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.

Unity of Greater Portland welcomes your financial support for podcasting.


Peace Literacy

This week’s note is coming from Steph Plourde at the Peace Literacy Training at Saint Joseph’s College with Paul K. Chappell.

It is difficult to pull out one piece to share, because all the content is so powerful. The piece I am finding most helpful is the understanding that every human being has the same basic needs: Purpose & Meaning, Nurturing Relationships, Explanations, Expression, Inspiration, Belonging, Self-Worth, Challenge, and Transcendence.

When I view human behavior through the lens of human needs (i.e. what human need is this person aiming to meet right now?), I foster curiosity, greater understanding, and deeper empathy. Further, it’s important for me to understand that when a person experiences trauma and these basic needs aren’t met they become distortions of the original need. For example, the unmet need of Expression becomes Rage; the unmet need of Belonging becomes Alienation. When these “distortions” manifest as aggression, we may rightfully see them as signals of distress. Imagine – seeing aggression as a signal of distress. How differently might we respond?

There will be much more to share after the training – including some incredible learning about metis. Don’t know what metis is? Neither did I… but boy, oh boy, is this a cool framework for understanding the muscles we need to develop in order to make good decisions and move forward into a peaceful future together.

Much love to you all,

Steph

The Light of Will: The Power of Choice, Commitment and Willingness

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Sunday morning between services was a real treat. Anna had picked beets from the garden and our young friends, Noah and Evelyn, were seen cutting the greens preparing them for lunch. Then, to top it all off, we had this beautiful and peaceful view of a pair of goldfinches perched on the sunflowers growing right outside the window. I love that we have a facility that allows for flowers and vegetable gardens to supplement our lunch menu. Thanks to Anna and to her helpers that keep it watered and harvested.

Again, in gratitude for our beautiful grounds – weather permitting – we will be having a fire and drumming circle following the Peace Concert on August 8 with Todd Glacy. The concert begins at 7:00; however, if you choose, feel free to come earlier to walk the labyrinth in preparation for the concert. We will be hosting the participants attending the Peace Literacy Training with Paul K. Chappell. Oh, did I mention there is still time to register for this awesome training? Either register online or call the office at 207-893-1233 to register.

The Power of Will was the focus for the message on Sunday, continuing the series Divine Audacity. Will is the ability to choose, decide, lead.

The metaphysical meaning of “Will” from Revealing Word – which is Unity’s dictionary – says: “Will is the executive faculty of the mind, the determining factor in man. What man wills or decrees comes to pass in his experience.”

There is a prevailing cultural misinterpretation of a God who is in charge, a kind of superhero that can make things happen or not happen. However, Unity doesn’t support the interpretation of an entity sitting on a cloud in the sky, commanding events on earth.

From the Lord’s Prayer we have the words from Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Unity’s definition of heaven is a unified force field, a field of unlimited possibilities.

We enter heaven, the unified force field, when we focus, pray and meditate. This is the formula for experiencing heaven on earth. This is the aligning with the Divine. Because we have been given free will we are always at a choice point. We have the choice to blend our energy with the “unified force field” or not. When we do not then we are likely to experience “hell”. Heaven and hell are right here right now depending on how we choose to see life.

Spiritual will is NOT
• submitting my desires to an invisible superhuman being
• being told by another what I should or should not do
• submitting myself to coercion

Spiritual will is our power of 1) choice, 2) commitment, and 3) willingness.

In the field of unlimited possibilities, we have many options and will is our ability to desire one among many. Desire motivates our choice…either from curiosity, worry, confusion or divine discontent. Once the selection is made, next comes commitment which leads us to deliberate intentional action. Lastly, willingness follows. Willingness is the fuel that makes commitment possible. Willingness is the state of allowing… allowing the experience, the gift, the flexibility to say “yes” to stepping into the flow.

This week, is divine discontent leading you to a change in your life? If so remember…choice, commitment and willingness. To hear the complete message from Sunday click here…

Affirmation: I use Divine Will to make choices and decisions.

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

The Light of Understanding: The Power of Comprehension, Realization, and Insight

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Paul K. Chappell

Paul K. Chappell

There is still time to register for the Peace Literacy Training with Paul K. Chappell! If you are concerned about what you are seeing in our world at this time, then this training is so important for you. Here are a couple of quotes from Paul’s book, Soldiers of Peace:

“All societal injustices are based on simple myths. If we do not challenge these myths, we cannot defeat injustice.”

“Violence cannot heal the root causes of our problems, because violence cannot defeat the underlying myths that sustain injustice.”

Paul will be debunking these myths and give us sound truths which can be used to stand up to injustices that we are seeing in our society. Do not wait! Register now.

This week our center is home to Spirit Camp and we have many little people daily having a fun and educational experience with Eva Goulette. I love the idea that their curious, adventurous energy is imbuing our facility. I am sure when you arrive on Sunday you will feel it, too.

On Sunday the message was focused on “The Light of Understanding.” From scripture we read from 2 Timothy 2:7: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you divine understanding in all things.”

And from Proverbs 2:3-5: “If you indeed cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as bidden treasures – then you will understand the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, writes in his book Revealing Word: “Spiritual understanding is the quickening of the Spirit within. Spiritual understanding is the ability of the mind to apprehend and realize the laws of thought and the relation of ideas one to another.”

He aligns the power with the disciple Thomas (Doubting Thomas). “After Jesus’ resurrection the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’”

So how does Doubting Thomas represent UNDERSTANDING? Thomas, on the one hand, represents our doubts about the invisible truths in life. Jesus, on the other hand, represents our Christ nature – our eternal indwelling divinity. We have both aspects within ourselves.

Doubting Thomas is the part of us that doubts but seeks to understand. Understanding can come through prayer, meditation, study or in a flash.

From the book Divine Audacity, there are practices to cultivate Understanding – here are a few…

Journal about understanding…here are some questions to reflect upon:

• Write about a time when you misunderstood another person’s words or actions and later learned what he or she actually meant. What strategies have you developed, or could you employ, to avoid jumping to conclusions and instead seek understanding?

• Write about your understanding of GOD. How has your understanding changed through the years? Who and what have influenced your current understanding?

• Create or select a symbol for understanding to display where you will see it often. Some examples: a gold star or coin; a light bulb or flashlight; an original drawing, collage, or sculpture.

Here is a great affirmation: I claim my power of Understanding Now. I know Divine Ideas.

Join me next week as we look at the Light of Will.

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

Light of Faith – Power of Perception, Conviction and Expectancy

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey. One in a series based on the book Divine Audacity.

We have another opportunity to highlight a group of committed individuals that gave of their time and talent to Unity of Greater Portland. On Saturday Matt Purinton, Jeff Plumer, his friend Paul, and Sandy Watson refreshed our labyrinth — and it looks exquisite. The labyrinth is a source of comfort for many both in and outside of our community. Kudos for the pocket of beauty you created.

Also, on Saturday another committed group came together to create a healing circle for Rev. LeRoy. It was an awesome experience. Comments that I heard were “it was a beautiful, powerful experience… I have never experienced anything like this in any church.” Rev. LeRoy was moved, and his heart was opened ever wider. Many thanks to those who were not in attendance but sending long distant prayer. We heard from so many friends all over the country that are praying for him.

We have an amazing community, with so much love, support and connection. Give yourself the gift of being in this energy as much as you can. We need each other: this journey is not one we take alone. Research has shown that having a spiritual community can improve your life. Strong relationships have been proven to increase life expectancy, which is why one study found a strong association between church attendance and improved health, mood and wellbeing. So be kind to yourself and make Sunday morning a priority to be at Unity of Greater Portland.

How many of you look forward to your work week? There was a time in my life when Monday morning came around and I saw my energy and enthusiasm tumble. I knew I wasn’t doing what I came here to do and was to afraid to let go of what was secure and take the leap of faith that was required from me. If this resonates at all with you I suggest you listen to the talk.

As you may know my message each week is coming from a series based on the book Divine Audacity, written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett. This week we looked at the power of Faith.

From Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines faith as “the perceiving power of the mind linked with the power to shape substance. It is spiritual assurance, the power to do the seemingly impossible. It is a force that draws to us our heart’s desire right out of the invisible spiritual substance. It is a deeper inner knowing that that which is sought is already ours for the taking, the ‘assurance of things hoped for.’”

Faith is our innate power to create our reality by our perceptions, our beliefs, and our own interpretations.

Perception = awareness = consciousness.

Consciousness is the persistent trend of thoughts and feelings that becomes the eyeglasses we use to look out at the world which is our perception. What we focus on becomes our reality. It is not what’s out there but how we see what’s out there.

It is important to question our perception. We look out at the world and “assign meaning” according to our perception.

Here is a wonderful quote from Unity minister Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann from her book, Your God Given Potential that I think addresses what meaning we assign: Faith is the quality in us which enables us to look past appearances of lack, limitation or difficulty, to take hold of the divine idea and believe in it even though we do not see any evidence of it except in our mind. Through faith we know with an inner knowing the Truth that has not yet expressed in our manifest world.

The greatest faith is demonstrated by those who not only perceive possibilities but see the impossible as possible. We exercise faith when we see Truth hidden in the facts, see great possibilities in impossible situations.

Affirmation for this week: I live in faith, perceive the good, trust all is well, and expect the best!

Next week we will be looking at the power of Understanding.

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

Divine Audacity: Shades of Light, Our Spiritual Powers

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

There isn’t anything better than summer in Maine. We are having a wonderful streak of great weather and it is what we who live here hold in our minds during the long winter months. Sunday services and fellowship offer an important opportunity to be spiritually fed amongst the busyness of summer. Throughout the summer, we continue to have outstanding speakers, talented musicians, and vibrant fellowship after service in Unity Hall. What a community. We are grateful for your presence and for your consistent giving: We are supported through your generous tithes and offerings. Thank you!

The talk this past Sunday was titled “Shades of Light…Our Spiritual Powers.” I am continuing with the book Divine Audacity written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett. I believe we are all on a spiritual journey and our souls are evolving us from our personal finite selves toward our divine infinite selves, what I like to think of as the big SELF. It is the SELF we came into this world as and then we lost our connection.

Divine Audacity takes the work of Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore and his teaching of the Twelve Powers and gives us a way to implement them in our lives so that we can fulfill our mission of being the light in the world for others to follow. I like what Rev. Linda says about this work… My approach in the following chapters is not to repeat or report on the classic Unity teachings about the Twelve Powers, for I cannot improve upon them. Instead, my desire is to profile each power, describe some of its aspects, illustrate ways it can be expressed, and suggest practices to develop it as a useful spiritual power in daily living.

Although we haven’t yet gotten into each of the powers, we did look at Love and here is what Mr. Fillmore says in another of his books, Jesus Christ Heals: God does not love anybody or anything. (that’s a show stopper – Take a breath and continue)

God does not love anybody or anything.
God IS the love in everybody and everything.
God is love;
Man becomes loving by permitting (that which God is) to find expression in word and act.

Imagine this for a moment: Love emanating POWERFULLY from all of us. Collectively we could heal the world.

The good news is that these powers are already hard-wired into us. I used the analogy on Sunday of the apps on our phones. We have a slew of them, but they are of no value to us unless we learn how to operate them and then utilize them.

Over the next several weeks you will learn how to put into operation these Twelve Powers of Love, Imagination, Power, Judgment, Understanding, Zeal, Elimination, Faith, Life, Order, Wisdom and Strength.

This week as an expression of Love choose acts of kindness and service to connect with others.

And again, from Charles Fillmore and his book, Christian Healing:

Spiritual transformation of our love ability, broadens, strengthens, and deepens it. We no longer confine love to family, friends, and personal relations, but expand it to include ALL things.

An affirmation for you this week: I am a being of Love. I transform my life in ways that are positive, principled, and practical.

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