Words of Wisdom from Dad

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

A very special event happened this past Saturday… it was honoring our Sacred Service volunteers who serve on the 21 teams that serve our community. It was a beautiful day, and we had many beautiful people attend, and scrumptious food. We have 78 active volunteers, and we would love to have you be on this roster. Service is an act of devotion to God, and Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Please speak to me if you would like to join a team.

Sunday was Father’s Day, and did you know there are over 70 million fathers in the United States? Also did you know the campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm — perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”

On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.

William Jackson Smart was a twice-married, twice-widowed Civil War veteran and father of 14 children, one of whom dedicated her life to the creation of Father’s Day in honor of her devoted and selfless dad.

In Spokane, Washington, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of William Jackson Smart, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.

Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.

I asked for help with my sermon by sharing some words of wisdom from dad… I have a great response.

Here are some that I didn’t share on Sunday:

• Kathleen McManus: My dad was a correctional officer in a prison and he would often say “people are still people and deserve to be treated kindly! They committed a crime but that is not who they are.”

• Terri Svendsen Hewitt: After asking a million times why there had to be people that did bad/mean/awful things, he told me everything in life serves a purpose, if even to serve as a bad example. He also changed his mind about things when he found out more information. I really respect this. He had a hard time with “illegal aliens” in Southern California until he met a man crossing the desert from Mexico. The man was hungry and dehydrated. He picked up the man and they went to the next town, where my dad bought him food and water. After talking to the man, he found that he just wanted a better life for his family, just like my immigrant grandparents did. He helped the man get to his destination. He told me they both could have been arrested, but he felt it was the right thing to do. I never heard him ever complain about “illegals” again.

• Judi Venturini: When I was about 17 my car spun in circles on a busy eight-lane expressway in Chicago because I broke too hard when everyone came to an abrupt stop during rush hour. I made at least 3 spins in a circle before I stopped. Amazingly I hit nothing, but I was shook. I wanted my dad to drive, and he said, “Absolutely not. Get in that seat and drive, or else you will never drive and give up when life has you spinning.”

Listen to this week’s audio to hear more stories about dads.

To the men reading this, come on Friday to the Men’s Gathering celebrating the summer solstice and spend some quality time with other men. Food, fellowship and fire circle!

Next Sunday I will be talking about “Mind Over Matter.”

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

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
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 Wisdom: The Power of Judgement, Discernment and Intuition

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Life is good all the time! I want to give a shout out to the Women’s Retreat team, Nikki Pulsoni, Sandy Hobbs, Kim Cowperthwaite and Amy Cousins for an incredible retreat this past weekend. Our facilitator for the weekend was Eva Goulet and the theme was healing our ancestral DNA. She took us through some amazing exercises and a lot of great work was done. As a side note, Eva will be doing Spirit Camp for Adults on Saturday, November 3. You won’t want to miss this self-care day.

The retreat was held at Pilgrim Lodge and it got voted to be the place we return next year. We are working on securing dates, so once we do, you will know and can put it on your calendar.

As we continue with the series from the book Divine Audacity, which takes us through the 12 Powers that is a signature Unity teaching, the power this week was Wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are very different, and the great news is wisdom is innately part of who we are.

In Divine Audacity, Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett gives us a three-step process to making wise decisions. The steps are as follows:

Step 1 – Judgment

Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore defined judgment as the mental act of evaluation through comparison or contrast.

Before making a decision, list the pro’s and con’s of the situation. Does moving forward feel like it is life giving? Does it feel like a lot of work? Answers to these questions help determine the wise choice.

What is the right thing to do in this situation?

Step 2 – Discernment

Discernment is exercised through a process that includes questioning, meditating, and envisioning while suspending judgment about any divine ideas generated.

Another practice of discernment is to allow a question of space and time to percolate underneath conscious thinking, allowing impressions, images, and meaning to arise naturally over time.

Step 3 – Intuition

Going with our gut instinct. It is the aha or uh-oh power. We always have access to our internal guidance system. When we practice right judgment/evaluation and discernment, we activate and become familiar with the methods by which our Infinite Self takes charge to express wisely.

Next week we will be exploring the Light of Strength.

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