Getting to Know Rev. Jesse James

Beloved Unity community,

Before I head north for my next adventure, I wanted to tell you just how much being part of Unity of Port Richey has meant to me. We are in the middle of the series on The Power of Receiving. I want you know that I have received so many gifts from my time here with you all. Getting to work with Barbara was a long time dream come true. Little did I know how touched I would be by so many of the relationships that I have made. You have touched me with your Being, acceptance, friendship and wonderful stories of how you practice these Unity principles. I have loved sharing with you on Sundays, in classes, in prayer and fun outings. My only wish is that I could have taken part even more.

My writing you may not seem appropriate under the heading of "People in the Pews" but that is where I am heading. I have gotten the message that it is time for me to step down from formal church ministry. I had to breath into that little piece of guidance. It is so a part of my being that this truly will be a new adventure in who I have come here to be. I can't wait to find out how it will unfold. I am going to borrow the Jim Carrey quote from when an interviewer asked him what his next project was. First of all his face lit up and he replied:

"It is going to be the best, most creative, innovational, and successful thing I have ever done." The host said, "wow - that is great - What is it?" With that wide, toothy, cat that ate the canary smile on his face that has become his trademark, Carrey replied, "I have absolutely no idea."

Now if I can just keep that attitude venturing into the great unknown. If you all would hold that I can hold that attitude, I would be a most grateful receiver.

So as I move into "the pews" here are a few things you probably don't know about me.

1. I first attended Unity in 1988. My older son, now living in Virginia, had just had a DWI as a high school senior. I wanted to die and didn't have a clue how to move forward with this devastating experience for my son. I found Al Alnon and Unity at the same time and both literally saved my life. I felt like I had come home and didn't understand what that meant but knew I had to keep coming back - obviously I did just that. My son will proudly claim that it is because of him that I became a minister!

2. My favorite Unity songs are - I have so many! I think most of you know that Unity music is my passion and what opens my heart. I would have to say, "Be the Love You Are", "There is Only Love" and "Holy Now". They each speak to me of our principles - God is, I Am, Live these truths. These principles are my guiding light through life.

3. I also love movies. My favorite is "Dirty Dancing". I love the message of not judging the book by the cover to see who people really are. I treasure relationships grounded in the kindness and love exemplified in this movie. Along with this goes my love of dance and enjoying the "eye candy" of Patrick Swayze.

4. I feel most connected to God when I am in nature and praying with someone.

5. My favorite scriptures are, "You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" Mark 1:11. I love this scripture because I need to believe that about me and everyone in every moment. This has been my favorite message in ministry and I will carry it with me. I also love "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not into your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make straight your path." Proverbs 3:5-6 This was the first scripture that I ever preached and continues to be my lesson to live. One final scripture for all of our upcoming adventures. "For Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11 This has taken me through many new adventures and will go with me on this next one as well.

6. As far as personal stories of difficult experiences that I have found blessings in,if you have been coming for awhile, you have heard many of these. The mantra through all is, "No one and Nothing is ever against us". Remember there is one presence and one power active in the universe and in our lives so all has to come to bless in some way. This continues to challenge me and I continue to surrender to the teaching. Again I would be a grateful receiver if you would hold my little Florida family in prayer as I head north - highest and best for all always.

So know that I love you all! I carry many wonderful memories with me. We will meet again - I have a dear little grand daughter and son down here that I will have to be down to visit. In closing a favorite blessing of mine
May the road

rise up to meet you.
May the wind
always be t your back.
May the sun
shine warm upon your face.
May the rains
fall softly upon your field.
Until we meet again.
Abundance of love and appreciation always,

Rev. Jesse