3814 FRANKLIN ST. VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660 360-696-0996

Bless and Release It
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
  December 26, 2021

 All Rights Reserved


The last Sunday in December is always set aside for our Burning Bowl Ceremony. I am including this information so that you can go through the cleansing and renewing process at home. For this ceremony you will need: Candles, a small piece of burnable paper, pen, and a burning receptacle.


Many of us have loved ones who have passed beyond our physical sight this year. In the midst of our grief, we’re called by God to remember the light that is each of us can’t be extinguished, only transformed as we journey from one room of our Father’s house of life to another.

As you speak the name of your loved ones who have moved on to their next expression of Eternal Life, light a candle for them and speak a prayer of blessing saying, to your dear ones,
“I love you, bless you, and see you as you are, an eternal spiritual being.  As I light this candle for you, I lovingly release you into the light from which you came and from which you will be born again.”

And we pray for everyone who has lost loved ones this year.
May your sorrow be softened by the healing presence of God.  May you find comfort and support in your own inner Christ, in nature’s tranquility and in the presence of this spiritual community of caring friends. May the healing power of memory visit you often in quiet moments & nourish your soul with love. Amen.


Today we're going to do some mental housecleaning. Imagine if you never cleaned your house and just kept accumulating stuff - you'd have a mess.  One of the most powerful things we can learn to do is "let go" and create space in our minds and lives, by saying "Divine Mind, fill me."

Unity’s Burning Bowl Service is a powerful way of connecting with God Mind by writing down what you no longer want in your life and releasing it.   And we don't just release the not so good, we release the joyous times too
.  “Bless it and call it good” is an important Unity teaching.

There have been times in my life when I thought,
"I'm not ready to do this or even want to do this."  As I've gotten more spiritually mature, I've realized “when I don't want” is exactly “when I really need to.”  Because the activity of release changes everything. You have the same physical eyes and the same situations in your life, but you see things differently because you're living them from a higher level of mind.  You are in the world but not of it.

Sometimes it's difficult to look at a situation and say,
"God is in charge and knows more about this than I do."  We probably all struggle from time to time because we think we know more about a situation than God.  We say to God, "You don't understand or know the whole situation.  You're way off somewhere, not right here experiencing this, so you don't know as much as I do."

In his book,
“The Universe is Calling”, Eric Butterworth says, "Don't try to set it right, see it right."  Whatever it is, it's not mine to do, but God's to do through me.  Seeing things right means that if we see a situation as lacking in love or lacking in anything, our job is not to fix the problem, but to see it with God's eyes by knowing God as love is at work in the situation and will bring the highest and best results for all concerned.  That doesn't mean it will work it out the way you or I want it to work out, but for the highest spiritual development of all concerned.  We have to stop meddling in God's business.

Of my teachers once told me,
"Never try to predict the outcome of a situation when you are working with it."  It's like a math problem.  You don't guess, stress, or try to predict the answer, you work through the problem mathematically, step by step.   We stop struggling and trying to predict the outcome of a situation by applying the teachings that God is good, God is love, and God is everywhere present and active.

When we face any situation, we always have two choices: to face it from the human level of mind which tells us the situation is worrisome or bothersome, then we try to predict the outcome and consciously and unconsciously work toward that as our solution.  Our focus is on the situation.  When we face something knowing God is our partner, from a higher level of mind, we hold thoughts about God.  Knowing God is in the situation, we think God-love, God-life, God-wisdom, God-intelligence, and God-power.

We teach 3 Omni’s in Unity.

1.  Omniscience, God is all knowledge.
2.  Omnipotence, God is all power.
3.  Omnipresence, God is everywhere equally presence and active.

God is all three and that knowledge is all we need to work through any problem.  It's often hard to do this alone and much easier with a prayer partner.  You can call Silent Unity, our Prayer Ministry, put a prayer request in the prayer box, or ask a friend to pray with you.  Someone you can call and say,
"I need you to see the truth for me because I can't see it."

It's important to learn to ask for prayer support, because frequently when we get into a situation that is difficult or painful for us. We can't see the truth of it for ourselves.  All we can see is the human stuff. You don't even have to tell your prayer partner what the situation is.  Just say,
"Hold me in the light."  The less you know about a situation the easier it is to disengage from the human level of mind.  In this New Year, I encourage you to take the opportunity to know the truth deeper by getting a prayer partner.

God loves you with an everlasting love and to God a situation is never someone wins while another loses, it is always win-win.

Everyone on this planet is an expression of God.  We don't always express in the same way, but everyone is God's beloved child and has an equal opportunity to learn to know God as the one and only Source in the universe that loves and supports them.

This is a time of release.

MEDITATION – You need a candle, small piece of paper and receptacle to place the burning paper in for this ceremony.

Light a candle to serve as your meditation focal point. As you look at it, allow your chair to support you and open your heart to the indwelling Christ which is flowing though you now as perfect peace.  Begin by quietly affirming:  
"It is not I, but the Christ within who does the work.".

Focus on the candle's light, and then let your eyes gently close and see that light behind your closed eyes.  This is the Christ light that is flowing through you now.  Feel the peace of the Christ lifting you to a consciousness of absolute peace.  Jesus Christ is here right now, lifting us to His level of peace, hear him say to you,
"My peace I give to you."

This morning open your mind and heart to the peace of Jesus Christ.  Affirm:
“Come forth through me, Christ Jesus, as peace.”

The peace of God is flowing through you now.  And since the mind of peace proceeds healing, you are open and receptive now, to heal whatever needs to be healed in your life.

In this consciousness of peace, bring to your mind's eye whatever it is that you would like to eliminate from your life as 2021 draws to a close.  Perhaps it is a bad habit.  Perhaps a sense of limitation.  Perhaps it is a sense of unhappiness and unrest.  Perhaps it is inharmony in relationships with certain people in your life.  Perhaps it's lack of money, freedom, or job satisfaction, or even a job.  Whatever it is, know that God knows, know that Christ in you is your hope of glory, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now with whatever it is gently brought to mind, quietly speak to it saying,
"I let you go through Christ in me, my hope of glory."

And now write whatever it is down on your piece of paper, and then write,
"I let you go through Christ in me, my hope of glory."

Now ignite your slip of paper with its denial and drop it into the urn you’ve provided.  As you do so, repeat silently:  
"this (name it) is no longer a part of my life.  The forgiving love of God now sets me free."

And now, since you have created a vacuum, the Christ in you, your hope of glory, fills that vacuum with love.  The love of God is flowing through you now.  You are drawing loving relationships into your life now.  Bring to your mind's eye, anyone who needs your love and enfold them in love now, by softly calling out their name.

Quietly affirm:
“I love you.  thank you for being in my life.”

Now add to that vacuum a positive attitude, a high sense of self-esteem.  Quietly affirm:
“I love myself.  Thank YOU, GOD, for all that I am.”

Now in a consciousness of peace and love and self-esteem, you are healed.  You are whole.  You are free.  Know that for yourself in the silence of prayer. In the consciousness of wholeness, add to your vacuum, commitment.  Commit yourself to do whatever needs to be done by you in 2022 to reveal more of God through your body, mind, and life.  Quietly affirm:
I commit myself to doing whatever it is that I want to see expressed in my life from this day forward.”

Commit yourself to wholesome living, to wholeness, to goodness, to joy, to forgiveness, to love.  Commit yourself to the expression of the Christ every day in every way.  Welcome the New Year by affirming:
 "In the light of the Christ understanding I joyously move into this new year to meet, to accept and to express my highest good."  Amen.
Closing prayer:   God, I accept responsibility for my life.  I accept responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.  I no longer let outer things disturb my inner peace of mind.  I do not try to change others, but I accept them the way they are.  I have all the help I need because God is within me.  I continually turn to this ever-present power and receive guidance, courage, and reassurance. With God's help I use my ability to choose and make wise choices.    Knowing that I am immersed in the master mind, I choose to do and to be only that which I truly want to do and be.  I no longer postpone my good.   I express my God given spirit of power, love and self-control that enables me to make my mind a beautiful place in which to live.  Amen.

Bonus Joke 1:  Five-year-old Billy was showing his Christmas presents to grandma, when she asked, “Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?” Billy thought for a moment before he answered, “No, I didn’t, Grandma. But that’s OK. It wasn’t my birthday.”

Bonus Joke 2:  A 54-year-old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God, she asked "Is my time up?"

God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance. Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the

God replied: "I didn't recognize you."

Moral of the story: God loves you the way you are.
What do you think? 
 Click here to share your thoughts about this lesson.
© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.