Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
In case you missed it, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow and therefore the prediction is for an early spring. Do I hear an AMEN for this! As I write this (Monday) the temperature for the next couple of days will be balmy. This conversation leads me to share that a group met on Sunday to begin formalizing the Season for the Earth and our Unity gardens. There is great excitement from this team and the focus will be on education and our gardens. As you may know our gardens last year supplied food for our Sunday lunch and it is the plan going forward for this summer as well. It takes many hands for this to be successful and a little time from the many hands. Please stay tuned as more information becomes available and you can see where you can be of service.
I would like us to welcome new voting members Bonnie Dalrymple, Michelle Neas, Pat Paine and Cindy Uhl. We see everyone as members of our community; however, our bylaws state that we have voting members who elect new board members and vote on financial and other important matters of the ministry. Our Annual Meeting will be on February 24 and we invite all to come and share another successful year and celebrate the many accomplishments we experienced in 2018.
An update on our 1,000 crane project… many cranes were brought in on Sunday and to see how many we have to date check out the bottom of the Season for Nonviolence bulletin board and that is where you can find the count. If you need help with the cranes, I am told there are several YouTube videos that show you how to make them. If you are like me, I am visual, and I need to see it being done. Pat Bartke and Randall Sawyer have offered to work with you after service on Sundays… I saw this past Sunday a table where Pat was giving instructions to some folks.
Sunday, I began a new series using the book Peaceful Revolution written by Paul K. Chappell. In this book Paul unlocks the mysteries of hope, empathy, appreciation, conscience, reason, discipline and curiosity. These are the muscles of humanity and they hold the secret to our salvation. Our survival depends on our ability to understand and embrace our humanity.
The human mind is not only our greatest strength, but also our greatest weakness. In the struggle for survival, it is our strongest and weakest link.
There is a difference between naïve hope and realistic hope. Wishful thinking, unsupported by evidence and experience, is the basis of naïve hope, but the three kinds of trust – in myself, in others, and in my ideals – are the basis for realistic hope. They transform hope from a cliché into a powerful ally.
How Realistic Hope Enables Human Survival
From his book Paul says: “Almost all organisms fight for life as long as their bodies allow, but we humans often give up long before that. No other organism takes premeditated steps to terminate its own existence. No other organism commits suicide out of despair. The will to live may decrease in wild animals held in captivity, but we are the only creatures who commit suicide while still possessing health and freedom.
“A human being can survive a few weeks without food, a few days without water, but only a few moments without hope.”
Paul uses the analogy of a bird, if it is flying high and the muscles sustaining its wings fail, it will plunge to its death. In a similar way, if we are faced with adversity and the muscle of hope sustaining the wings of our imagination fails, we will plunge into the depths of helplessness and despair.
Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, once asked a friend, “Do you know what the most important words in the world are?” The friend replied he did not, Mr. Fillmore went on to say “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). From Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady comes this teaching… We know that the importance to each of us lies in the full realization of this statement and in our ability to make practical use of the Truth it contains.
This is just a taste of what Cady and Chappell have to say about hope.
Next week we will be discussing empathy. Join us and until then have a joy-filled week.
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey