Season for Nonviolence 2017
Unity Center for Spiritual Growth has scheduled the following events in observance of the Season for Nonviolence. Love offering unless otherwise noted. Minimum of five participants for classes. Sign up on the bulletin board at the church or contact us if you plan to attend a class.
Class Series: Radical Love
Wednesdays, January 11-February 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Facilitated by Jack Seery
Jesus is the embodiment of radical love. His life and teachings reveal a way of living that manifests a universal compassion and a commitment to nonviolence. Through meditation, reflection, and discussions, the class will discover how we, as individuals and as a community, are called to embody that radical love. As a response to the social darkness of a violent culture, we will explore what it would mean to embrace the way of Christian nonviolence.
Readings: We will use John Dear Walking the Way to assist our meditation on the life of Jesus, along with his book The Nonviolent Life, to foster our understanding of nonviolence toward oneself, in our interpersonal relationships, and as a movement for social change.
Film & Discussion: In Remembrance of Martin
Sunday, January 15, noon-2 p.m.
Join us as we kick off our Season for Peace and Nonviolence with a film In Remembrance of Martin. This film was a nationally televised official event in 1987, and this is a Limited 20th Anniversary edition with new commentary by Creator-Director Kell Kearns.
The Washington Post said: “A genuine jewel that ought to be shown regularly in every home and school.”
The New York Daily News: “The kind of hour that makes you proud to be an American.”
Kell Kearns, Creator-Director: “I think this movie is even more vibrant and alive today than it was when we filmed it.”
Many that knew him well are no longer with us; however, what they have given us in remembering Dr. King will live on for centuries to come. Personal comments from family, friends, and advisors fill this remarkable documentary honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Say Something: Compassionate Activism in Troubling Times
Sunday, January 29
10 a.m. Service with Guest Speaker Betsy Sweet
noon-2 p.m. Workshop with Betsy Sweet
Do Something: Taking action in our every day lives – An Action Planning workshop for compassionate activists. Following the talk in the morning, we will spend time together to further explore what our role is and can be as compassionate activists as we experience the intensification of bullying. What can we do on a daily basis? Are there actions we can create and take collectively to provide support to those who are on the receiving end of bullying? Let’s train ourselves to stand up, speak out and say “Yes” to love, compassion and kindness at all times. How can we be truly effective allies? We will have small group conversations, do role playing and make individual and collective action plans to call ourselves forward into this arena. And we will have fun doing it!
Betsy Sweet has been an advocate for civil rights and compassion for over 35 years in Maine. She co-founded the Civil Rights Team project for students in the Attorney General’s Office and was a founder of the Center Against Hate Violence at the University of Maine. She has led countless trainings in Maine and across the country for people of all ages ~ from kindergarteners to senior citizens. She has worked as a Legislative Advocate in Maine for many non-profit social service organizations, providing a steady voice for the elderly, people with disabilities, alternative health practitioners, mental health consumers, sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, and the environment. In addition, she has a healing practice, SweetSpirit, where she provides intuitive counseling, coaching, energy work and mediumship. Her proudest accomplishment is being a mother to three kind, compassionate daughters who want to change the world for the better.
Sunday, February 12, noon-2 p.m.
“In the end, that’s what we all want: a chance to be heard. It is not only the act of speaking, but the act of listening that makes this possible.” — Sheryl Oring
Many of us see each other on Sundays, and maybe even take a class together. However, do we really know each other? Each of us has a story that is waiting to be told… Maya Angelou reminds us “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Join us as we learn together how to listen to each other. Learn how to speak from our heart and discover new awareness about our self and others.
Class Series: Yes… Peace is Possible
Wednesdays, February 22-March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Join Revs. Pat Bessey and LeRoy Lowell for this class, which will use Paul K. Chappell‘s book Peaceful Revolution as a guide to explore ideas about unlocking the mysteries of human nature, and how the muscles of hope, empathy, appreciation, conscience, reason, discipline, and curiosity give us the power to end the war.
Paul lays out the evidence and reasoning needed to solve our world’s most serious problems. The teachings from this book will provide the art of living, and through practicing these teachings we can transform our lives into the masterpiece of being fully human. We will then see a spiritually transformed world.
Paul shares the wisdom of others, and from our collective wisdom we will provide the light on the path for those coming along as they do not have to walk in the dark. Be courageous, be bold, be ready… the time has come for you to jump in with both feet!
Workshop: Christian Nonviolence: A Way of Life and Resistance in a Culture of Violence
Sunday, Feb 26, noon-2 p.m.
Based on the work of Fr. John Dear and his book The Nonviolent Life, this workshop with Mary Ellen Quinn will explore the three aspects of living a nonviolent life as taught by Dear: practicing nonviolence toward ourselves; our world, including our planet; and involvement in grassroots actions to bring about peace & nonviolence. The workshop will include a brief presentation and a series of questions for reflection and discussion. Information will be shared about Pax Christi and Campaign Nonviolence.
Presenter Mary Ellen Quinn was raised in an Irish Catholic family in Queens, NY and educated in the Catholic Schools. She always has had a keen interest in social justice and peace and sees Jesus as a model for the practice of nonviolence and social justice as central to his ministry.
Mary Ellen worked in Bangor for the past 35 years as a social worker, primarily working with people who struggle with mental illness and addiction. She has been involved with Pax Christi, the Catholic Peace and Justice Movement, for the past 25 years and has served as Co-Coordinator for the past ten years. She also serves on the Steering Committee at the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine.
Mary Ellen is married to Patrick, her husband of 45 years. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. They moved to Maine from NY in 1976. She enjoys yoga, kayaking, singing, gardening, spending time with family & friends.
Sunday, March 19, noon-2 p.m.
Each of us has a story that is waiting to be told. Join us as we learn together how to listen and how to speak from our hearts, and discover together new insights about ourselves and others.
Guest Speaker and Workshop Presenter Rev. Denise DeSimone
Sunday, April 2
Rev. Denise DeSimone will present the Sunday talk, “Yes, Yes, Yes, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” at our 10 a.m. service.
“Pray Peace,” her powerful multimedia presentation for peace, will be presented during a workshop, noon-1:30 p.m.
The PRAY PEACE Multi-Media Presentation is a compilation of the calming and inspiring words of peace prayers from several different faiths: Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i, African, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and the prayer of St. Francis, spoken while deeply moving and exhilarating music provides a backdrop for Denise’s voice. A voice for peace!
Accompanying the audio is a slide presentation with 85 stunning images of people, places, and situations from around the world. Each person attending the event participates by projecting their energy and intention for peace through the images before them. At the end of the slide presentation we will share a little sound healing music, take a brief time in meditation and then there will be time for Q & A and the sharing of ideas.
Peace on earth is each and everyone’s individual responsibility. When each person lives a peaceful life from the inside out, we will experience peace on the planet. Together we can usher in a new level of peace.
Speaker * Singer * Mentor * Minister
Rev. Denise is a respected author, inspirational speaker, powerful teacher and effective mentor. She has an extensive background in Interfaith Ministry and a wide range of holistic healing practices, including Sound Healing, Reiki and Reflexology. Denise’s extraordinary story of courage, strength, and inspiration in the face of a stage IV cancer diagnosis is chronicled in her first book, From Stage IV to Center Stage.