Rev. John Bell, celebrated preacher, hymn writer, song leader, and inspiring member of the Iona Community in Scotland, will be visiting Maine from March 25-29.

Rev. Bell will visit several church communities, leading a variety of workshops over five days and a Sunday morning worship service on March 27 at the First Congregational Church of Camden. Bell will share his messages through singing and exploring various dimensions of faithful and engaged living. All events are open to the public (free with offering), and several require pre-registration.

Read individual listings for instructions. For more information on events and local COVID protocols, and Zoom invites to specific events, contact each host.

Belfast — A Celtic Christian view of creation 

Friday, March 25, 2022, in-person from 6-8 p.m. at The First Church in Belfast at 104 Church St.

The Celtic tradition in Christianity began in Ireland and quickly spread to Scotland, Wales and England between the fourth and sixth centuries. It had — and still has — a distinctive understanding regarding the relationship between humanity and the earth, closely associated with its understanding of the Incarnation as more than a baby fest.

This seminar looks at how the insights from this ancient tradition bear relevance to the way in which we relate to the world today, and will draw on poetry and prose both ancient and modern.

For more information, email office@firstchurchinbelfast.org or call 207-338-2282.

Rockland — Ancient Celtic gifts from modern times

Saturday, March 26, 2022, in-person and on Zoom from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland (11 White Street).

The Celtic tradition developed in the British Isles between the fourth and sixth centuries. It had minimal contact with the Roman church and therefore was able to develop some distinct characteristics which are pertinent to the life of the church today. These include a relational rather than academic understanding of the Bible, a comprehensive pattern of daily prayer, and a high valuing of lay leadership.

In this seminar, we explore how some of these insights can enliven both our personal spirituality and the church’s worship.

For more information, email office.stpetersrockland@gmail.com or call 207-594-8191.

Camden — Big sing — A time of song and stories

In-person and on Zoom Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 4-6 p.m. at First Congregational Church (55 Elm Street). In-person preregistration required. For more information, contact becky@camdenucc.org or call 207-236-4821.

Everybody can sing. This is John’s Bell’s consistent claim when faced with people who have been consigned to silence by the memory of a sadistic choir director who told them to mime. There will be new songs and old songs, songs from around the globe, songs which don’t need music and songs for the seasons of Lent and Easter. Oh, and a lot of stories.

Camden — The love of God and global warming 

In-person John Bell preaching in Sunday morning worship and on Zoom Sunday, March 27, 2022, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church (55 Elm Street).

In person and Zoom workshop from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church.

Why is it only recently the Christian Churches have taken note of Global Warming? Is there anything specific which the Judeo-Christian tradition has to offer to the debate? And why should we bother anyway? These and other issues will be unpacked in this workshop.

For more information, email becky@camdenucc.org or call 207-236-4821.

Bar Harbor — Sacred Spaces and Thin Places: a conversation on creation care with John Bell

This is not a public event; recording will be made available later. Event runs from 10 a.m. to noon in Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor — Missing women in scripture

In person and on Zoom Monday, March 28, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Bar Harbor Congregational Church (29. Mt. Desert Street).

The notion has crept through the centuries when God made women, they were intended to be models of obedience, meekness, motherliness and calm. Finding such women in the Bible is rather difficult. But of brave, defiant, controversial, transformative women there are many examples. Is it just there hasn’t been enough time to learn about them? Or have they been too hot for men to handle?

For more information, email office@barharborucc.org or call 207-288-3280.

Farmington — Improving congregational song

In person and on Zoom Tuesday, March 29, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. at Old South Church Farmington (235 Maine Street). Preregistration required.

The primary voice of praise in the church is not the organ pipes or the practice choir, but the congregation. That’s why Psalm 100 demands “all people” should sing. But not much time is normally given to enabling a congregation to sing or to increase its repertoire. Such things are two of John Bell’s passions which he will be keen to share with people who know they can sing and with those who think they cannot.

For more information, email RevMarraine@farmingtonucc.org or call 207-778-0424.

John Bell at piano.

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