Enrich your faith by understanding other traditions at the Downeast Spiritual Life Conference

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With the success of the first Downeast Spiritual Life Conference in 2012, the steering committee and the people of St. Francis by the Sea in Blue Hill are excited to welcome attendees to the conference on Friday and Saturday, August 23 and 24. All sessions and lodging will be at the Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel in Bar Harbor.

This year’s conference — Spirituality in Our times: Embracing Diversity, Creating Community — is committed to the multi-faith approach to the life of the spirit. How do we embrace and value other’s faith traditions and deepen our own faith by learning from other faith traditions? How can we create a broader and more inclusive community of the faithful?

One way is to hear from those who have done it. Join key leaders of the interfaith movement — Muslim, Jewish and Christian — and learn how they are successfully building communities of faith that broaden and enrich the spiritual lives of all their members.
“This conference is an opportunity for all of us to deepen our own faith and not merely an exercise in religious tolerance,” said the Rev. Claudia Smith, rector of St. Francis, Blue Hill. “We wish to go far beyond tolerance for, and a surface understanding of, other faiths to an embracing of diversity. In other words we wish to use a deeper understanding of other faith traditions to enrich our own spiritual practices.”

Primary speakers Eboo Patel, Muslim director of the Interfaith Youth Core; writer and Christian religious educator Elizabeth Drescher; and Rabbi Or Rose, director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College, will help bring religious diversity to life.

Two additional workshop leaders – Robert A. Jonas and George Emlen – will show us how to find spiritual sustenance in “dual belonging” and how to join hearts and lift spirits through singing.

New! A Pre-Conference Retreat.
This year you can participate in a one-day spiritual retreat with renowned inter-spiritual educator and author Mirabai Starr. One Love, A Contemplative Experience is a celebration of the interconnected wisdom of the world’s spiritual paths. You will learn how to apply the mystical and social-justice teachings of many religions to your lives. You will explore mystical poetry and sacred scriptures of different faiths, practice powerful writing exercises, and engage in brief contemplative practices–all ways to touch the unifying love that underlies all the worlds’ spiritual paths. Mirabai will joined be renowned singer /songwriter Jenny Bird.

New! More Workshops
This year we are offering five workshops to choose from:

The Power of Interfaith Cooperation with Eboo Patel
Kabbalah and Contemporary American Culture with Rabbi Or Rose
Distributed Spirits: Compassion, Connection and Community in the Land Between Religion with Elizabeth Drescher
Jesus and Buddha: Spiritual Guides for the 21st Century with Robert Jonas
Building Community through Song with George Emlen

New! A Location by the Sea
The conference will take place on the shores of Frenchman’s Bay in Bar Harbor. All events will be in one location — the conference center at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel. For your convenience, discounted rates at the hotel and its sister properties are available for conference participants. Book early!

New! Optional Early Morning Yoga or Meditation
Take advantage of our free early morning yoga and meditation sessions to help you ground yourself for a day of learning and sharing.

Benefit Concert with Noel Paul Stookey
We are again blessed to have Noel Paul Stookey share his rich, lyric-driven music with us. The songs in One & Many: A Musical Village will tell a story. They speak to compassion. To hopeful reminders that the presence of love in story and song can provide healing and forgiveness. For Noel it is the “Something’ we keep seeking — and sometimes find simply in the ‘one and many’ around us.” A fundraising event, the concert supports the 2014 Downeast Spiritual Life Conference and is open to the public without conference registration.

New! Group Rates
Group rates apply for groups of ten or more. To register your group, call 207.374.5200.

Everything you need to join us is at downeastspiritual.org or at 207.374-5200. Learn about our speakers, register for events, and see how to participate in a variety of activities planned just for you.

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