Silence, Simplicity, and Community
The new vision of the Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation is to build a broader community around silence in a simple and humble way. We are a contemplative community that encourages and supports people from all traditions, or no tradition, to grow in their spiritual lives. We do this by supporting and building Circles of Silence (Guild Quiet Days and Contemplative Gatherings).
The Guild will continue to support existing Circles and assist in creating new ones. We hope to expand these circles throughout northern New England.
The Guild’s major event for each year will be an Annual Day of Silence for all people of Northern New England.
The Guild’s newsletter will be produced times per year. Each seasonal issue will contain relevant stories, as well as featuring a retreat center offering silence or a labyrinth that is available to the public.
Funding for the Guild will continue to be provided by an annual appeal in November.
(Note: We are currently working on a new website that will launch this fall. In the meantime, we are trying to keep the information on this site up to date. Please email us at [email protected] if you see any mistakes. Thank you. )
GUILD PANDEMIC CONTEMPLATIVE GATHERINGS AND QUIET DAYS
Orland, Maine, Oranbega Retreat Center
We are now meeting once a week, Tuesdays, from 4:00 to 4:30 pm (or so) for one “virtual sit” on Zoom, plus a little poetry and a little check-in. If you would like to join, contact Rick for more information and a Zoom link.
In non-pandemic times, we meet on second and fourth Tuesday afternoons, 4:30 – 5:30 pm at 24 Summer St. on the Topsham Riverwalk adjacent to the Prayer Wheel Garden. Before contemplation, participants gather to talk or walk the labyrinth from 4:00 – 4:30 pm.
Deer Isle Area
Coordinator: Ann Hooke, 207-348-6933 or [email protected], Interfaith Meditation Group.
Given Covid, we have shifted our time to 8:30 to 9:30 am on Thursdays. We welcome new members and ask anyone considering joining us to contact Ann, who sends out the zoomed URL the day before. Weekly leadership still rotates between volunteers from the group.
The hour divides roughly into 5-10 minutes of joining, 10-minute leader speaks (might be personal reflections, readings, etc.), 20 minutes of silence, 15-20 minute reflections, and sharing. Readings often from Richard Rohr’s daily meditations and from the Almanac for the Soul. Other readings are frequently used as well.
In non-pandemic times, we meet year-round on Thursday mornings, 8:00 – 8:45 am in the new meeting room of the Deer Isle Congregational Church in Deer Isle – the white church top of the hill in Deer Isle. The group size ranges from 2-5 in the colder months and 4-10 in the warmer months.
We have been meeting since 1996. Each week different volunteer readers facilitate. Participants represent both Christian and other spiritual foundations. Questions? Contact Ann.
Contemplative Prayer Group, Mondays 4:30 – 5:00 pm at St. Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church, 627 North Deer Isle Road, Deer Isle, is now meeting Zoom, still on Mondays at 4:30 pm and open to all. Anyone interested in joining us should email Miriam for the current Zoom link and be listed on the contact list.
Facilitator: Chris Upton, 978-807-6202 or [email protected]
Meets second Sunday of the month, in Lamoine (call or email for directions) from 4:00-5:30 pm. Time and location may change and will be announced in advance via email.
TEMPORARY change due to Covid-19:
We are meeting via Zoom every Sunday from 4:00-5:30 pm. Please give Chris your email address to be included in Zoom meetings.
This Contemplative Silent Prayer Group is in the tradition of ancient and contemporary mystics, Father Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, St. Theresa of Avila, Father Thomas Keating, and others. It is about silence as a pathway to deep knowing through self-emptying, unitive non-dualism, illumination by the Spirit, and unknowing.
Chris may email a link to a spiritual teacher’s talk before the group meeting, which is unnecessary for group participation. We will enter in silence, have a reading, then practice 30 minutes of silent, centering meditative prayer.
Those who care to can then choose to share once about their own inner spiritual experience. We will close with a moment of silence. When the session is over, we enjoy a time to visit, connect, and build community.
While focused on the Christian Mystical Tradition, the group celebrates, welcomes, and benefits from all spiritual traditions, Buddhist, Sufi, Indigenous Cultures, Kabbalist, Native American, Quaker, and more.
Facilitator: Lyta Seddig, 207-244-7887 or [email protected]
Soul Rest Quiet Time. We now meet via Zoom on Tuesday afternoons, 3:00-4:30 pm. We welcome new participants. Contact Lyta, who will send you a link to the group.
Our time together includes an inspirational reading, after which we quiet our minds and relax our bodies in silent openness to the Holy for 20 minutes, walk meditatively for 5 minutes, listen to the reading again, and return to silently resting in the Presence for 20 minutes. We then listen to the reading a third time, followed by an opportunity for sharing.
In non-pandemic times, we meet Tuesdays afternoons, 3:00-4:30 pm in the sanctuary of the Somesville Union Meeting House UCC. In the colder months (October-March), we gather in the Pastor’s study in the Parish House (at the rear of the parking lot).
Facilitator: Victoria Londergan, FSD (Franciscan Spiritual Direction), 617-777-4283 or [email protected]
Contemplative Circle. We have shifted to Zoom. I send a thematic prayer sheet out to the participants in advance of our 7 pm gathering, the first Thursday of the month.
We begin with an opening reflection followed by a candle illumination moment. Next, an authentic movement where I guide participants through the gesturing prayer of Julian of Norwich three times, holding each gesture contemplatively.
Next, I provide a chant related to the eve’s theme which we chant together. Then, we move into a Lectio Divina, which we read three separate times sharing the words or phrases that speak to us.
I ring my bowl and contemplate for 20 minutes. We close with a final prayer and extinguish the candle. People share as they like, usually focused on our time together.
I have been including other Guild members who have asked to participate (and email them the link) and am happy to open this to others.
In non-pandemic time we meet in the library of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, High Street, Newburyport on the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm.
Nothing so much approximates the language of the Divine as does silence. It’s a language we need to practice. Our time includes a brief reading (Lectio Divina), a response (authentic movement), and rest and receives (contemplation). Questions? Contact Victoria.
Guild Quiet Days
Mount Desert Island/Seal Cove
Facilitator: The Alcyon Center, 207.244.1060 for directions
Quiet Days – Now meeting in person. 1st Friday of the month, 9 am – 1 pm, occasionally 2nd Friday. *Check the Alcyon website calendar each month to confirm. Communal silence and a simple shared meal. Lunch question asked each month: “How is it with your soul?” From 3 – 15 people. Free, but donations appreciated.
Host: Nancy Collins, 207-373-0336 or [email protected]
The Brunswick Area Quiet Days have been suspended until after the pandemic is over. In the meantime, we are very fortunate to join the Brunswick/Topsham Area Contemplative Gathering, which meets weekly via Zoom. Quiet Day participants are invited to contact Rick Wile at [email protected] to join the weekly gathering.
In nonpandemic times, this inviting group meets on Saturday every other month at rotating addresses. We hope you can join us. Feel free to bring a friend if you would like.
We start gathering between 9:00 – 9:30 am and begin our meditation at 9:30 am. The format is an opening poem, 20 minutes of meditation/centering prayer, silence until lunchtime, a simple soup lunch eaten in silence, then a short period of sharing.
You may sit, read, write, draw, relax, walk the labyrinth, or do whatever suits your fancy during the silent time. We end by 1:30 pm. To RSVP, contact Nancy. If you would like to help out by bringing cheese, crackers, fruit, bread, or cookies, please let us know.
Hosts: Marty Resotko at 207.812.0070 or [email protected] and Bonnie Johnson, call or text 207.546.6101
The Cherryfield Quiet Day is now gathering virtually on the last Saturday of the month, starting at 9 AM for checking in with each other, followed by a short reading before a 20-minute contemplative sit, and ending by 10:30 am after reflections on our time together. New attendees are welcome. Contact Marty for the electronic link.
In non-pandemic times, the Cherryfield Quiet Day meets on the last Saturday of the month at the Community Building (former Chapel) of the Downeast Campus of the Maine Seacoast Mission in Cherryfield from 9 am – 12:30 pm.
We share contemplative prayer and silence and end with a light potluck lunch. There are beautiful trails to walk along the river and a labyrinth. This is an interfaith group, and all are welcome. Contact Marty OR Bonnie.
Host: Beury Simons, 207-790-8407 or [email protected]
The Waldoboro Quiet Day has continued to meet at our home to have 6 – 7 people with social distancing safely. We had plenty of windows open. People could sit well apart, so we took our masks off most of the time. We will meet in October and November before heading south for the winter.
In non-pandemic times, it generally meets the third Monday of the month from May – October. Meetings are 12:30 – 4:00 pm, at the home of Beury and Ellee Simons, 670 Bremen Road, Waldoboro. Beverages and light refreshments are offered. All are welcome. For more information and directions, please contact Beury at (207) 790-8407 (after May 12th) or Eli at (207) 522-5507 (anytime), or the above e-mail.
Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation
PO Box 23, Milbridge, ME 04658
Featured image “Always We Begin Again” by Cynthia Tokos/the Art of Life Stories