Sunday Audio Files

Sunday Audio Files

Listen here to previous Sunday talks or download and take them with you on your phone or tablet. Rev. Pat Bessey’s follow-up messages, published with the audio files, provide additional insights and news about Unity of Greater Portland. Just click or tap on a title to reveal the audio player and message.

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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

That Just Blows My Mind

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

On Sunday afternoon LeRoy and I attended the CHIME ordination celebration along with others from our community. We were there to especially celebrate Abigail Adams and Rick Arn; both have been a part of our lives for a while.

CHIME (the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine) has ordained many who are part of our community, and we have a deep connection to the organization and those within it. They are doing great work for the transformation of our world. Thank you, Jacob Watson, for your vision many years ago and for Patricia Ellen and those who are carrying the vision forward.

A reminder that this coming Saturday will be the music party with Deana Gurney and Wiley Beverage. Mark your calendar now so you don’t forget! Rev. Jesse James will be in Maine and will be there as well.

On Sunday I started a mini-series titled “Minding the Mind.” The title for last Sunday was “That Just Blew My Mind.” I opened with a quote from former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. that says: “A mind that is stretched… can never go back to its old dimensions.”

What I was talking about was mind-blowing experiences: when we learn something for the first time that alters our lives going forward. When our minds are stretched by new information, we are never able to go back to our old way of thinking about it.

I shared a mind-blowing experience for me, which I won’t go into here; however, you can hear it by listening to the talk.

Ernest Holmes writes in the Science of Mind book, “As God’s thought makes worlds and peoples them with living things, so our thought makes our world and peoples it with our experiences [and I will add “individually and collectively”]. By the activity of our thought, things come into our life [individually and collectively!] and we are limited only because we have not known the Truth.”

Holmes goes on to say: “We have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within which could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage. We automatically attract to ourselves just what we [think we] are, and we may set it down that wherever we are, however intolerable the situation may be, we are just where we belong.”

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, writes in Atom Smashing Power of Mind, “To be ignorant of mind and its laws is to be a child playing with fire, or a man manipulating powerful chemicals without knowing their relation to one another. This is universally true; and all who are not learning about mind are in like danger, because all are dealing with the great cause from which springs forth all the conditions that appear in the lives of men and women. Mind is the one reservoir from which we draw all that we make up into our world, and it is through the laws of mind that we form our lives.”

Yes, we create our own reality! And the reality we create is limited for one reason and one reason only: because we have not known the Truth. What is the Truth that we have not known?

The real mind-blower is: God in me, as me, is me!

Next Sunday Rev. Barbara Kowalska will be sharing “In the Field” at the 8 a.m. service, and Rev. Todd Glacy will be sharing “The Vibration of Creation – Being an Instrument of Love” at the 10 a.m. service.

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

The Hero in Us

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

I want to continue highlighting the many people who serve to make this ministry what it is! I omitted a very important team last week and that is our Prayer Partners. These folks are available every Sunday following the service to pray with you should you need a little extra prayer support.

Others who serve behind the scenes and do important jobs that add to the excellence of our ministry are Hilary Hayes who comes in every week, waters the plants and refills the seat backs with Love Offering envelopes. Neil Ruecker picks up the food for the Windham Food Bank, Cindy Hildreth changes out the bulletin board seasonally, The Season bulletin board is handled by those on the Season’s team. The Season for the Earth and Gardens is being handled by Anna Ritchie. Randall Sawyer and Matt Purinton are our go-to guys when something needs to be repaired in the building and on our grounds. During the summer Bill Taylor and Jeff Plumer share the duties of mowing and trimming. And lastly our Board of Trustees… together we are so blessed to serve you.

As you can see there are many hands that keep this ministry humming along… so grateful for our Sacred Service volunteers.

On Sunday the title of my talk was “The Hero in Us” and every one of our volunteers is a hero. Webster’s dictionary defines a hero as a “mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. . . one of great courage. . . one admired for achievements and noble qualities.”

I like the idea that as children of God — of “divine descent” — we qualify as heroes. Even when we don’t feel heroic, when we feel fearful, there is a hero in us, waiting to be called out. All we need to do is call on that divinity within us to guide us to do the right thing. When we listen to that Divine Wisdom, we will be filled with creative ideas. When we act on those ideas, we become heroes.

The Bible is full of such stories — of people who faced extreme hardship and great odds but prevailed because they had faith in God and faith in themselves. When we refer to the heroes of the Bible, we usually think of holy men and women who accomplished great things because they were people of God.

We hardly ever recognize them as ordinary people, just like us. One such hero was, indeed, a common person. In fact, he was just a shepherd boy. His name was David.

To hear how David is seen as a hero, listen to the Sunday message. There is much more that identifies what qualities a hero has, and you will hear that as well.

Here is the key point of today’s lesson: If we are to nurture the hero in us, we must go in God’s way, not in the way of the world. We must remember that we are of divine descent, endowed with everything we need to be a hero.

God bless you for being who you are and doing what you are doing in your corner of the world.
Next Sunday’s talk title is “That Just Blew My Mind.”

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