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 Key To Praying With Power

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey —

Mother Nature surely has a sense of humor. We woke up on Sunday morning to many more inches of snow than the 1-3 inches that were predicted. However, many of you made it to the 10 a.m. service and stayed for our Annual Meeting.

At the meeting, Matt Purinton and Barbara Kowalska were voted in for a second term and Betty Gates and Amy Cousins are our alternates for another year. We are blessed by such competent folks willing to serve.

Also, at the Annual Meeting the board outlined our intentions for moving forward this year. Here are the items we feel to be the focus of the board and community:

  • A youth education department that is fully staffed and has all the resources needed for exceptional, principle-driven education
  • A “welcoming” program that connects new folks to our community and involves them in activities – including sacred service – at their own pace
  • Continuing with our Seasons and putting emphasis on growing our Season for the Earth and Season for Humane Services
  • A presence in the greater community – and beyond – partnering with our neighbors and like-minded organizations to establish a peaceful and harmonious community environment
  • Nurturing stewardship: the idea that each of us has the responsibility to care for Unity of Greater Portland with our prayer, our presence, our service, and our consistent financial gifts. This ministry is funded by YOU.

As you can see, we have a robust action plan that is going to include us all, so we are counting on you to work with us. The Board of Trustees will be having their annual retreat in March and will outline a plan for executing these goals. More will be forthcoming regarding ways that you can serve with us to fulfill UGP’s vision and mission. Read the Board and Minister’s report.

The talk on Sunday was “The Key to Praying with Power.” I told the story that Jesus told his people from Luke 18:1-8. This story is about a ruthless judge who fears neither God nor man, and a widow who comes to him repeatedly with the request, “Grant me justice.” For a long time, he refuses to consider her request, but finally in exasperation he says, “Because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.”

Then Jesus said in the same way God will bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night.

Praying with persistence is the key to praying with Power. Here are three ways you benefit from persistent prayer.

  • Persistent prayer keeps you in God’s presence.
  • Persistent prayer helps you define and refine your request.
  • Persistent prayer proves your faith.

Persistent prayer takes prayer out of the “plan b” category — the “last-ditch-effort” category — and puts it where it belongs: top priority in your life.

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Pray and pray and keep on praying. Persist in prayer; make it your lifestyle.

On a personal note… Rev. LeRoy is in Mass General Hospital undergoing various tests to identify the cause of his health challenge that has been ongoing since October. Please hold him and his medical team in persistent prayer to have the answer downloaded from Spirit.

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

Prayer: The Ultimate Lifestyle

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Hello friends! Spring is just 49 days away — how does that sound? This past weekend we saw a January thaw, and for that I was grateful.

The topic for the message on Sunday was prayer. There is no right or wrong way to pray. Here I’ll offer some thoughts that I shared from Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, and Rev. Eric Butterworth, author and Unity minister.

Fillmore defines prayer as “communion between God and man. This communion takes place in the innermost part of man’s being. Prayer is the most highly accelerated mind action known. It steps up mental action until man’s consciousness synchronizes with the Christ Mind. It is the language of spirituality.”

The goal of prayer is to be One with God, to have a transcendental experience, to rise above the five-sense world, to experience the Divine, to be changed at depth. Notice it is to be changed at depth. Prayer is not about changing God, but it is about changing us.

Butterworth writes: “It is turning the focus of your consciousness away from the problem to your center of being in God and giving way to the creative flow which will stream forth . . . from within your innermost self.”

He further describes this as “resting in the divine flow.” Resting in the Presence. Jesus described it like this: “The Father and I are one.” He’s describing our relationship with God. It’s like stepping into a river and becoming one with that river.

The first step in prayer is to begin where you are. You may have a lot of information on prayer, but what is most important is to take action and pray from right where you are. We are a praying people. We are wired for prayer. Butterworth says the human creature is a “praying animal,” that prayer comes naturally to all of us.

The next step is to be absolutely honest with God when you pray. Prayer is not something you do for God, but rather you do it to uncover God in yourself, to discover God’s presence in your life.

There’s no one to pray to, only a universal flow to get into, a spiritual energy to pray from. Butterworth writes, “Prayer is not something we do to God, or a ceremony we perform for God. It is an experience of our own God-potential . . .  we do not really pray to God, rather we pray from a consciousness of God. Prayer is not conditioning God with our needs but conditioning our lives with the activity of God.”

And how much time should you spend in the practice of the presence of God? Eric says: “All the time!”

And the final step: Continue the conversation all day long. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Pray without ceasing.” Every moment should be spent in the awareness of the Divine at work in every aspect of our life. If we were aware of God flowing in our life at every moment, we would always know what to do and what to say, where to go and when. There would never be any questioning as to what we were to do next.

May prayer reveal to you a wonderful and awesome God, and may prayer also allow YOU to truly, truly know how magnificently and wonderfully YOU are made!

Step into the Divine Flow. . . TODAY. . . in prayer!

Fr. John Dear

Fr. John Dear

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Fr. John Dear, who will be with us in March. Fr. John has an extensive biography as an author and nonviolent activist. Here is a little bit about him:

John is an internationally recognized voice for peace. “John Dear is the embodiment of a peacemaker,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a few years ago when he nominated John for the Nobel Peace Prize. “He has led by example through his actions and in his writings and in numerous sermons, speeches and demonstrations. He believes that peace is not something static, but rather to make peace is to be engaged, mind, body and spirit. His teaching is to love yourself, to love your neighbor, your enemy, and to love the world and to understand the profound responsibility in doing all of these. He is a man who has the courage of his convictions and who speaks out and acts against war, the manufacture of weapons and any situation where a human being might be at risk through violence. For evil to prevail requires only that good people sit on the sidelines and do nothing. John Dear is compelling all of us to stand up and take responsibility for the suffering of humanity so often caused through selfishness and greed.”

To attend the March 17th daylong workshop at St. Joseph’s College, register now.

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

SisterHeart: The Story of an Indian Nun and Maher

Sister Lucy Kurien

Sister Lucy Kurien

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 represented Unity of Chautauqua by speaking at their Sunday service, holding an 8 a.m. Daily Word Meditation each morning, and doing a one-hour class on Wednesday night. There were so many wonderful offerings it was difficult to decide what to partake of. We have already made a commitment to go back next year.

This week many of our children and teachers head back to school. Our love and prayers are with you all as this is a big adjustment.

Now on to Sunday — what a powerful service we had with our special guest, Sister Lucy Kurien.

Here is some information about Sr. Lucy and the Maher organization:

  • Sister Lucy is an Indian nun dedicated to service to the destitute, abandoned, abused of India. “Love is my religion. … It is not we who do seva/service, rather the Divine who does service through us.”
  • Founder of Maher (which means “Mother’s Home” in local language) despite no formal training, no funds of her own (she lived in convent) – a living example for what one person can do with Love as your only resource.
  • Maher celebrated 20 years of service this year, has directly helped over 4,000 women and 3,100 children, many living at Maher for all their years of schooling, and/or continue on as staff, in 3 states of India.
  • Maher was recently awarded the coveted “Consultative Status” at the UN.
  • Inaugurated “Maher Interfaith Association” during World Interfaith Harmony
  • In addition to homes for women, children, mentally disturbed, and the aged, Maher organizes local self-help groups (mostly micro-finance) and does Village Outreach on topics ranging from hygiene, value of educating girls, alcoholism, anger management, AIDs awareness, and much more.
  • Maher is a values-based organization: steadfastly interfaith, caste-free, no bribesever, supporting the environment.
James Dillet Freeman

James Dillet Freeman

In the 8 a.m. service the topic was prayer. I closed with the long version of the Prayer for Protection. Most don’t know this version exists. It was written by James Dillet Freeman, Unity’s Poet Laureate, for all soldiers during World War II. I think it is just as relevant and powerful today as it was when written.

“The light of God surrounds me,
The love of God enfolds me,
The power of God protects me,
The presence of God watches over me.
The Mind of God guides me.
The Life of God flows through me.
The Laws of God direct me.
The Power of God abides within me.
The Joy of God uplifts me.
The Strength of God renews me.
The Beauty of God inspires me.
Wherever I am, God is.”

Next week will begin a short series, “Unity Practical Christianity: The Silence.”

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

 

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 key principles into practice.

After having a very restless night and ruminating on finances, I saw that I was entertaining lack and limitation. Upon waking the next morning, I was still congested, and I was directed to a six-point practical financial plan that author and visionary Alan Cohen wrote many years ago.

Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen wrote: “I am not an economist, and frankly I don’t understand all of the complexities of the current market. I do, however, understand the relationship between thought, belief, feeling, attitude, expectation, identity, and practical prosperity. So here is my 6-point plan, which will surely work if you apply it.

“The first point is Vision:  A visionary sees and remembers the Big Picture in the face of current appearances to the contrary. A visionary thrives under all conditions. There are always people who do well in difficult economic times, as well as those who fail in prosperous times.

“It is not the economy at large that determines your well-being; it is the consciousness you hold in relation to it.

“The second point is Trust: When human affairs appear to falter, the hand of the divine becomes very real and practical. A Higher Power is currently running the universe far more intelligently and successfully than even the best economists.

“The third point is Reframe:  You may remember that the Chinese written symbol for ‘crisis’ is a combination of two other symbols: ‘Danger’ and ‘Opportunity.’ If there is danger in your current financial position, know that there is also an opportunity.

“The fourth point is Reset Priorities: When money seems tight, we have a window of insight to recognize how rich we are, no matter how much or how little we have in the bank. When financial challenges arise, we can use this time to grow closer to our families, homes, nature, activities that truly bring us joy, and to grow closer to ourselves and our Higher Power.

“The fifth point is Circulate: Keep moving your energy, financially and otherwise. The brilliant metaphysician and Unity writer Florence Scovel Shin noted: ‘All disease is due to congestion and all healing is due to circulation.’

“This dynamic applies impeccably to personal economic congestion. When people are afraid to spend money, there is less money in circulation, then people grow more afraid to spend and the cycle goes on.

“The sixth and final point is Milk Every Moment: It would be easy to think that you will be able to relax and enjoy your life as soon as your current crisis is averted or offset. But that’s the carrot at the end of the stick – the one that you never get to bite. Either life is rewarding NOW, or it never will be.”

And from Norma Gentile – a larger perspective:

“This transition in our corporate and financial world reflects humanity’s continued growth toward Unity Consciousness.

“We are being called to totally undo everything that’s been built with a hierarchical format – everything that has been built without a sense of true heart and integrity.

“We as a race are moving into greater prosperity. While it may not seem that way in your personal affairs, you are in the process of releasing that which no longer serves your financial world, which is the underpinning of our present society.

“Because of the loud external circumstances, it becomes harder to choose while not in a state of fear or panic. Fear separates you from all that is. Love binds you to all those around you and to ALL that is. Choose one expression – love or fear – and you choose the resulting influence in your life.”

Return to Source – The God essence of Love. Acknowledge Spirit as the Source and substance of the universe. Take delight in the many blessing you already have. Live in gratitude and greater riches will be bestowed upon you – to have and to share.

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