The Gifts of Winter

History has been made today with the inauguration of our first female ever to be elected in the second-highest office in our country. I for one am grateful to be living to witness this historic moment. This to me is not about politics but about gender equality. Think about a collage of presidents and vice presidents over our country’s history, including our newest, and you will see only ONE woman amongst them.

Why is this significant for me, because I am fortunate enough to be in a profession that has historically been predominately men. Unity was progressive from its inception and women have always been among those who have been ordained as Unity ministers. In fact, there are probably more women ministers in Unity than men. So, with Kamala Harris as our vice president, women have taken a huge step forward.

The message on Sunday began a series that hopefully will bring a lighter tone in what can be seen as a dark time in our county. It is called “Our journey through the Gifts of Winter”. A packet with some fun and educational material was sent out to all who contributed financially during the months of October through December and I have heard that the mail has been extremely slow, and many have not received their packet. Hopefully, by the time you get this, it will have arrived. A couple of corrections on the calendar. The time for the Sunday service is incorrect; you are aware hopefully that we begin at 10 a.m. Also, I will be opening a Zoom call on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 during the weeks of this series for anyone who would like to chat about what impacted them in the message on Sunday. 

Some of the highlights of the message was the need for rest during the winter months. Just as nature needs a rest, so do we. This period of rest is a letting go just as the leaves let go of the trees, we let go of what no longer serves us both in the physical and in our minds.

In Chinese, medicine winter is associated with water. A balanced Water element allows fluidity and flow, an ability to rest and nourish oneself and others, to guide perception and reflection, and have a ready expression of feelings such as love.

In the Hindu tradition, they teach of four cycles of life just as nature has four seasons. The four cycles of life are student, householder, retirement, and lastly, after letting go of all that no longer serves, we attain the bliss of emptiness. 

I am excited that the talk on Sunday has stirred a few of you and, with your permission, I am sharing.

An email from Betty Gates said this: “I love Maine winters! I did some research before I moved to Maine 33 years ago and found that there are more days of sunshine in the Portland area than there are in Houston, Texas. It’s true!”

And from Carol Holt, a poem she had written several years ago:


Summer seashore cluttered
with umbrellas
and gaudy beach towels
gives me no peace
no sense of Solitude.

I long for winter
The hush of snow falling
Listening for the silence
Between the heartbeat
of the waves.

From Elizabeth Peterson’s poem, who says she is wanting to see winter differently this year:

Ode to Winter

The barren trees
The icy ground…frozen to the core
Where is the warmth…
the beauty that sustains me/that fills my soul
“shhhhhhh….listen. I am resting.
Come with me for just a bit.
Rest in the quiet with me.
Be filled in this moment of bleakness.
Find the beauty in the Stillness
of this stripped-down version of the quiet.
Of me….your friend Winter.
I am beauty. I am love. I am peace.
I am the sleeping yet emerging light.
Look deep. There I Am.
Acknowledge the Sacredness of THIS time too.
Enjoy the Quiet. Find the Beauty
where before you thought none existed.
Find me…your quiet friend winter. shhhhhhhhhhh

Join me next Sunday as we explore The Joy of Rest.

Before I sign off, in just 10 days, the Season for Nonviolence begins. You will be receiving information on the specifics next week; however, this past Sunday I left you with a practice that you can begin right now.

Nonviolence begins by learning how to be less violent and more compassionate toward our own being and allowing that evolving self to act in the world with mature understanding. In learning to speak and act with self-respect, honor, and reverence, we find the courage to lift those who are underserved or unrepresented — in the name of justice for all.

Practice: Believing

Author Wayne Dyer writes about the impact that our beliefs have on our daily lives. Each day this week, believe you have all the resources to move your life in the direction of peace. Be aware of simple demonstrations of peaceful responses you receive.

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

P.S. On Thursday evening at 7 p.m., join me for the Spiritual Exploration group. We will be discussing an article that appeared in the Portland Press Herald written by our friend of Unity, Vaishali Mamgain. 

For your safety, continue to social distance and wear face masks. The church building remains closed for gatherings of all services and group meetings. All business with the church office needs to be via telephone or email.



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