Come and add your energy and ideas.
On Sunday we also hosted Vaishali Mamgain as our guest speaker. What a delight she is… a native of India, she is the Associate Professor of Economics at USM and is the director of the Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion. Her talk was titled Everyday Sacred. It is being awake to everything around us… and to bridge contemplation and science. She gave us the science connected with breathing and gratitude that we practice in our daily practices. She also introduced us to “nexting” not “texting,” which I could so relate to.
The important message was that we are all in charge of our own path. The everyday sacred is remembering the world is replete with possibilities. We are all here to hold the space for each other… we hold up a mirror for each other.
She talked about the importance of nature and also to acknowledge our bodies and how they are changing and there is a vulnerability in that and it is beautiful; however, our culture doesn’t allow that. We have to be our inner teacher as the world is not going to let us appreciate the present, and that takes us away from appreciating the Sacred.
She ends with a Mary Oliver quote: “Attention is the beginning of devotion” — devotion is to our own path and to our own awakening.
She also gave us some practices to access the Sacred, and, whether you were there on Sunday or not, I invite you to listen to her message and practice the simple exercises she gives us.
This Sunday is Potluck Sunday, and I want to acknowledge you for the plentiful potlucks we have been blessed with… thank you for sharing and giving our Kitchen Staff a break.
Also, on Sunday we will have an ensemble from Women in Harmony sharing special music with us. My talk title is “Who Do You Think You Are?”
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey
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
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