Happy 85th Anniversary to us! We had a spectacular service and wonderful sharing of our history. If you were with us in person, you then had a lovely lunch and fellowship with others who you might have known and who you were meeting for the first time.
I want to give a shout out to our current Board of Trustees. To Michelle Neas and Betti Lu Lewis for the outstanding decorations. Michelle’s mom, Betty also helped by blowing up balloons. Kim Cowperthwaite was in charge of the cake, and it was beautiful and delicious. Others on the board were there for whatever was needed to make for a smooth event, which it was.
Thank you to Rev. Airin Wolf and Randall Sawyer for putting up the tent in the back yard. I loved seeing the folks enjoying being out of the sun and visiting.
The service was wonderful… we heard the history of the ministry from beginning to up to date. One of the earliest members who had a significant role during a difficult time was Yaeko Collier. She shared how the board at the time when the ministry was fractured held it together and grew it once again.
Starr Stevens, another long-time member, shared her memories of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Rev. Brenda Frost picked up on the time between 2000 and 2001, when the ministry was without a minister. She, having a full-time job elsewhere, took the reins and held it together until Rev. Jesse James was hired. Jesse shared what drew her to this ministry was the need for someone to help with the healing. She knew it was hers to do. She had her own healing to do and saw the parallel for both to take place.
After being here for 10 years, she was called to go back to Florida and support her son and granddaughter. This is where I come in. I found Unity of Greater Portland in the fall of 1989 and was an active member until May of 1994, when I left to go to seminary. My story is sort of a fairy tale. It was there that I met Rev. LeRoy, and we fell in love with each other and supported the ministry in whatever way we could. We both took classes with Rev. Audrey McGinnis, and I served on the board and LeRoy worked in whatever capacity Audrey needed. The bookstore was where most remember him being. In May of 1994 Audrey married us and sent us on our way to both becoming Unity ministers.
There is also another piece of the ministry that is equally important and that is the music ministry. Sunday, we experienced the deep love and respect that passed between Deana Gurney and Wiley Beveridge. These two amazing souls worked together once again as they had done during the last years of Rev. Jesse’s tenure. I had the privilege of being around them on Saturday while they were practicing, and listening to the laughter and the music was a real gift.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention along with Deana and Wiley, we had Cali Crowley back as well, which was a treat. And of course, Rev. Airin Wolf, Don Labbe, Bill Taylor, and Michael Wozich were all there contributing as they do weekly.
I want to speak to the Children’s ministry as well. The children have always been an important element of the ministry and continue to be. We are in the midst of building that ministry back up and many of you know we have hired a new youth director. Miss Mari is doing a great job with the children and is being supported by Randall Sawyer, Trish Vogel, and Barbara Sparrow. This is a ministry that I am holding close and am asking you to do the same. We know how important the Unity principles are and to have children learn them at an early age is a way for us to see a spiritually transformed world. If you would like to join this awesome team, let me or Mari know.
Lastly a shout out to Scott Mazer for providing the food. Scott did double duty not only as our chef extraordinaire but serves us in the AV booth each week. Also, to Christine Wolf for the PowerPoint presentation on Sunday and every week. Thank you both!
If you missed the service, you could see it here…
Also please watch a short clip of my call this past week with Ros Goldsborough and the poem that Cheryl Squiers read is here also.
Next week Rev. Jesse James will be speaking, accompanied by Wiley Beverage.
Have a wonder-filled week and be kind and loving to all…
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey