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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Radical Option

Sunday message by Jack Seery (audio)

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

Today is the 37th day of Lent, which means we are just days away from the great experience called Easter. We are smack dab in the middle of Holy Week. Holy Week is the week where Jesus had a strong “knowing” of what was his to do. He had to enter Jerusalem, where he had been warned there was much danger for his life. Why the persistent proceeding? If he was to be slain it must be in Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy. And it must be at the time of the Passover. This great tragedy could have been avoided. But he refused to accept all counsel and did what he “knew” was his to do. Have there been times in your life like this also? Might there even be one like this for you now? Little opportunities like this seem to come to me almost daily of letting go of old ways of thinking/seeing/doing/being less than Love.

This past Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, Jack Seery shared his reflections on the scene at the time of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem and the juxtaposition between the Roman army under Pilate’s leadership coming into the city from one direction with their pomp and circumstance and horses and chariots armed with swords ready to do crowd control. They were fearing there would be demonstrations, knowing this rebel rouser named Jesus was on his way. At the other end of town was Jesus, the compassionate, peaceful and loving teacher coming in with his band of merry men and women riding on a donkey. The crowds that had been collecting as he made his way to Jerusalem were cheering him and waving palms in a celebratory way as they welcomed this man who was preaching love, forgiveness, nonviolence and a God of Love.

We know how the story goes and the events leading up to the big event. This Thursday evening, join Jack Seery and me as we remember the last meal Jesus has with his disciples and then goes off to the garden to pray. The theme for the evening is Sacred Meal. We will be offering a physical communion and an extended meditation time. Please join us.

On Sunday will be our Easter celebration, which includes a flower service. Come one, come all!!!

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

Who Do You Think You Are?

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

As I write this, I am watching snow falling… yes, snow falling. I am so over it! Oh well, so much for living in Maine. As said in many other areas as well as here in Maine, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

On Sunday we had the installation of our new Board of Trustees and the community warmly welcomed these individuals who have said “yes” to serving at this high level. We look forward to working together and expanding our presence in the greater community.

We were also blessed to have the Outreach Ensemble of Women in Harmony doing our special music. They are a treat to host and experience their beautiful harmonizing voices.

The message was titled “Who Do You Think You Are?” It is a mini-series on Easter Moments, moving us into Holy Week. Easter Moments are those moments when we consciously, intentionally, deliberately let something die that does not serve us so that we can rise into:

• a heightened spiritual awareness,
• a new consciousness and
• an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already ours so that we can share our gifts with the world.

Perhaps, just perhaps, who you THINK you are has nothing to do with who you Really Are and what you are meant to do in this world.

Seneca, a Roman philosopher at the time of Jesus, said: “What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.”

In his book Know Yourself, Ernest Holmes writes: “The insistent and universal desire for self-expression is the Divine Urge within us, even God Himself ‘tapping at the walls of our heart,’ urging us on to a fuller life.”

What can you let die so that you can more clearly hear God tapping at the walls of your heart?

Have you made what could be labeled mistakes in the past and think you are defined by them? Could you have an Easter Moment today and release defining yourself by that mistake or those mistakes of the past? Might you say, “I am going to let that die, so I can dare to be magnificent and glorious and make a difference in this world!”

This week in your quiet time, listen to God tapping on the wall of your heart and find – or rediscover — a part of yourself that got lost in ignorance or fear, and rid yourself of those lesser ideas about yourself so that you can rise into:

• a heightened spiritual awareness,
• a new consciousness and
• an expanded way of revealing the spiritual nature that is already yours.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, and a tradition we have established is walking the palms… join us for that and take part in a spiritual baptism. See you there!

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

 

Everyday Sacred

Vaishali Mamgain

Vaishali Mamgain

Sunday message (audio) by Vaishali Mamgain

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

April has arrived… we have another winter in the box and I don’t know about you, but I found it to be a bit challenging. However, we are ready to put the heavy clothes away for another year and lighten up both physically and emotionally. A sure sign of spring is hearing the birds chirping in the morning. We have a woodpecker that we hear every morning pecking outside our window. Another sign of spring is the patches of grass that are now showing up as the snow melts. What was really the tell-all that spring is in the air was on Sunday when the children shared that they had been planting in the gardens. When I asked what they planted the response I got was “food.” I want to expand on what the children were doing and let you know that after the service and lunch this Sunday the Season for the Earth team will be hosting a meeting, and you are invited. This meeting will be to plan the activities that will be included in the season, along with a timeline for preparing the beds and starting the seedlings for planting. Come and add your energy and ideas.

On Sunday we also hosted Vaishali Mamgain as our guest speaker. What a delight she is… a native of India, she is the Associate Professor of Economics at USM and is the director of the Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion. Her talk was titled Everyday Sacred. It is being awake to everything around us… and to bridge contemplation and science. She gave us the science connected with breathing and gratitude that we practice in our daily practices. She also introduced us to “nexting” not “texting,” which I could so relate to.

The important message was that we are all in charge of our own path. The everyday sacred is remembering the world is replete with possibilities. We are all here to hold the space for each other… we hold up a mirror for each other.

She talked about the importance of nature and also to acknowledge our bodies and how they are changing and there is a vulnerability in that and it is beautiful; however, our culture doesn’t allow that. We have to be our inner teacher as the world is not going to let us appreciate the present, and that takes us away from appreciating the Sacred.

She ends with a Mary Oliver quote: “Attention is the beginning of devotion” — devotion is to our own path and to our own awakening.

She also gave us some practices to access the Sacred, and, whether you were there on Sunday or not, I invite you to listen to her message and practice the simple exercises she gives us.

This Sunday is Potluck Sunday, and I want to acknowledge you for the plentiful potlucks we have been blessed with… thank you for sharing and giving our Kitchen Staff a break.

Also, on Sunday we will have an ensemble from Women in Harmony sharing special music with us. My talk title is “Who Do You Think You Are?”

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

Turning Uncomfortable to Comfortable

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

This past weekend your new board met for their annual retreat at Marie Joseph Retreat Center. It was a wonderful time of getting to know each other and discussing the vision for Unity Center for Spiritual Growth going forward. At our next community meeting we will share the intentions that we are developing and goals to support us achieving the intentions.

The new officers were selected, and they are Matt Purinton, President; Barbara Kowalska, Treasurer; Erin Conway, Secretary; and Carolyn Sanford, Treasurer. Members at large are Kim Cowperthwaite and Sandy Hobbs, and Betty Gates is the board alternate.

The talk this week brought a lot of comments from those leaving saying, “Your talk was just for me today.” I am grateful when that happens. The talk was “Turning Uncomfortable to Comfortable.” How do you live through those uncomfortable times… those times when you might be changing jobs, having a relationship end, or facing a health challenge? The question that bubbles up is, “How am I going to make it through this?”

Do we struggle? Do we resist? Do we say, “Dear God, I’ve had enough change in my life; I’m not going to change any more. This is hurting me.” Or do we become, as Jesus Christ taught, non-resistant?

I’m here to promise you that by practicing non-resistance you are going to be get through this because you’re not alone. God is with you, working with you.

When you listen to this week’s message, you will hear about the analogy of a lamp and the source and how this relates to us and our source, which is God. When you turn yourself on to God, the light comes on. The light shines into every aspect of your life. There may be a part of your life that has been very, very dark. Everything seemed bleak. But now, coming through you, there is NEW God-given light.

This light is there in your life, it can come through you to produce healing. It can come through you to produce new ideas. It can come through you to give ideas to go in a brand-new direction to bring you greater success than ever before. It is the light of God. The light of God is greater than anything that is going on in your outer life. With the light of God shining through you, you are going to be changed forever. You are going to be new.

Here is a wonderful acronym for the light inside of you: L.I.G.H.T.— Live in God’s Highest Thought.
The next time you are in a panic about change, turn that panic into a faith-filled prayer, so that you can live through the in-between times of life with great God-given peace. This may be a good affirmation for you: I AM POISED IN THE CHRIST PRESENCE. NOTHING DISTURBS THE CALM PEACE OF MY SOUL.

If you’re in-between where you were, and where you want to be, if you’re going through change, I praise that activity in you. It is when God can be most creative with your life. It means you are growing.

Next Sunday we are hosting Vaishali Mamgain at our 10 a.m. service. Please join us and bring a family member or friend; they will be glad you did. I am so grateful to the person in my life that invited me to try her church in September of 1989. Here I am 30 years later, still growing.

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