The Power and Glory of Easter

Happy post Easter! At the beginning of this year I signed on to be part of a self-care group with other colleagues and so I decided not to schedule anything on Monday and Tuesday following Easter as my self-care days and it has been a wonderful sabbath for me.

I look forward to the time when we can look at this pandemic and speak of it as post-pandemic; however, we are not there yet. Where we are is staying home to stay safe and healthy. For the first few weeks, I felt totally unsettled and having little ability to focus. I was doing just what I needed to, and it took all my energy. I am slowly coming out of the fog and I am thinking that may be true for many of you as well.

Up until we started staying at home, writing this for Heart Thought was about recapturing the message on Sunday; however, now with us going live on Facebook and having the live video on our webpage I feel called to a different format. 

What seems most important is to connect and share how we are moving through each day and to ask you to do the same. Rev. LeRoy and I are spending our time together in the morning, as we have for 30 years, doing spiritual readings and meditating. We schedule a walk the days when the weather cooperates, and we do an afternoon Yoga Nidra for Relaxation meditation. It does just as it says, relaxes me. I, like you, often have a difficult time quieting my mind, but with this meditation my mind is quiet.

Rev. Airin Wolf Minister of Prayer

Rev. Airin Wolf
Minister of Prayer

I recently read something that Rev. Airin Wolf wrote to one of my colleagues and I asked him for permission to share it with you… I think you will see how important the Unity teachings are to his work. The title of the writing is “Chaplain Work During COVID-19.” He begins with this quote:

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~ Og Mandino

At the hospital I work from 20-30+ hours a week depending on what my boss, Tia, needs. He calls me his ninja because he knows he can count on me to cover a shift, day or night. It is pretty intense, especially right now with COVID-19. Entire PT floors have been moved to a new location in the hospital and we have two new floors that just got completed in time that have intensive care capability. They are two state-of-the-art oncology floors but during COVID-19 one has become the temporary location of all the ICUs. Anyway, I could go on and on with all the changes. They are all measures to keep patients and employees safe.

So, for patient care, I use the Prayer for Protection that I have Christine print on a card for me. It gives so many people comfort, now more than ever, along with the prayer that Patricia Bass, (Interim CEO of Unity Worldwide Ministries) sent out. This one, staff members practically took it out of my hand and was in gratitude for it. I have titled it “for fear and anxiety.” I use my own prayers too, of course. The relationships that we have built with the staff as chaplains is paying off now in the COVID-19 castle areas of the hospital. It is negative pressure in the entire unit so it can’t spread to the rest of the hospital. It gets sucked outside.

When a COVID-19 patient dies and we are called there outside the room to say a prayer for the family who can’t be there, everyone stops what they are doing in the unit and pauses, even the doctors, and that usually never happens in normal hospital patient visits.

That’s all I have time to share for now. Maybe I needed to write about it, no coincidence. Thanks for listening.

Thank you, Rev. Airin, for the blessing you are to everyone in the hospital.

If you have an experience you would like to share with others, please send to me and we will get it out.

Speaking of getting information out to others, I would like to enroll your help. We are expanding our reach with Facebook Live and you can help us to broaden it to a greater extent. It is easy… when you join us live for any of our events, please click the Like button, Follow and Share. You can also do this when looking at any of the postings on our site… You are the Best!

Join me this Sunday, April 19, at 10 a.m. for our Earth Day message.

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

Palm Sunday Service

This Holy Week will go down in the annals of history as an anomaly… who would have ever dreamed that we would be experiencing the likes of what we are. That being said, I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. So much is being written and spoken about COVID-19 that I feel exhausted and in overload, and I probably am not alone.

I want to thank everyone who has been joining us via live stream during the week. A shout out to Rev. Elizabeth for her dedication to the early morning prayer at 6:30 a.m. and supporting me in the Midday Faith Lift, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:10 p.m.… Deana for doing a Tuesday evening mini-concert at 7 p.m. …music is soothing to the soul… and Rev. LeRoy’s Wednesday evening meditation at 7:10 for his calming presence and message.

I have spoken with many of you and had Zoom calls as well. Please reach out to any of us if you would like to connect. We know this too shall pass but, in the meantime, you can be supported.

palm

Sunday was Palm Sunday, and the message I gave found Jesus in the garden at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus in the evening after his ride into Jerusalem earlier in the day, reflecting on the experience. Although we cannot know what he was thinking, could it be it dawned into his consciousness what could be called the splitting of the atom, the great idea of the divinity of humankind, the awakening to the realization each person contained within them the individualized expression and experience of the divine?

He also could be thinking that in Jewish tradition, in his own background, was this recognition of the coming of the Messiah and the many prophetic utterances that led to this coming of the Messiah? He knew that the Messiah was not a person that would come, but a state of consciousness that would be awakened within all persons, each one individually. It could be at that moment he understood his role and thought, “I will accept the mantle of Messiahship; I will be the one to demonstrate the potential sonship of all persons.”

Most thought he came to tell of his own divinity, separating himself from the race and making him the great exception. They couldn’t seem to understand that his desire was to help people to know their own divinity; therefore, to show himself as the great example of what every person could do and be. And he said, “Remember all these things that I do, you can do too if you have faith.” If you understand this divine presence within yourself. That our goal is to discover the power within each person, this dynamic power of the Christ self.

During these extraordinary times we have the opportunity to be the example of the Christ in how we show up and respond to those we are interacting with daily and to all of humanity. 

You can watch the service live each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. by going either to Facebook or our home page.

My friend, be well, stay home and take more time for prayer and meditation. There is immense value in prayer, and this is a good reminder. This comes from one of my daily readings from Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood, which was written during WWII but is as relevant today…

”You have undertaken a homeric task, for the world and all in it are suffering from soul sickness; the air you breathe is full of it, of anxiety and pain, of hysteria and savagery; but those who can find safe haven in the spiritual awareness of their own godhood, awareness of the Spirit within them, not only stand near to the love of God but lift the race with them. Whenever you draw near to the secret place you do not go entirely alone, you take mankind with you. It is one way of serving your neighbor. It is never a selfish thing, for by the healing and renewing of your own spirit you send out light to all consciousness. This is as scientific as the fact that in the physical world you cannot lift your hand without vibrations caused by your gesture being felt throughout it. How infinitely more is felt the victories of the inner you, into what far reaches of darkness in another may your light shine without a spoken word!”

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

Mary Magdalene, Extraordinaire

Easter Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

A special thank you to Christine Wolf, Patti Lacombe and Jaclyn Ashla for preparing the flowers for our 10 a.m. Easter service and Ingrid Avery and her team for a wonderful brunch. We are so blessed by committed, dedicated individuals who make our community such a welcoming and loving place to be.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/The_resurrection_day.jpgIt isn’t always easy for the minister to find an angle to the Easter story that will keep people interested. This year I focused on what it must have been like for Mary Magdalene to find the tomb empty. I also gave some important facts about Mary Magdalene and how she often gets confused with the other Marys in the New Testament. I received an email from a congregant, and she said she found the talk fascinating. She also said she had a friend who wrote a book about Mary Magdalene and found she learned more by what I shared. It is nice to get this feedback. Listen for yourself and see what you might learn you didn’t know.

We have moved into the Season for the Earth and on the window sills in Unity Hall we have trays of seedlings growing for our garden. Anna is going to be looking for help to get the beds ready to welcome the new seedlings. We will have a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board for you to put your contact info on if you are available to help. This help might be an hour or two for planting, watering or weeding throughout the summer. You might find a buddy and do it together … do lunch or dinner together and then come by and do a little gardening.

Education is an important component for Season for the Earth, which is why we are hosting Deborah Perkins on Tuesday, April 30. Deborah, who is a wildlife habitat ecologist and has traveled and worked extensively throughout Canada and the United States, will be offering to us Landscaping for Wildlife. Please join us at 6:30 p.m. for an informative evening.

Later in May we will be hosting a representative from EcoMaine and the topic will be “recycling.” Watch for the date!

Join me on Sunday, April 28, when the talk will be “A Flow of Abundant Good.”

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

Radical Option

Sunday message by Jack Seery (audio)

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

Today is the 37th day of Lent, which means we are just days away from the great experience called Easter. We are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week. Holy Week is the week where Jesus had a strong “knowing” of what was his to do. He had to enter Jerusalem, where he had been warned there was much danger for his life. Why the persistent proceeding? If he was to be slain it must be in Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy. And it must be at the time of the Passover. This great tragedy could have been avoided. But he refused to accept all counsel and did what he “knew” was his to do. Have there been times in your life like this also? Might there even be one like this for you now? Little opportunities like this seem to come to me almost daily of letting go of old ways of thinking/seeing/doing/being less than Love.

This past Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, Jack Seery shared his reflections on the scene at the time of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and the juxtaposition between the Roman army under Pilate’s leadership coming into the city from one direction with their pomp and circumstance and horses and chariots armed with swords ready to do crowd control. They were fearing there would be demonstrations, knowing this rebel rouser named Jesus was on his way. At the other end of town was Jesus, the compassionate, peaceful and loving teacher coming in with his band of merry men and women riding on a donkey. The crowds that had been collecting as he made his way to Jerusalem were cheering him and waving palms in a celebratory way as they welcomed this man who was preaching love, forgiveness, nonviolence and a God of Love.

We know how the story goes and the events leading up to the big event. This Thursday evening, join Jack Seery and me as we remember the last meal Jesus has with his disciples and then goes off to the garden to pray. The theme for the evening is Sacred Meal. We will be offering a physical communion and an extended meditation time. Please join us.

On Sunday will be our Easter celebration, which includes a flower service. Come one, come all!!!

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

Who Do You Think You Are?

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

As I write this, I am watching snow falling… yes, snow falling. I am so over it! Oh well, so much for living in Maine. As said in many other areas as well as here in Maine, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

On Sunday we had the installation of our new Board of Trustees and the community warmly welcomed these individuals who have said “yes” to serving at this high level. We look forward to working together and expanding our presence in the greater community.

We were also blessed to have the Outreach Ensemble of Women in Harmony doing our special music. They are a treat to host and experience their beautiful harmonizing voices.

The message was titled “Who Do You Think You Are?” It is a mini-series on Easter Moments, moving us into Holy Week. Easter Moments are those moments when we consciously, intentionally, deliberately let something die that does not serve us so that we can rise into:

• a heightened spiritual awareness,
• a new consciousness and
• an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already ours so that we can share our gifts with the world.

Perhaps, just perhaps, who you THINK you are has nothing to do with who you Really Are and what you are meant to do in this world.

Seneca, a Roman philosopher at the time of Jesus, said: “What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.”

In his book Know Yourself, Ernest Holmes writes: “The insistent and universal desire for self-expression is the Divine Urge within us, even God Himself ‘tapping at the walls of our heart,’ urging us on to a fuller life.”

What can you let die so that you can more clearly hear God tapping at the walls of your heart?

Have you made what could be labeled mistakes in the past and think you are defined by them? Could you have an Easter Moment today and release defining yourself by that mistake or those mistakes of the past? Might you say, “I am going to let that die, so I can dare to be magnificent and glorious and make a difference in this world!”

This week in your quiet time, listen to God tapping on the wall of your heart and find – or rediscover — a part of yourself that got lost in ignorance or fear, and rid yourself of those lesser ideas about yourself so that you can rise into:

• a heightened spiritual awareness,
• a new consciousness and
• an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already yours.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, and a tradition we have established is walking the palms… join us for that and take part in a spiritual baptism. See you there!

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