Contemplative Gatherings

Guild Contemplative Groups

After Father Thomas Keating’s visit to Bar Harbor in the summer of 2008, the Guild began to sponsor Centering Prayer workshops and groups at several locations in Maine. Many of these continue. Reflecting the Guild’s ecumenical calling and respect for the unique spiritual path of each person, some groups practice other forms of silent, contemplative prayer.

All these groups welcome everyone who desires to begin or deepen their practice of contemplative silence, and all groups provide initial instruction in practice as well as opportunities to share questions and responses. Some groups offer spiritual resources beyond practice (for example, opportunities for reading and discussion) in their desire to nourish their members’ spiritual journeys.

Newcomers are most welcome in all these groups. To register, please contact a facilitator of the group where you plan to participate.

If you would like to begin a Guild Contemplative Group in your area, please contact Lyta Seddig (107-244-7887 or holylisteningmdi@gmail.com). Lyta or another Guild Associate will be happy to assist you in establishing a group.

Area Guild Contemplative Gatherings

Blue Hill Peninsula

Coordinator: Holbrook Williams, 207-359-4428 or holbrookwilliams@midmaine.com.
Silence in Candlelight every Wednesday at 5:00 at the Blue Hill Congregational Church in the Sanctuary, aka Sunday church service room. Two 25 minute times of silence with a short “stretch break” in between.  Bring a flashlight in case the church is dark, the way I prefer it.  Come late, leave early, if that is your preference, but please respect the silence.

Brunswick/Topsham Area

Facilitators: Rick Wile, 207-756-0095 or rickwile@gmail.com, and Ann Carroll, 207-449-6569 or anncarroll76@gmail.com.
Second and fourth Tuesday afternoons, 4:30 – 5:30 at 24 Summer St, on the new Topsham Riverwalk adjacent to the Prayer Wheel Garden. Prior to contemplation, participants gather to talk or walk the labyrinth from 4:00 – 4:30. Contact Rick for more information.

Deer Isle Area

Coordinator: Ann Hooke, 207-348-6933 or annhooke@gmail.com, Interfaith Meditation Group.
Thursday mornings, 8:00 – 9:00, during the summer in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church of Deer Isle on Church St. (Rt. 15,) Deer Isle; and during the fall, winter, and spring in the Fellowship Hall at the back of the church.

Coordinator: Woody Osborne, 207-348-5274 or wosborne482@gmail.com, October-April. Miriam Antich, 207-348-7745 or mantichino@gmail.com, May-September.
Contemplative Prayer Group, Mondays 4:30 – 5:00 at St. Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church, 627 North Deer Isle Road, Deer Isle.

Ellsworth/Lamoine Area

Facilitator: Chris Upton, 978-807-6202 or spiritrambling@gmail.com.
Centering Prayer/Meditation Group. Every other Friday from 2pm to 3:30pm. Lamoine.
This group is in the tradition of contemplatives Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, the Christian Mystics of the 14th century and Buddhist nun Pema Chodron.  We practice 20 minutes of quieting the mind in silent meditative prayer, 10 minutes of silent walking meditation, and then those who so choose, share their meditation experience.  The group meets twice a month on Fridays and is open to participants of all spiritual and religious or non-religious affiliations.  No experience is necessary.  Beginners are especially welcome.
Please contact Chris to sign up for this group, confirm meeting dates and times, and get directions.

Mount Desert Island Area

– Bar Harbor
Coordinators: Edith Lyman, 207-288-9928 or healingchange@myfairpoint.net and Pat Paine 207-288-4682.
Monday afternoons, 1:00 – 3:00, in the Christian Centering Prayer tradition including 20 minutes of centering prayer plus time for faith sharing and mutual support, as well as reflections on CDs, books and other resources for spiritual nourishment. Call for details and location.

– Bar Harbor
Coordinators: Sandy and Burt Haggett; 207-288-0085 or bhaggett@roadrunner.com
Wednesdays 11 am – 1 pm at 8 Shannon Rd, Bar Harbor. Buddhist-influenced Meditation Group and Sangha. Meditations based on Lama John Makransky’s book, Awakening Through Love; affiliated with the Foundation for Active Compassion.

– Somesville
Facilitator: Lyta Seddig, 207-244-7887 or holylisteningmdi@gmail.com

Soul Rest Quiet Time. Tuesdays afternoons, 2:00 – 3:30, in the sanctuary of the Somesville Union Meeting House UCC.  In the colder months (October-March) we gather in the Pastor’s office in the Parish House (at the rear of the parking lot). Our time together includes a brief prayerful 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, and return to silently resting in the Presence for 20 minutes.  Opportunity for sharing follows.

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Facilitator: Victoria Londergan, FSD (Franciscan Spiritual Direction), 617-777-4283 or victoria.londergan@gmail.com
Contemplative Circle. 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 receive (contemplation).
Questions? Contact Victoria.

South Bristol

Coordinator: Beth Hood, 207-644-8242, jackbethhood@comcast.net
Friday afternoons, 4:00 – 5:30 at the Parish House of the Union Church UCC, Middle Road. Call to confirm. Contemplative prayer depending on interest; usually a book study.

Area Contemplative Lectio

Cape Elizabeth & Portland Area

Facilitator: Donna Yellen, 207-767-2631
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. Tuesdays, 8:15-9:15 a.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Roman Catholic Church, Rt. 77, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107. We gather in the small group room on the right as you enter. For more information, call Donna Yellen or just show up!

Coordinator: Stan Scott, 207-838-7927 or stan.scott@maine.edu
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina. Opportunity for conversation afterwards. Mondays, 5-6 p.m. at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (upstairs from the sanctuary), Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth.  For more information, call Stan.