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2014 Conference Schedule

The schedule has been updated to reflect event locations. Download a printable version of the schedule here.
◊ FRIDAY, JULY 11
Pre-Conference Workshops
Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Conference/Workshop Registration | Concert Tickets | Bookstore
Morning Workshops
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.brochurecover
Workshop 1:
Rev. Kate Braestrup
| Hands to Work and Hearts to God: Working Our Hands into the Mystery
Human hands and brains co-evolved, and their relationship is integral to what it means to be human. In this workshop, the Rev. Kate Braestrup will combine intervals of thought-provoking discussion with simple creativity, both individual and group.  Together, participants will learn ways to enhance spiritual practice through creative handwork.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own small projects with them (e.g., knitting crocheting, embroidery, hooking).
Workshop 2:
Chris Farrow-Noble 
| Walking a Labyrinth as Spiritual Practice
As a certified Veriditas labyrinth facilitator, Chris Farrow-Noble introduces labyrinths from around the world, explains their historic and contemporary uses, and discusses how walking a labyrinth is a meaningful tool for personal and community spiritual practice today. In this session, participants will lay out a 3-, 5- or 7-circuit classic labyrinth using the seed pattern and creating the “walls” with natural materials brought by participants. Chris will provide guidelines for walking a labyrinth and participants will have the opportunity to walk their labyrinth as a community, with reflection time following. Handouts will be available, including a paper finger labyrinth.  All conference participants will be able to experience walking the labyrinth created at the workshop as an optional activity on Saturday afternoon.
Workshop 3:
Jenny Perruzzi
| The Art of Zentangle®
Zentangle is a method for creating beautiful images using structured patterns. A mindful, relaxing art form often described as “meditation on paper,” Zentangle patterns utilize only five elemental strokes – dot, dash, circle, curve and “s”. The brainchild of a graphic designer and a Zen monk, it supports relaxation, focus, inspiration, artistic satisfaction and a sense of well-being. Peruzzi is a certified Zentangle instructor and has been teaching the art form for several years. No art experience required and materials are provided.
Lunch
Noon – 1:00 pm
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
Afternoon Workshops
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Workshop 4:
Prof. Dana Sawyer | Touching the Void: Reconnecting with the Ground of Being
Meister Eckhart called it the Divine Ground of Being. Ralph Waldo Emerson called it the Oversoul. Buddhists call it the Dharmakaya and Hindus term it the Brahman. Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith and other perennial philosophers see connection with it as the most essential and fundamental of all spiritual experiences. In this workshop, Dana Sawyer, a professor of world religions at the Maine College of Art and the author of biographies of both Aldous Huxley and Huston Smith, provides the opportunity to explore the experience that Huxley termed the “unitive knowledge,” to connect with the source of all things.  Sawyer will use sound and guided meditation in this lively and enjoyable workshop.
Workshop 5:
Rev. Kate Braestrup
| Kicking & Screaming: How Tragedy and Grief Can Drag Us Closer to God
As a chaplain, a wife and a mother, the Rev. Kate Braestrup has had more experience with death and tragedy than most people. Without sentimentalizing or romanticizing grief and pain, Rev. Braestrup will discuss the ways that these inevitable, if unwelcome, experiences can serve to strengthen consciousness and empathy, and provide openings to communion with our neighbors and with the God that is Love.
Workshop 6:
Sally Clinton
| Wisdom of the Body: The Body as the Temple of the Living Spirit
The body is both the vehicle through which we experience Life and the embodiment of Spirit itself. Yet, most of us are not taught how to connect with, support or cultivate a conscious relationship with the Divine intelligence of the body. As we explore the Wisdom of the Body, we will look to Eastern philosophy and the ancient systems of Yoga and Ayurveda―the Science of Life―to learn about this fascinating framework of self-care, self-awareness and self-healing. Elemental to these teachings are living in alignment with Nature, understanding your unique constitution, and anchoring your life in daily practices that support health, healing and spiritual connection. In this experiential and interactive workshop, we will delve into the multi-dimensional nature of living as spiritual beings in physical form.  Through these ancient systems we can more finely tune the body as the Temple of the Living Spirit and live in more conscious relationship with the Divine within.
Book Signing
4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
A selection of books will be available for purchase at the conference bookstore.
Dinner
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
Conference Kick-Off and Welcome
7:30 – 9:00 p.m. JOHN PHILIP NEWELL | Session 1: Reconnecting with Compassion
For many years, John Philip Newell has been teaching the sacredness of all being. In Rebirthing the Divine, he will ask what the world in general―and Christianity in particular―would look like if the true depths of our sacredness were to come forth again, but in radically new ways. He will challenge us to ask what Christianity’s blessing for the world could be if there were to be such a fresh birth from deep within. Rebirthing the Divine will explore the major features of this re-birth: our sacred reconnection with the earth, our reverence for the wisdom of other religious traditions and our commitment to living a life filled with peace, compassion and love.
9:00 – 9:15 p.m. Wrap Up / Saturday schedule of events
SATURDAY, JULY 12
Conference, Optional Activities & Concert
7:00 – 7:45 a.m. OPTIONAL GUIDED MEDITATION | Rev. Betty Stookey
Begin your day in silent and guided contemplation. The morning meditation is open to everyone, regardless of experience. Rev. Stookey uses the methods of conscious breathing taught by The Buddha and used by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, scholar, poet and peace activist. These simple methods can increase awareness of our own body and mind, which can bring immediate joy and peace. Participation is free.
Breakfast
7:30 – 8:45 a.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
Saturday Morning Session
8:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. Conference Registration | Concert Tickets | Bookstore
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. JOHN PHILIP NEWELL | Session 2: Reconnecting with the Earth (Part I)
Break
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. JOHN PHILIP NEWELL | Session 3: Reconnecting with the Earth (Part II)
Lunch
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
Saturday Afternoon Session & Optional Activities
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Participation in these activities is free.
 ◊ Activity #1 CELTIC MUSIC & CHANTING | George Emlen
Experience the power of group singing through simple songs and chants from the ancient and modern Celtic world. Songleader, conductor and composer George Emlen will teach songs in a way that brings all voices into the experience through the use of various musical devices. This activity is open to all regardless of singing ability and experience. Songs will be in English, although some basic Gaelic will be introduced. Participants are invited to join in the singing of these chants at the fellowship and worship service with John Philip Newell on Sunday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. | Max. 40
Activity #2 WALKING A LABYRINTH | Chris Farrow-Noble
Using the outdoor labyrinth built at the Friday workshop (or an indoor labyrinth, if weather requires), participants will learn the difference between a labyrinth and a maze, share key elements of their personal spiritual practices, learn guidelines for walking a labyrinth as a spiritual tool, walk the labyrinth together, and reflect on the experience. Chris will introduce labyrinths at the beginning of each hour (at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.). Handouts will be available, including a paper finger labyrinth. Conference participants are encouraged to drop in at any time to walk the labyrinth on their own. | Max. 25
Activity #3 AYUSHRI YOGA, BREATH & MOVEMENT | Sally Clinton
Enhance your day with a 50-minute yoga break, at 1:30 or 2:30 p.m. Movement is the essence and nature of Life. Moving our bodies, connecting breath and movement and opening to the beauty of Nature can help us be more present to the Source. Join certified yoga instructor Sally Clinton in a fun, enjoyable afternoon movement break to stretch, breathe, energize and access the joy of Being. Class will be outside, weather permitting, and no experience is necessary. This will be a mixed levels class with options for varying abilities. Chairs will be available for those who need them. Yoga mats will be available, but please bring your own if you have one. | Max. 25 for each session
Activity #4 NATURE WALK IN WITHERLE WOODS | Blue Hill Heritage Trust
Walk through Witherle Woods with either a naturalist or a local historian from Blue Hill Heritage Trust along easy-to-moderate trails that follow the shoreline of Penobscot Bay. The 185-acre preserve is owned and maintained by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and is home to a wide variety of bird, plant and animal species. Hikers can also learn about its place in French-American history, from early trading posts to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Walking the network of trails provides an opportunity to not only exercise but to also experience the scenic beauty of the Maine coast and be at home in nature. Maps are available for those who wish to walk the trails on their own. The trailhead is walking distance from the Maine Maritime Academy campus. Comfortable walking shoes, water and bug spray are recommended. | Max. 20 for guided walks
Book Signing
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.
A selection of books will be available for purchase at the conference bookstore.
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. JOHN PHILIP NEWELL | Session 4: Reconnecting with the Wisdom of Other Traditions
Dinner
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of dinner in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of conference prices. Meal vouchers may be purchased at registration.
Post-Conference Benefit Concert
Saturday, July 12
7:30 – 9 p.m.
SONGS FROM THE SEA | Benefit Concert with Folk Legend Gordon Bok
Singer, songwriter and artist Gordon Bok has captured the myths, sounds and feel of the Maine waterfront for more than 40 years. His name has become synonymous with the working boat culture of the region. Bok spins into song the diverse voices of fishermen and other sea folk, crafting vignettes and full-fledged ballads. He reaches into sea myths that haunt the North Atlantic, animating the legends of Selkie, sea fairies and boat spirits, interspersing song and spoken verse. His mastery of folk music goes beyond Maine and includes music of Latin America, Europe, Mongolia, and especially the Gaelic-speaking areas of the British Isles. Bok’s music speaks clearly to the spirit of his listeners and his sound resonates with the deepest longings of people everywhere to belong, to be creative and to build community. The concert supports the 2015 Downeast Spiritual Life Conference and is open to the public without conference registration.
Sunday Worship & Fellowship
Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Participants may either eat at a local restaurant or take advantage of meals in the Maine Maritime Academy dining hall. “Walk-ins” are welcome but will not be able to take advantage of reduced prices available only with meal vouchers purchased at time of registration.
Sunday, July 13
10:00 a.m.
SPECIAL SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
Please also join us at a special Sunday worship service composed by John Philip, who will also serve as officiant and preacher. Using themes from the conference, the service, called “Great Creating Spirit: A Celtic Earth Mass for the Celebration of Communion,” will begin at 10 a.m. on the Leavitt Hall lawn. Hosted by St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church, all are welcome to attend.