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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Word Fasting: The Miracles Diet

Jon Mundy, PhD

Jon Mundy, PhD

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Jon Mundy.

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey —

Hello Friends – wow, another great Sunday! I’d like to give a shout out to all who contributed to a bountiful potluck and to all who helped in the kitchen.

Our guest speaker was Jon Mundy. Jon is no stranger to Unity of Greater Portland and he had with him Dr. Rod Chelberg, who co-facilitated the afternoon workshop.

Jon’s talk title was “Word Fasting – The Miracles Diet.” He shared words that you and I may say in conversations throughout our day and never realize how they impact us or the world. Words like disgust, disappoint, upset, absurd…you are probably thinking to yourself that you use those words and aren’t sure what is wrong with them. I do, too. Jon helped me see that when I am using them I am describing my ego, not my higher self or God self. My higher self can’t be upset or disappointed – only my ego can. So he encouraged us to pay close attention to our thoughts and fast from words that do not enliven us.

He shared a story I had never heard before that relates to the word “despicable.” The story is about Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, whose picture is on the ten-dollar bill. Hamilton called the then-vice-president Aaron Burr despicable and wouldn’t recant it, and so Burr challenged him to a duel (which was legal at that time) and killed Hamilton.

I am reminded of being told to hold your tongue because once the words are out you can’t take them back and they can be very harmful. The point Jon was making is that we want to use words that bring about the miracles in our life and not pain.

He read this quote from A Course in Miracles, Chapter 21 Reason and Perception:

1 Projection makes perception. 2 The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. 3 But though it is no more than that, it is not less. 4 Therefore, to you it is important. 5 It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. 6 As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. 7 Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 8 Perception is a result and not a cause. 9 And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. 10 Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. 11 Nothing perceived without it means anything. 12 And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.

Needless to say, I got a lot out of the talk, as did many others. You decide for yourself after hearing the talk. What words you might choose to fast from?

This coming Sunday we will be hosting Armand and Angelina. They travel the country sharing their talent with Unity communities. They will be doing sermon and song, followed by a Native Flute Playshop.

If you have read down this far there is a surprise for many of you who have been at Unity for a few years! This Sunday, you will want to be at the 10 a.m. service as Ros Goldsborough and her husband John will be visiting. They are leaving in the afternoon to go to The Unity People’s Convention in Olathe, Kansas. We are blessed to have them with us all the way from Wellington, New Zealand.

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

The I of the Storm: Tell Me More

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey —

Summer is close at hand! In just a couple of days we turn the calendar to June. When we move into June it’s a sign that school will soon be over for the summer. That isn’t the case here: Our teachers and children meet every Sunday year-round. In the summer the curriculum is more relaxed, and it is also an opportunity for you to bring a special fun activity to the children’s program. The teachers and children welcome you with great enthusiasm and all that is required of you is to give them a date you will be there and to bring the activity. Everyone that spends time with these bright lights feel blessed and fulfilled from the experience.

Are you wondering how well we did with the Eat, Play, Love auction? Let’s hear a drumroll… the dollar net amount is $5,119.23. Well done to all who participated and contributed to make this a success.

This past Sunday was the fifth talk of six using the book I of the Storm, written by Unity minister Gary Simmons. It was focused on these three little words, “Tell Me More.” The teachings from this phrase has been far reaching for me.

I want to explore a principle and a skill we can use to dismantle the separation that is occurring when we feel defensive or resistant. This occurs when we are being judged, when we are being criticized. Do you remember what Jesus said about judgment? He said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

Whenever we have a judgmental feeling or a critical feeling about someone, what does that signify to us, what does it show us? It points out for us something that we don’t like in ourselves, something that we’ve not been able to look at directly in ourselves. Any time we judge someone else, we are judging our own self.

What does it mean when someone criticizes or judges you? What it means is that it is not about you – it’s about them. When you react to the criticism or judgment, or when you are resistant or defensive, you choose to make it about you.

When someone judges or criticizes you, if you can remember not to be resistant or to become defensive, you have an opportunity to see how this might be for you as opposed to against you. It may be about what is missing in a relationship, it may be about what the other person needs or wants, or it may be about something you said or did. And the magic way to embrace a criticism or judgment is to say three magic words – “Tell me more.” If you say, “Tell me more,” you are staying connected to the other person, you allow that other person to tell you what this is really about, and you let the underlying need be revealed.

This coming Sunday at the 10 a.m. service we will be hosting Jon Mundy.

At the 8 a.m. service, the talk title is “Living in the I of the Storm.”

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

I Of The Storm: Who Is Your Enemy?

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey —

Last Friday night was a big night at Unity of Greater Portland. If was our Eat, Play, Love fundraiser featuring The Flukes, which by the way were awesome. We will certainly invite them back again. This is a group of about seven people who came together six years ago, none of them knowing how to play the ukulele, and now they are about 30 members strong. They were very impressive!

The silent and live auction was so much fun. Thank you, Patti Lacombe and Steph Plourde, for entertaining us as our auctioneers. We had wonderful items to bid on as well as many service items. The live auction included a three-night stay at an Airbnb cottage on Vinalhaven, a week at a condo in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a weekend at another Airbnb in Cape Elizabeth.

A loud shout-out to Amy Cousins, Patti Lacombe, Bonnie Dalrymple, Cindy Uhl and Matt Purinton, who were the organizers of the event. There were many others who helped make it all come together, for whom we are so grateful. Thank you all for a well-done event.

On Sunday the message was “Who’s Your Enemy?” We are continuing talks from the book I of the Storm by Rev. Dr. Gary Simmons. What are the storms in your life? Jesus called those things that appear to be against us “the enemy.” We may believe the enemy to be our body, an illness, divorce, death of a loved one, prosperity challenges, etc. However, the enemy is not any of those things.

• The real enemy is the belief that any of these things can be against us.
• The real enemy is when we feel separate from God and separate from each other.
• The real enemy is when we are caught up in misperception.
• The real enemy is when we feel intense, aggressive competition.
• The real enemy is our defensiveness.
• The real enemy is our way of relating to the storms in our life.

The “I” that Simmons talks about is at the very center of our being. It is found within our hearts and these centers can never oppose each other because this is where we truly connect. Hearts never battle; only heads do. I have purposely bolded this, as it should never be forgotten. The heart leads and the head is second in command. However, for most of us it is just the opposite, and then we find ourselves in conflict.

Feeling love and joy helps us open our heart space. Feeling love and joy synchronizes our head and our heart energy – and that extends our energy field. Consciously choosing to open our hearts, we stay connected with others. When we shift to the heart, we feel the oneness of our divine connection and experience the Presence within. This gives us access to deeper understanding and wisdom. By moving our attention to the Presence of God, we can allow Spirit to guide and direct our actions, no matter what is happening in our lives. That is the “I of the storm.” We experience the “I” by feeling love.

This coming Sunday the message is “Tell Me More.” This one is a game-changer when you apply this teaching to a conversation that may be somewhat contentious. See you soon!

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

Mother’s Day

Mangesh and Soni

Mangesh and Soni

Sunday Message (audio) by Guest Speakers Mangesh and Soni —

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey —

I drove into the church this week and the beauty took my breath away. This past Saturday we had several sacred service volunteers do the heavy lifting of blowing, mulching, weeding, and lawn care — and voila, the beautiful yard.

Now to share about the experience this past Sunday with Mangesh and Soni. What sweet, loving souls they are! We met Mangesh in 2015 when he visited our community and it was love at first sight…now he is back and brought Soni with him, who we welcomed with open arms. These two lights are from Maher in India. Maher in the Marathi language means “Mother’s Home.” Maher is a haven of hope, belonging and understanding. Soni arrived at Maher at the age of three when her mother left the family, and her father couldn’t care for her. Mangesh arrived at Maher at the age of six after begging for food daily on the streets. Maher became their home and still is.

I need to have your attention please: This Friday evening is the big event EAT, PLAY, LOVE! Let’s start with EAT: there will be delicious hors d’oeuvres and a dark chocolate fountain — oh my gosh dark chocolate — my favorite. Then the PLAY part, which is two-fold. The FLUKES: the Falmouth Memorial Library Ukulele Society. I can tell you – this is no fluke, as these folks have five years of success. The group started with eight and started performing around Southern Maine. They now number thirty-five and have performed at the Yarmouth Clam Festival and opened for the Magic of Christmas. They love playing together.

The second part of PLAY is the auction. It will be a silent (that doesn’t mean we don’t talk – this isn’t like Silent Saturday, which is the next day). What silent means is that know one knows who is bidding on what items. This is where the play comes in: bidding against your friends, and raising money for the General Fund. Then comes the live auction. We have a couple of great auctioneers that will create an atmosphere of fun and play. We have well over 70 items for the auction and I am here to tell you every item is a treasure. Just to give you a hint: there are tickets to see Eckhart Tolle, a 2- or 3-day weekend at a lovely cottage in Vinalhaven, beautiful jewelry, furniture, antique treasures and much more.

LOVE is for the love of this community and knowing that you are supporting it. Your financial giving is the means that continues to source the ministry so that we are here to be the love to all who walk through our doors.

Doors open at 6 p.m. on Friday and The FLUKES begin at 7 p.m. I look forward to seeing you and your family and friends.

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

The I of The Storm: Filling The Gaps

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey —

Oh my gosh… I think we are finally getting the weather we have all been waiting for! May is my all time favorite month as it calls forth my desire to awaken to all that I have come here to be. I want to be like the daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and the blooming bushes who show their beauty unabashedly. They know who they are, and they have no problem letting their beauty express.

We have great events happening over the next few weeks. It begins with a Kirtan concert on Friday night at 7. Join Ashok and his group, Swan Kirtan, as they perform for us and express their beauty through music.

I am continuing the Sunday messages with my all-time favorite book I of the Storm. This past week was about filling in the gaps. We are meaning- making machines and if we don’t have all the information – and most of the time we don’t – we fill it in with our own perceptions and experiences to make it mean something for us.

I told a couple of wonderful stories that I know you will be able to relate to and will probably see yourself in them. They illustrate just how we do this. So, in these stories there is potential for conflict to arise. I want to take a moment and look at conflict from a different perspective. If I were to ask you on a scale of one to ten, one being, “I don’t do conflict at all” and 10 being “I love conflict,” most of us would be in the low numbers. We don’t like conflict and we most often avoid it at any cost. So here is a different way to see it.

Conflict is a signal that our soul is reaching for something higher. Conflict takes us to the edge of our resourcefulness. Conflict encourages us to try it a different way. We all know the definition of insanity,
“Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.”

Conflict places us in relationship with the parts of ourselves that are not connected to who we are as spiritual beings. Gary Simmons, author of the book, writes: Our soul moves us into areas of unrealized potential, i.e. our soul knows what we need to learn.

We sometimes use the phrase “they’ve conspired against me.” Conspire comes from the Latin meaning “to breath together.” In effect, when you are in conflict with someone, you are breathing together with that person with the intention to move into a more authentic expression of God. In other words, conflict motivates you. Whatever is going on in your life is there to bring you into greater alignment with the Truth of who you are. What do you think – does that change how you view conflict?

Our darkness and insecurities reveal themselves – not as weaknesses, but as areas of potential. Conflict leads to rebirth and transformation. It leads to us being the beautiful children of God that we have come here to be.

Much of what I have written here is not in the message I gave on Sunday, so listen to the message for more good stuff from I of the Storm.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we have two very special guests with us to share from India. Mangesh and Soni are from Sr. Lucy’s organization “Maher” (in the Marathi language) means “Mother’s Home”: a haven of hope, belonging and understanding. Their mission is to help destitute women, children and men from all over India exercise their right to a higher quality of life, irrespective of gender, caste, creed or religion. Come and hear the stories of these two young people who have overcome odds that many of us will never experience in our lifetime.

One last request: If you have some time on Saturday to attend our “clean-up day,” that would be wonderful. It begins at 9 and ends at 1. Come for as long as you are able. Many hands make light work.

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