August 30 Service: Julian of Norwich

I don’t know about you, but I find I gravitate to good news stories and looking for little things as well as big things to be grateful for in these difficult times. I have a couple of good news stories that I would like to share with you.

A few weeks ago, we shared about Dee Capoldo wanting to prepare a meal for veterans who were in a Veterans Career Home in Biddeford. As a community we provided, with Home Depot, what was needed to do this safely outdoors. Home Depot provided the grills and we provided chairs and other accessories. Dee, with the help of a few others, is providing meals twice a month. In the mail I received this letter addressed to me from Volunteers of America Northern New England. It read: The Veterans, along with staff from Volunteers of America NNE Veteran Services would like to thank you and the members of Unity Church. The food donations you made not only filled the stomachs of the Veterans but their hearts as well. Since the start of the stay-at-home orders, our Veterans have had little social ties and needed something to boost their spirits. During the BBQs, I have visibly watched moods change and spirits lifted. We can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done. It was signed by Brian Bouthot, Assistant Program Manager.

If you would like to serve, call Dee at 207-337-3953 to learn when the next BBQ is happening.

Just today I heard from a board member of Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing that Jim Staebler from our community helped with our first project on Friday. A shout out to Jim!

My friends this is what ministry and being a part of a community is looking more like in the months to come. We are finding ways where we can be the hands and feet of God in the world. Keep watch right here as more opportunities will be offered.

More to be grateful for…Julie Thompson was our guest musician on Sunday and as always shared her talent with us. She sang a beautiful song to set up the talk on Julian of Norwich. The song was All Will Be Well by Meg Barnhouse. Take time to listen to it and see the complete service by downloading it here…

Matthew Fox said a time of pandemic is a time for bringing back feminine energies. No theologian in the West has more thoroughly developed the rich theme of the motherhood of God than has Julian of Norwich. “Just as God is truly Father,” she writes, “so also is God truly our Mother.”

I am enjoying bringing these Middle Ages women to life now. I recently did a class with Mirabai Starr called Life the Sacred Blessings of the Women Mystics and Goddesses. Here is an excerpt from the class on Julian…

She wrote and she gave counsel and she prayed and meditated. At one point, Christ reveals himself, as herself, as the mother. She’s talking about the Trinity here, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I realized the Second Person is really our Mother, which is Christ. Other traditions suggest that God the absolute, the transcendent one is the Father, Christ is the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Mother, Sophia. But this is Julian saying, “Well, actually, he told me that he is she, that the Second Person is the Mother.”

I realized the Second Person is really our Mother. This beloved being works with us as a parent here on earth. We were created with a twofold soul, sensual and spiritual. Our spiritual essence is with God the Father. Our sensual nature lies with the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Mother, in whom we are rooted by virtue of creation. In taking on our flesh, the Second Person became our Mother of Mercy. Our Mother keeps all our parts together and works on us in various ways. We profit and grow in Christ the Mother. Christ Jesus who does good over evil is our True Mother. She is the source of all motherhood, and we have our being from her, protected by all the sweet love that endlessly accompanies motherhood. As truly as God is our Father, just as truly is God our Mother. She says, “It is I.” What she means is “I am the power of goodness of the fatherhood. I am the wisdom and loving-kindness of the motherhood. I am the light and grace of all blessed love. I am the threefold nature of the Divine. I am unity.”

I will end with some of her writings…

It is God’s will that we be occupied in knowing and loving, until the time comes that we shall be fulfilled in heaven.

As the body is clothed in cloth and the muscles in the skin and the bones in the muscles and the heart in the chest, so are we, body and soul, clothed and enclosed in the Goodness of God.

God is the true Father and Mother of Nature, and all natures that are made to flow out of God to work the divine will shall be restored and brought again into God.

I saw that our God was never wrathful,
nor ever shall be.
God’s lucidity and unity
will never allow this.
God is the goodness that cannot be wrathful.
Our soul is oned to God, unchangeable goodness,
and therefore between God and our soul
there is neither wrath nor forgiveness
because there is no between.

During your quiet time this week sit with this or another of Julian’s words…let her wash over you…

Join me next Sunday as I bring you Saint Teresa of Avila.

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

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