Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey
Please join us this Sunday for our Annual Meeting. This is a time of celebration for the many accomplishments we have experienced this past year. It is also the time to hear from different arms of the ministry and what their plans are for the coming year. We will be saying goodbye to some very loving, capable and loyal board members, Pam Mills, Nikki Pulsoni and Amy Cousins, and voting in new members; Kim Cowperthwaite, Carolyn Sanford, Erin Conway and Betty Gates will be returning as an alternate. Another important topic to discuss is a name change. We have gotten a lot of responses from those of you who have been attending the Sunday services; however, if you haven’t and want to weigh in, here are the choices:
• Unity of Greater Portland
• Unity of Greater Portland Spiritual Center
• Unity Center for Spiritual Growth
• Unity Spiritual Center
You can rank choice vote…isn’t that the best! Send your selections to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The series from Peaceful Revolution written by Paul K. Chappell continued this past Sunday with the Muscle of Appreciation. Appreciation is the doorway to joy, because we cannot experience joy unless we first experience appreciation. When we take steps toward and through the doorway of appreciation, it is like entering a new and different place, because the mindset of appreciation causes us to see each other, our world, and ourselves in new, different, and more fulfilling ways.
Paul says that “Appreciation always feels good, every single time, with no exception.”
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word gratitude means “the quality of being thankful;
readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” The word appreciation is defined as “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” The subtle shift from gratitude to appreciation involves being more present, more thoughtfully aware and active in reflecting on the reasons we feel grateful about something or someone.
During lunch I had someone share with me they never realized the difference between gratitude and appreciation, and it was very helpful to them.
Through present moment awareness, we begin to generate feelings of appreciation.
SAVORING: A HIGHER EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION
Although savoring and joy are synonymous with appreciation, a strong muscle of appreciation gives us far more than just a pleasant feeling. As we savor the moment as we would our favorite food, we become more fully alive, more aware.
STEWARDSHIP: THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION
Appreciation is also the doorway to stewardship. By encouraging us to take care of our friends, family, freedom, country, and planet, appreciation helps us behave responsibly. In this way, appreciation creates the psychological foundation for stewardship, and stewardship is the highest expression of appreciation. For examples of stewardship, listen to the message.
As you go about your week, begin to explore ways of appreciating your life more fully. Spend some time appreciating your relationships, your job, the world, and most of all, appreciating yourself.
Join me next week as we explore the Muscle of Conscience.
Rev. Patricia Bessey