Gratitude & Thanksgiving Prayers

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

As you receive this on the eve of Thanksgiving, many hands will be busy peeling, cutting, baking and preparing to welcome family and friends for dinner tomorrow. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

This past Saturday and Sunday, this is what was happening at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. With the able hands of Ingrid Avery and Dee Capoldo in our kitchen, along with many other helpers, we enjoyed an awesome Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. I don’t have a final count; however, I believe over 65 people were served.

Serving lunch on Sundays is one way we fulfill our mission of creating community. It is here that folks get to know one another and share their spiritual walk. I am so grateful for our folks in the kitchen and if you want to play with a great group join their team.

The service on Sunday was outside the box for me and the community. It was the close of the Season for Inter-spiritual/Intercultural Celebration and, to highlight this, we had gratitude prayers from the major religions, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American and Christianity. You can read them here.

At our last community meeting, there was a request to have a service where we had an extended period of “sharing the good news” so this Sunday was the perfect service to do that… the gratitude prayers were interspersed with sharing from our friends in the service.

Join me and others this Saturday as we transform the sanctuary into an old-fashioned Christmas. The time is 9:30 a.m., and I am told there will be an atmosphere of festivities, with hot chocolate and hot cider along with Christmas cookies. Come and get into the spirit of Christmas.

Advent begins on Sunday, and as we celebrate each Sunday, we will be taking a “Trip to Bethlehem” based on a book written by Unity author Hypathia Hasbrouck. The basic assumption of the book is that the traditional Christmas story is based on the fact that Jesus actually lived. In Unity, we believe there was such a person, and that he did, indeed, walk this earth.

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

Principles of Prosperity: Thanksgiving

Principles of Prosperity, Thanksgiving: Abundance through Gratitude

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

This week concluded the series on Prosperity Principles. How fitting to end on Thanksgiving: Abundance through Gratitude. I say this as we had our women’s retreat on Friday and Saturday at Pilgrim Lodge, 44 women attended, and we were overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving. I have no doubt in my mind these women were transformed at depth in a short 24-hour period; if you were to ask them, they would agree with me. One participant wrote on Facebook “I’ve been re-arranged in the nicest of ways.” Another wrote: “My Heart is blown open.”

A hearty THANK YOU to the Retreat Team: Erin Conway, Kim Cowperthwaite, Michelle Neas and Cindy Uhl, and to Rosie Deer Heart for her amazing wisdom and skills as our facilitator. We have all reclaimed our preciousness.

Here are some thoughts to ponder regarding gratitude:

  • “Gratitude is a spiritual enzyme that hastens the fulfillment of your prayer of faith.” — Rev Charles Roth
  • Gratitude can also be translated as grace. The King James Version of Colossians 3:16 says that we are to be “singing with GRACE in our hearts.”
  • Gratitude is an attitude of grace. It means that we can see God’s grace in all things. Gratitude makes you happier and healthier.

Research is showing that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits. Recent studies have concluded that the expression of thanksgiving can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages and all other relationships.

There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness.

I am inviting you into a gratitude challenge…

For the next 30 days, practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal. Record at least five things you are grateful for every day.

At lunch on Sunday, I stopped by the table where the Salois boys were having lunch with their father Steve, who asked Evan (fifth grade), Jake (third grade) and Gabe (first grade) to tell me what they do before going to bed at night. Their answer was to say what they were grateful for. How blessed they are to be getting this teaching at such an early age.

The more grateful you become, the more aware you will become of God as an active presence in your life. Say “thank you God” as often as possible. Write thank-you notes. Give thanks continually. Each day, note a way you practice gratitude.

Here is an affirmation for you:

I open my heart to the Beloved in a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness.
The Beloved fills me with love in overflowing measure.

To listen to Sunday’s message, click here…

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

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

Peaceful Revolution: The Muscle of Appreciation

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Please join us this Sunday for our Annual Meeting. This is a time of celebration for the many accomplishments we have experienced this past year. It is also the time to hear from different arms of the ministry and what their plans are for the coming year. We will be saying goodbye to some very loving, capable and loyal board members, Pam Mills, Nikki Pulsoni and Amy Cousins, and voting in new members; Kim Cowperthwaite, Carolyn Sanford, Erin Conway and Betty Gates will be returning as an alternate. Another important topic to discuss is a name change. We have gotten a lot of responses from those of you who have been attending the Sunday services; however, if you haven’t and want to weigh in, here are the choices:

• Unity Center for Spiritual Growth
• Unity Center for Spiritual Growth Spiritual Center
• Unity Center for Spiritual Growth
• Unity Spiritual Center

You can rank choice vote…isn’t that the best! Send your selections to me at

The series from Peaceful Revolution written by Paul K. Chappell continued this past Sunday with the Muscle of Appreciation. Appreciation is the doorway to joy, because we cannot experience joy unless we first experience appreciation. When we take steps toward and through the doorway of appreciation, it is like entering a new and different place, because the mindset of appreciation causes us to see each other, our world, and ourselves in new, different, and more fulfilling ways.

Paul says that “Appreciation always feels good, every single time, with no exception.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word gratitude means “the quality of being thankful;
readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” The word appreciation is defined as “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” The subtle shift from gratitude to appreciation involves being more present, more thoughtfully aware and active in reflecting on the reasons we feel grateful about something or someone.

During lunch I had someone share with me they never realized the difference between gratitude and appreciation, and it was very helpful to them.

Through present moment awareness, we begin to generate feelings of appreciation.


Although savoring and joy are synonymous with appreciation, a strong muscle of appreciation gives us far more than just a pleasant feeling. As we savor the moment as we would our favorite food, we become more fully alive, more aware.


Appreciation is also the doorway to stewardship. By encouraging us to take care of our friends, family, freedom, country, and planet, appreciation helps us behave responsibly. In this way, appreciation creates the psychological foundation for stewardship, and stewardship is the highest expression of appreciation. For examples of stewardship, listen to the message.

As you go about your week, begin to explore ways of appreciating your life more fully. Spend some time appreciating your relationships, your job, the world, and most of all, appreciating yourself.

Join me next week as we explore the Muscle of Conscience.
Rev. Patricia Bessey


Count Your Blessings

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

On the eve of Thanksgiving, many of you may be getting the turkey ready, making stuffing or peeling vegetables in preparation for tomorrow’s celebration; others may be on the road to be with family. And there may be those of you having a quiet day, possibly reflecting on the many things you are grateful for. Wherever this finds you, my friend, know that you are being sent blessings from Unity Center for Spiritual Growth for a happy and joyous Thanksgiving.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a huge shout out to our Kitchen Team, Nancy Burnette, Martha and Ken Lloyd and Cindy Hildreth for a delicious Thanksgiving lunch on Sunday. They worked tirelessly preparing, serving and cleaning up as we fed over 60 people. Well done, my friends!

I want to share a few thoughts from the service on Sunday. Sir John Templeton, the billionaire investor, was once asked, what is the secret of wealth? Without hesitation, Templeton said, “Gratitude.” He went on to say, “If you’re not grateful, you’re not rich — no matter how much you have.”

Gratitude is a great mind magnet. When you are grateful for good in your life, you attract more good to you.

A few things to be grateful for are the Power of Choice. Each day we make thousands of choices about our thoughts, our feelings and our actions. Each choice produces its own consequences and reaction. No matter what happens, we can choose to be grateful.

Gratitude is the most powerful choice that one can make. Through the power of gratitude, we open a space to see God in all the details of our life. When we choose gratitude, the consequence is always a greater experience of God.

Another thing to be grateful for is Spiritual Vision. As you move about your world today, ask yourself, “What is the highest vision that I have for my life and my world?”

Look for the small, simple things that you can do, things that may not seem dramatic, but in truth are needed and are what give your world “heart.” Do at least two things today that will establish your vision of the world and give thanks that you are a positive influence for good.

One that is near and dear to me that I am grateful for is this Spiritual Community. As many of you know, Unity Center for Spiritual Growth became my spiritual community in September of 1989. I have been blessed in more ways than I can count by being connected here. The Unity teachings have brought me to where I am today, and my life is richer than any amount of money ever can bring me.

My prayer is that you are grateful for the good that has come into your life from being in this spiritual community. It is the power of coming together and sharing together that we deepen our experiences of God. As you give and serve in love, this community becomes a greater expression of God, and your life is filled with good. So, as you reflect on gratitude during this holiday, let’s not forget that your good comes from God and you get to express it through Unity Center for Spiritual Growth as well as other places in your life.

Gratitude brings us into the present.
Gratitude takes off the blinders.
Gratitude shows us what’s really important.
Gratitude helps us see options.
Gratitude increases our self-esteem.

“Every day think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.” ~ The Dalai Lama

The 8 a.m. service, Count Your Blessings, can be heard here. (Use the audio player above.) Next Sunday will be the Hanging of the Greens — time to decorate for Christmas! Join us for another heart-opening Sunday.

You are a my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey

P.S. Click here for Unity’s Say Grace: Thanksgiving Mealtime Blessings and Prayer.