Let’s Get Real About…Life

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Another week has rolled around, and the temperature is now feeling more like fall. Just a reminder that we have a policy in place for winter storms: If the weather bureau issues a winter storm warning, that is an automatic closing for our ministry. What this means is if it is during the week and there is a class or event scheduled, that it is canceled. The same applies to Sunday services.

Rev. LeRoy Lowell

Rev. LeRoy Lowell

Many of you knew that Rev. LeRoy and I were planning a trip to New Zealand and would be gone for a month. That trip is canceled, as Rev. LeRoy is experiencing some physical challenges and it is not a time to travel. I will be taking a couple of weeks off and use the time for spiritual renewal. I am shamelessly asking you to please attend services as you would if I were there. We have great speakers for both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services on November 19 and 26. I will be back on December 4. During this time off, I will not be answering emails or phone calls, so if you need to speak with someone, call the office at 893-1233, and the prayer line is checked daily.

It is interesting how the Universe has such a sense of humor. The series I am doing is called “Get Real.” This past Sunday it was “Let’s Get Real About Life.” Life has a way of turning things around and going in directions we weren’t expecting, such as not going to New Zealand. We looked at life from the lower case “l” and the upper case “L.”

Charles Fillmore in his book Talks on Truth wrote this: “We find that life is a principle; that it is inherent in Being, everywhere present at all times; that it is manifest to consciousness through vehicles; that these vehicles are animated by life according to their capacity or power to express it; that that capacity or power of expression is governed by the idea of life that is infused into it by the generative energy of the I AM.”

I shared a parable about a beautiful young river that became obsessed with chasing clouds and how that affected her life. It is a wonderful parable and has a great deal of meaning for us all.

Here are three points from the parable of which you might want to listen to get the full appreciation of these points…

  1. We are born with purity, beauty and innocence. We come into this life having that beautiful connection to Source, to Life (upper case “L”), to the ocean in our parable — innocent and pure, beautiful, playful, joyous. — And then we learn about clouds! All those things in life we want but do not have.
  2. We Chase After Clouds. The message our river is bringing us is that in this human life, we can get so caught up in chasing our clouds — whatever that looks like — and being unhappy about not having them we lose sight of everything else and become unhappy, desperate and resentful — in other words, we suffer. — But when we quit chasing it and open ourselves up to the beauty of life (the sky, the moon), then peace and happiness occur, and the clouds take on a whole new meaning.
  3. Return/Surrender to Source… to Life. Surrender here doesn’t mean white flags, giving up, conceding. I once heard the spiritual practice of surrender defined as: Having a belief that as deeply as we are willing to let go, Spirit is willing to fill us up.

So this is what this journey in life is about: realizing who we are in God, returning to center, returning to Source, returning to the ocean of Life itself.

The parable of the river’s journey helps us get real about the interplay between lower case “l” life and upper case “L” Life.

As a reminder:

  • We are born pure and innocent and beautiful and magnificent because we are born of Life;
  • We lose our footing and sometimes our way in this life when we chase after what we want and don’t have, rather than loving it into being; and
  • Our greatest, deepest satisfaction in this life occurs when we are in conscious union with the invisible, the ineffable, the eternal Life.

Next Sunday’s message will be “Let’s Get Real About Personal Transformation.”

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

Let’s Get Real About Relationships

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Happy Post Halloween! With Halloween behind us it means we are now in November. Remember to turn your clocks back this Saturday night.

On Sunday we continued the new series “Getting Real”. We looked at getting real in our relationships. Everywhere we turn we are in relationship, whether in a romantic relationship or with family, friends, co-workers or the clerk in a store. If we are in this human form, we will always be in relationships. So, what does getting real in relationships mean?

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, said in his book Talks on Truth: “‘God is love, and to live in God-Mind, man (humankind) must cultivate love until it becomes the keynote of his life. We must love everybody and everything, ourselves included. Some people hate themselves. Self-hate is destructive. You must love yourself. Affirm the infinite love as your love, and you will find that there will be generated in your mind and body an entirely new element…

Love is the magnet. You must have love. You cannot live without it. Then begin to live in the thought of love. Personal love is part of the law, but divine love fulfills the law. Center your love thoughts upon God, and you will find love for your fellow man growing marvelously.”

I present you with three gestures of Love. If offered, these will move your relationships to a higher and more holy level, and they will be more real!

  1. Compassion
  2. Kindness
  3. Authenticity

Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, wrote this about compassion:

“Compassion and caring are the ties that bind us together in mutual understanding and in the unified attempt to uncover the Divinity in each other. Compassion is the most gentle of all human virtues, for it is the outpouring of the Divine givingness through all.”

Mother Theresa said this about kindness:

“… Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

And Brene Brown, my new favorite author, said this about being authentic:

“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”

Brene touches on the most important point that needs to be made: when we don’t have these qualities for ourselves we can’t express them to others.

Next Sunday the message will be “Let’s Get Real About Life” — this human life with all its ups and downs.
You are a blessing in my life,

Rev. Patricia Bessey

Let’s Get Real About Life’s Lessons

Rev. Pat Bessey

Rev. Pat Bessey

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

On Sunday we celebrated John Michael Roods, who over the last several years has given of his time, talents and treasures to bringing pockets of beauty to the grounds at Unity of Greater Portland. He has reclaimed so much of our land and has seen that it has been well cared for. John Michael, we love and appreciate you and all that you have given to us.

A new series, “Let’s Get Real About Life’s Lessons,” began this past Sunday. Often you hear people say that God is testing them when a problem or problems are in their life. The message on Sunday gave evidence that is a myth and is unequivocally not so.

Charles Fillmore wrote the following quote in his book, Talks on Truth:

“The love of God for His children is beyond description – a love so tender and so deep that it cannot be mentioned in the same breath with the ordinary love as known by the world. The great love of Being is deeper and wider that the thoughts and the words of man have compassed since the beginning of language.”

I believe there is no room in that statement for a God/Life that tests us and gives us difficult lessons. So what do I believe about these experiences we have that do seem to test our faith and our resolve? That do feel like someone or something is against me? I believe that the Essence of our Being, the God of our Being, the Internal Spark of Life that only wants to be as fully expressed through and as us as possible is calling experiences into our life so that we can become who we came here to be.

Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, tells us in the book Science of Mind, “… We reach out to Infinity and since we cannot encompass Infinity, we shall always be expanding and always enlarging our capacity to know and to experience.”

We are here to learn, to grow, and daily life is guaranteed to offer us all we need to evolve and awaken to our higher purpose. Accepting that that is so, here are four quick ideas as you embrace this new way of looking at Life Lessons.

• We Can’t Escape Our Growth Experiences.
• They are Repeated Until We Get It!
• They Get More Challenging.
• They May Seem Daunting, But We Can Grow!

The purpose of every growth opportunity is to heal the belief in separation. Every step of the way, the Infinite Source of Good that is only conspiring for our good is as close as our breath, as near as our hands and feet! If you feel that you are being held to the fire, remember you aren’t being tested. You have called it in for one reason and one reason only: so that the image of God can be more fully seen as you.

Next Sunday we will look at “Getting Real in Relationships.”

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

P.S. Our deepest thanks to the kind souls who volunteered to be helpers with our Children’s Church. What a tremendous gesture of love and support – we are so grateful to you!!

 

Unity Practical Christianity: Demonstration

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

We are well on our way to getting the new children’s classroom ready! After what we witnessed this past Sunday it is evident how much it is needed: we had 10 children all under the age of 12. This takes a very creative group of adults to keep them all engaged. Having two classrooms will certainly make this much more doable in the future; however, it also presents another opportunity that we are addressing. Each classroom requires two adults: a teacher and a helper. The helper’s role is just to assist the teacher – no preparation ahead of time is required. You just show up in the classroom at 9:50 a.m. and be a loving presence to the children. If the class is small, you may not be required, and then you can come into the service. Please search your heart and welcome the gift of sacred service that you can provide to the children and teachers. A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board. You will be contacted to see when you are available.

On Sunday, the series Unity Practical Christianity ended, and already I miss it. After the first of the year, I will do another series on some of the advanced teachings, so be on the lookout for that.

Charles Fillmore

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity

This week was the Great Demonstration. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, is writing these lessons in what was then called the Unity Correspondence Course.

Jesus was the one who modeled for us the Great Demonstration with eternal life.

Demonstration, complete: the putting on Christhood, which Jesus accomplished. It is a change of consciousness from error to Truth.

Charles Fillmore: The Great Demonstration, which crowns all others and includes all others, is the demonstration of eternal life. Life and Love, and all attributes of Spirit, are eternal, but everyone must come into the consciousness of eternal life and love and intelligence before they are eternal to him.

The importance of “consciousness” in all demonstrations, in the whole of salvation, should be clearly understood. The merely intellectual concept of life as eternal does not bring one into the great stream of pulsating, limitless, spiritual life.

From The Revealing Word: salvation – The restitution of man to his spiritual birthright; regaining conscious possession of his God-given attributes. It comes as the result of redemption, the change from sin to righteousness. Salvation comes to man as a free gift from God. It embodies a knowledge of God that frees one from all the spiritual place of consciousness.

The belief that Jesus in an outer way atoned for our sins in salvation. Salvation is based solely on an inner overcoming, a change in consciousness. It is a cleansing of the mind through Christ, from thoughts of evil.

Jesus came and made the Great Demonstration, and through him, through the understanding of power which he gives, every one of us can make it.

His teachings are not to prepare men for a heavenly home after death, but to give them victory over death and bring them into the consciousness of heaven here and now. Heaven is within us and all about us, awaiting our recognition of it and entrance into it.

The affirmation for this week is, “I AM filled with the quickening, vitalizing life of the Spirit and I love to express it.”

This Sunday we will have a community meeting. UGP’s leadership and I hope you will make time to be with us. It is an opportunity as a community to share in the vision and the direction that we are moving toward. Your voice is important!

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

Symbols of Growth

Sherri Mitchell

Sherri Mitchell

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Sherri Mitchell.

Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

A unique view of the current reality from an Indigenous spiritual perspective, and an opportunity for us to consider how the signs around us all point to the growth and evolution of our consciousness.

Our co-founder Myrtle Fillmore heard Spirit asking this question, “Who will take care of the children?” Of course, her answer was “I will!”

We have been asked that question at Unity of Greater Portland and we have answered “we will!” We have purchased a portable classroom that will serve our children well. It has been used as a portable office in its previous life and needs a little TLC to freshen it up inside and out. We are calling for your help in doing that. If you would like to make a donation to the Children’s Education Fund, that would be greatly appreciated. If you can volunteer some time, there will be a signup sheet on the bulletin board for you to let us know you are available. More details will follow.

This past Sunday we had as our guest speaker in the Season for Interfaith Intercultural Celebration Sherri Mitchell. Sherri has a resume that is as long as my arm and did she ever “wow” us. She is an indigenous person from the Penobscot Indian Reservation and is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Her work is being featured in an upcoming documentary film titled Dancing with the Cannibal Giant, and her first book, Sacred Instructions, will be in print in February of 2018.

I invite you this Sunday to come to the prayer workshop, “Come Apart for Awhile.” In this workshop you will learn some prayer methods that will support your own needs, and also learn how to pray with and support others. In this critical time that we are living through, prayer is essential to living a more peace-filled life.

This workshop is also an introduction to what is involved in becoming part of our new Prayer Partner program, formerly known as the Prayer Chaplain program. Come on Sunday and learn more about it.

This coming Sunday I will be continuing the series on Unity Practical Christianity and the talk from the Unity Correspondence Course is “Demonstration.”

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