White Stone Ceremony

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey I know that we Mainers are tough and many of you proved it on Sunday by showing up when the temperature was well below zero. As I drove down River Road on my way to the 8 a.m. service my car thermometer was registering -24… yikes… but you all showed up! What may have motivated you was the service which is always the first Sunday of the new year, the White Stone Ceremony. I love this service because it is a reminder that we have a clean slate in which to create our life… it represents freedom. This is a quote from John Selby’s book, Seven Masters, One Path: “We can’t hold one thing tightly in our grasp, and at the same time reach out and take something new. We must let go of and put aside what we are grasping, in order to … Continue reading

Faith in Diaspora

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Parivash Rohani This week’s letter is coming to you from Steph Plourde, as Revs. Pat and LeRoy are taking some time off. Today I had my first day off in what seems like a very long time. There is, to me, nothing more exquisite than a wide open, unplanned day. I’ve kept a fire going in my wood stove all day, listening to beautiful music, connecting with friends, cozying up with the kitties, reading, writing… doing all the things I love. All day, I felt the most incredible peace and contentment. I hope this note finds you experiencing some of the things you love, too. This past Sunday we were very fortunate to have speaker Parivash Rohani as the final speaker in our Season for Interfaith and Intercultural Celebration. For those of you who were there and heard her speak, you know what I mean … Continue reading

SisterHeart: The Story of an Indian Nun and Maher

Sister Lucy Kurien, Founder of Maher Ashram, spoke at our 10 a.m. service and presented a workshop at noon. Message from Rev. Pat Bessey: I want to give a high five to the awesome team that keeps Unity of Greater Portland running while I am away. Special thanks to Steph who did triple duty: speaking at the 8 a.m. service, facilitating the Prosperity Plus II class, and keeping all the ducks moving in the right direction. Rev. LeRoy and I had an incredible time at Chautauqua Institute. We were the Unity representatives for the week. Chautauqua Institute has been in existence since 1874, when it was founded by inventor Lewis Miller and Methodist Bishop John Heyl Vincent. It was started as a teaching camp for Sunday school teachers. It has developed into a 9-week season of programs that offer lectures and classes in the arts, education, religion and music. We … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Faith Over Fear

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey I love how I receive just what I need when I need it. I sat down to write this letter and this showed up in my inbox. It describes what I was about to say, however, much more eloquently. “When we see ants and bees out in the world, we often see just one, but this belies the reality of their situation. More than any other species, ants and bees function as parts of a whole. They cannot and do not survive as individuals; they survive as members of a group, and the group’s survival is the implicit goal of each individual’s life. There is no concept of life outside the group, so even to use the word individual is somewhat misleading. Often, humans, on the other hand, strongly value individuality and often negatively associate ants and bees with a lack of independence. And … Continue reading