The Light of Strength: The Power of Stability, Courage, and Tenacity

Mary Reed

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
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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

 

The Light of Love: The Power of Magnetism, Harmony and Unity

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Unity’s World Day of Prayer is almost here. Tomorrow, September 13, is the date of the 25th annual World Day of Prayer. The theme this year is “Courage to Heal” and the affirmation is “I am a healing presence.” Our Prayer Partners are planning a special service tomorrow evening beginning at 7:00 pm. I know it will be a very meaningful service as they have taken the lead on this service now for a few years and it is always a powerful service. Please join us!

I have continued the talk series from the book Divine Audacity, written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett, Vice President of Silent Unity. This week, the power I was highlighting is LOVE. Jesus said, people will know you are my disciples by your love. The goal for our lives is to show up embodying divine love, to be love in action.

The three aspects of love that Rev. Linda explores are magnetism, harmony and unity. The magnetizing power of love is our true nature. I call forth the magnetizing power of divine love. My thoughts are magnetic.

The light of love wants to shine, heal, transform, unify and harmonize.

I call forth from within me the harmonizing power of love. The harmonizing power of love within us in our capacity for harmonious thoughts, words, and actions regarding others and ourselves. From Colossians 3:14 “Above all clothe yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

I call forth from within me the unifying power of love. From the Gospel of Thomas, “Blessed are they that are One with themselves. Thy will find the Kingdom.” A Course in Miracles teaches, “Heaven is not a place or a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness.” The unifying power of love is the remedy for separation-consciousness.

An affirmation that I learned many years ago that I love is:

I am a radiating center of divine love
Mighty to attract my good to me (magnetism)
And to radiate good to others. (harmony)

The unifying power of love is our capacity for communion, empathy, and compassionate service. I see myself in other, others in myself, and GOD in us all.

I AM the power of love, loving.
Click here to listen to the message from Sunday…

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Pat

The Answer is Always Love

Deb Engel

Debra Engel

Audio: Guest Speaker Debra Engle

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

Although summer doesn’t end until mid-September, once the children start back to school the energy shifts from summer to fall – even though we are in another heat wave. Bless the teachers and children that are in non-air-conditioned rooms.

It was another special Sunday at Unity of Greater Portland. We had as our guest speaker Deb Engle, author of many books and the creator of the prayer I say often: ”Please heal my fear-based thoughts.” Whenever we are experiencing discomfort it is generally that we are in some form of fear. Deb is steeped in A Course In Miracles and her message on Sunday was based on love and in whatever situation we find ourselves love is the answer. From the principles of Attitudinal Healing: “You can either be a love finder or a fault finder.” I choose to focus on love – how about you.

On Wednesday evening Deb will be doing a workshop using the principles from ACIM and giving us tools to get unstuck and bring more love and joy into our lives. It begins at 6:30 – see you there.

At the 8 a.m. service I continued with the power of ZEAL. The focus was on enthusiasm. Zeal is enthusiasm. Charles Schwab said, “A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.”

History is filled with individuals that remained passionate about achieving their goals and even though they failed many times they kept on pushing until eventually they managed to reach their goal. This same thing can happen to us when we set out to accomplish a goal – we need to keep at it even if it seems impossible. When we learn to trust God and allow him/her/it to help us we can and will do things that we did not think were possible.

Notice the following verses that teach us that we can accomplish great things:

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

These verses prove that with God’s help that you and I can and will achieve great things for humanity if we will only set our minds to doing so and then enthusiastically pursue them.

Next week will be the Power of Power – this is one of my favorites!

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

Listening Is An Act Of Love

Elaine M. Bourne

Elaine M. Bourne

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Elaine Bourne —

Elaine M. Bourne is Director of the Community Mediation Services Program (CMS) of Volunteers of America, Northern New England (VOANNE); a state-wide program designed to transform conflict and preserve relationships. She is an experienced mediator, facilitator and conflict resolution trainer and consultant. She leads a diverse team of individuals providing mediation services for members of the agricultural community, veterans and military families and a full-range of community-based conflict resolution services, training programs and skill-building sessions.

Elaine is a member of the Board of Governors of the Maine Association of Mediators and is active with other organizations, including the Beginning Farmers Resources Network Council in Maine. Prior to joining VOANNE, Elaine worked for more than 15 years with law students, developing extensive experience, and a national reputation, as a leader in legal education administration – student services, including admissions and career development. Institutions she was associated with include the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Boston University School of Law, and the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. She holds a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a B.A. from Eisenhower College of the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Message from Rev. Pat Bessey

Happy Valentine’s to you… God loves you and so do I!

This Sunday is our Annual Meeting and everyone is invited. It is a time for us as a community to come together and discuss the health and support the mission of Unity of Greater Portland as we look at the past year and the way forward. Your voice and presence are important to us – it takes all of us to make this community.

This past Sunday we had as a guest speaker, Elaine Bourne, a trained mediator with Volunteers of America. She shared the importance of listening and good communication skills. Did you know that the very same letters are found in “listen” and “silent”? It stands to reason then we must be silent in order to listen. Listening is both a skill and art that many of us have not learned very well. If you are anything like me, you are formulating a response rather than being fully present. This doesn’t happen in every interaction; however, it is pretty common. Multitasking is another deterrent from being fully present. I am watching myself as I am typing this that I am also half listening to a comment from Rev LeRoy. I can just imagine that you might do the same thing.

In her talk, Elaine showed a slide that broke down the components of the Chinese symbol for listening. The symbol for that one word is comprised of symbols for ears (to hear), heart (to feel), eyes (to see), mind (to think), and undivided attention (to focus). This demonstrates the complexity and richness of good listening.

Elaine gave great tips on better communication skills which everyone of us can benefit from.

I will leave you with this quote, and look forward to seeing you at our Annual Meeting on Sunday.

“We should all know this: that listening, not talking, is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role. And the true listener is much more beloved, magnetic than the talker, and he is more effective and learns more and does more good. And so, try listening. Listen to your wife, your husband, your father, your mother, your children, your friends; to those who love you and those who don’t, to those who bore you, to your enemies. It will work a small miracle. And perhaps a great one.” — Brenda Ueland

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

Christmas: A Season of Love

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

The countdown is on! Only four more days until Christmas Eve. We have a special service planned for 10 a.m. and our traditional Christmas Eve candle light service at 7 p.m. There will not be an 8 a.m. service, and following the 10 a.m. service coffee and tea will be provided and you have an opportunity to share with us some of your favorite holiday cookies and pastries.

This past Sunday, “Love” was the word for advent — and both services were filled with love. Our children performed a play titled “A Celebration of Interfaith Traditions,” which was both entertaining and educational! I want to give a hearty thank you to Elizabeth Peterson for writing and directing the play and to our Youth Education leaders and parents for supporting the rehearsals and making it such a memorable experience.

In keeping with the theme of love, here is an acronym for you to apply in your day-to-day life and especially during the holidays. It is a gift that keeps giving:

L – LISTEN intently to the people with whom you are interacting with… Listen deeply; it is a great gift.

O – OPTIMIZE the time you have with your loved ones. The truth is, we do not know our last hour; don’t postpone giving your love.

V – VALUE the people in your life; really notice their goodness.

E – EXPRESS your gratitude, appreciation and praise.

Along with living the acronym for “love,” here is another practice for you from New Thought writer Joel Goldsmith from his book Practicing the Presence: What is the principle? “Love they neighbor as thyself.”

In obeying this commandment, we love friend and foe; we pray for our enemies; we forgive, though it be seventy times seven; we bear not false witness against our neighbor by holding him in condemnation; we judge not as to good or evil, but see through every appearance to the Christ-identity – the one Self which is your Self and my Self.

This holiday season and clear into 2018, let us see the Christ in every person we encounter!

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