Days of Awe: The Jewish High Holy Days

Rev. Joel Grossman

Guest Speaker Rev. Joel Grossman

Days of Awe: The Jewish High Holy Days
The Jewish high holy days, called the 10 ”Days of Awe,” start with Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year,”  which begins on Sunday night, September 29, and ends with Yom Kippur, the “day of atonement,” on October 9. This talk focuses on the ways the Jewish people celebrate and observe this holiday period.

Rev. Joel Grossman, our guest speaker, is an Interfaith Minister who has been a hospice chaplain for 14 years and is presently Director of Spiritual Services with Constellation Hospice, Newburyport, MA. He has had a private practice as a spiritually based psychotherapist since the late ’70s. He is a founding member of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine (ChIME), an interfaith seminary based in Portland. Joel is a past president of his synagogue, Congregation Ahavas Achim, Newburyport, MA, and led Kabbalah classes and Jewish meditation sessions there for many years.

A Flow of Abundant Good

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Just imagine that you have fed 40 plus people and then begin the cleanup to find out you have no hot water. This is the situation that Ingrid and her team experienced on Sunday morning. As they prepared to do the dishes the water never got hot. It is our hope that a new water heater will be installed this week. These are the kinds of things that happen when you own a home like we do. Unexpected expenses pop up. Which leads right into the talk on Sunday, which was titled “A Flow of Abundant Good.”

The message was focused on what are the thoughts we hold about abundance in our own lives. One of Unity’s core teachings is prosperity, and yet we find ourselves often living in lack. There were two areas that I would be looking at, and the first is looking at new ways to be in relationship with abundance and second what might need to change in order to have a new relationship with abundance.

In her book Trance of Scarcity, author Victoria Castle writes: “We often think of abundance as being like a river: flowing but moving only in one direction. That image is misleading because abundance is much smarter than that. Abundance renews and replenishes itself, flowing in a circular pattern the same way the breath moves. Each part of the cycle naturally makes way for the next.”

So, imagine, if you will, a circle. It is the Circle of Abundance. And this Circle of Abundance is like a clock, in that we will start at the top and work our way around clockwise.

12 o’clock, high noon is ALIGNING. We must start by aligning. Aligning with what? Aligning with the realization that we are already in the Circle of Abundance. Always have been; always will be. We can’t not be! When we recognize that we already belong in the Circle simply because of who we are, we will awaken to inspiration and opportunities and ideas, which are God’s first currency.

The second stop around our Circle of Abundance, at approximately 2 o’clock is the idea of GENEROSITY because when we are aligned, sharing/giving come naturally. We are made in the image and likeness of the Infinite Giver. To give, to be generous of spirit, is our Divine Nature.

GENEROSITY then sends us to our next stop around the Circle of Abundance at about 5 o’clock. That stop is ATTRACTING. A generous soul is a soul that is attractive to its good. Why, because generosity comes from a place of sufficiency; I have more than enough, so I give. And knowing that we already have is the key to attracting what we desire!

ALIGN with Spiritual Truth, be GENEROUS of Spirit not out of obligation but out of a knowing that supply is unlimited and ATTRACT our good by knowing it is already here.

To be a powerful ATTRACTOR even when circumstances do not appear to be abundant, we must realize that the absence of evidence is NOT the evidence of absence.

Then we move to 7 o’clock, which is RECEIVING. Receiving is the depth of inhalation. Ernest Holmes wrote: “[Principle] is ready to fill everything, because It is infinite. So, it is not a question of Its willingness, nor of Its ability; it is entirely a question of our own receptivity.”

And finally, at approximately 10 o’clock is GRATITUDE. If we receive fully, gratitude follows naturally. Gratitude is a generative energy that acknowledges our connectedness. Eckhart Tolle wrote: “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”

And, of course, when the spiritual dimension of life opens, we are beautifully and powerfully aligned, so we have returned full circle back to 12 o’clock, to ALIGNMENT.

Alignment—Generosity – Attracting – Receiving – Gratitude – back to Alignment.

That’s the Circle of Abundance. Today, I invite you into a relationship with the Circle.

I look forward to hearing the success you have using the Circle of Abundance. I am also seeing it work with a new water heater. We are open to receive an inflow of unexpected income to more than cover the cost of the heater and installation.

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

Turning Uncomfortable to Comfortable

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

This past weekend your new board met for their annual retreat at Marie Joseph Retreat Center. It was a wonderful time of getting to know each other and discussing the vision for Unity Center for Spiritual Growth going forward. At our next community meeting we will share the intentions that we are developing and goals to support us achieving the intentions.

The new officers were selected, and they are Matt Purinton, President; Barbara Kowalska, Treasurer; Erin Conway, Secretary; and Carolyn Sanford, Treasurer. Members at large are Kim Cowperthwaite and Sandy Hobbs, and Betty Gates is the board alternate.

The talk this week brought a lot of comments from those leaving saying, “Your talk was just for me today.” I am grateful when that happens. The talk was “Turning Uncomfortable to Comfortable.” How do you live through those uncomfortable times… those times when you might be changing jobs, having a relationship end, or facing a health challenge? The question that bubbles up is, “How am I going to make it through this?”

Do we struggle? Do we resist? Do we say, “Dear God, I’ve had enough change in my life; I’m not going to change any more. This is hurting me.” Or do we become, as Jesus Christ taught, non-resistant?

I’m here to promise you that by practicing non-resistance you are going to be get through this because you’re not alone. God is with you, working with you.

When you listen to this week’s message, you will hear about the analogy of a lamp and the source and how this relates to us and our source, which is God. When you turn yourself on to God, the light comes on. The light shines into every aspect of your life. There may be a part of your life that has been very, very dark. Everything seemed bleak. But now, coming through you, there is NEW God-given light.

This light is there in your life, it can come through you to produce healing. It can come through you to produce new ideas. It can come through you to give ideas to go in a brand-new direction to bring you greater success than ever before. It is the light of God. The light of God is greater than anything that is going on in your outer life. With the light of God shining through you, you are going to be changed forever. You are going to be new.

Here is a wonderful acronym for the light inside of you: L.I.G.H.T.— Live in God’s Highest Thought.
The next time you are in a panic about change, turn that panic into a faith-filled prayer, so that you can live through the in-between times of life with great God-given peace. This may be a good affirmation for you: I AM POISED IN THE CHRIST PRESENCE. NOTHING DISTURBS THE CALM PEACE OF MY SOUL.

If you’re in-between where you were, and where you want to be, if you’re going through change, I praise that activity in you. It is when God can be most creative with your life. It means you are growing.

Next Sunday we are hosting Vaishali Mamgain at our 10 a.m. service. Please join us and bring a family member or friend; they will be glad you did. I am so grateful to the person in my life that invited me to try her church in September of 1989. Here I am 30 years later, still growing.

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

Light of Faith – Power of Perception, Conviction and Expectancy

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey. One in a series based on the book Divine Audacity.

We have another opportunity to highlight a group of committed individuals that gave of their time and talent to Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. On Saturday Matt Purinton, Jeff Plumer, his friend Paul, and Sandy Watson refreshed our labyrinth — and it looks exquisite. The labyrinth is a source of comfort for many both in and outside of our community. Kudos for the pocket of beauty you created.

Also, on Saturday another committed group came together to create a healing circle for Rev. LeRoy. It was an awesome experience. Comments that I heard were “it was a beautiful, powerful experience… I have never experienced anything like this in any church.” Rev. LeRoy was moved, and his heart was opened ever wider. Many thanks to those who were not in attendance but sending long distant prayer. We heard from so many friends all over the country that are praying for him.

We have an amazing community, with so much love, support and connection. Give yourself the gift of being in this energy as much as you can. We need each other: this journey is not one we take alone. Research has shown that having a spiritual community can improve your life. Strong relationships have been proven to increase life expectancy, which is why one study found a strong association between church attendance and improved health, mood and wellbeing. So be kind to yourself and make Sunday morning a priority to be at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth.

How many of you look forward to your work week? There was a time in my life when Monday morning came around and I saw my energy and enthusiasm tumble. I knew I wasn’t doing what I came here to do and was to afraid to let go of what was secure and take the leap of faith that was required from me. If this resonates at all with you I suggest you listen to the talk.

As you may know my message each week is coming from a series based on the book Divine Audacity, written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett. This week we looked at the power of Faith.

From Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines faith as “the perceiving power of the mind linked with the power to shape substance. It is spiritual assurance, the power to do the seemingly impossible. It is a force that draws to us our heart’s desire right out of the invisible spiritual substance. It is a deeper inner knowing that that which is sought is already ours for the taking, the ‘assurance of things hoped for.’”

Faith is our innate power to create our reality by our perceptions, our beliefs, and our own interpretations.

Perception = awareness = consciousness.

Consciousness is the persistent trend of thoughts and feelings that becomes the eyeglasses we use to look out at the world which is our perception. What we focus on becomes our reality. It is not what’s out there but how we see what’s out there.

It is important to question our perception. We look out at the world and “assign meaning” according to our perception.

Here is a wonderful quote from Unity minister Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann from her book, Your God Given Potential that I think addresses what meaning we assign: Faith is the quality in us which enables us to look past appearances of lack, limitation or difficulty, to take hold of the divine idea and believe in it even though we do not see any evidence of it except in our mind. Through faith we know with an inner knowing the Truth that has not yet expressed in our manifest world.

The greatest faith is demonstrated by those who not only perceive possibilities but see the impossible as possible. We exercise faith when we see Truth hidden in the facts, see great possibilities in impossible situations.

Affirmation for this week: I live in faith, perceive the good, trust all is well, and expect the best!

Next week we will be looking at the power of Understanding.

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