Faith & Renewal

Classes and Other Adult Education Opportunities

The Faith & Renewal Committee encourages the personal, spiritual, ethical, and intellectual growth of the congregation and the larger community. We coordinate activities and events that represent the diversity of UU perspectives and interests.


We run a wide range of free programs for adults in person at the church and outdoors, on the internet, and on Zoom. You do not need to be a member of the church to participate in most. Watch this link for our latest offerings. 

Faith and Renewal Winter 2021 Term

"Jumpstart Your Writing in the New Year” via Zoom Saturday, 1/16, 10 – 12:30. To register, Linda Buckmaster,

 Are you making a New Year’s resolution to work more on your writing? Perhaps you have a writing project that is stalled, or a great idea you just can’t get started. This one-day workshop is for anyone with any writing experience (or none) who is anxious to get to work on poetry, essay, nonfiction, memoir, fiction, or just messing around with words. We will focus on the process of writing as well as the product. 


“Embracing the Unknown” Via Zoom Mondays 10 – 11:30, 1/18 – 2/15. To register- Jacquie Robb,

 Can we prepare for the unknown? Join Jacquie Robb and Nancy McAlley as they take us on a journey to explore the unknown and sometimes fearful subject of death. Through exploration of issues relating to the end of life, Jacquie and Nancy are hoping to make the prospect of death less scary for all of us. We will have fun while exploring issues such as: wills and trusts; legacy work; advance directives; dementia issues; funeral/memorial planning; home funerals and green burials and related topics of interest. 


“Transforming Health Together” Via Zoom Thursdays 6 – 8 pm, 1/21 – 2/4 plus 2/18. To register, Lake Quatrale,

 This workshop will weave together sharing of personal health stories, digesting wellness resources, implementing healthy practices/goals, and group support.  This discussion group will honor the UU Principal 1, The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person, by creating a covenant to revere and respect each other and ourselves. We’ll celebrate the gifts and challenges of being human by cherishing and healing our minds, bodies, and souls.


“Big Open Heart” Via zoom Fridays 10 – 11:30, 1/22-2/19. To register-- Bob Huber,

 This workshop will cover a wide range of Buddhist practices for having a ‘Big Open Heart’ in our everyday life. We will cover basic Buddhist meditation practice, loving kindness meditation, tonglen meditation, the fundamentals of visualization practice and read some recently translated poetry written by Buddhist nuns 2,500 years ago. Perhaps we will write some of our own. All of these practices are to help to stay, to 

be able to remain in the places that scare us, to love and serve others with joy and compassion.


“Conflict Transformation Skills in a Time of Transition” Via Zoom Mondays 1-3 pm, 2/22-3/15. To register –Joanne Boynton,

Moving from the dark days of winter into the light of the Spring Equinox is a good time to

renew and strengthen our relational skills. The course will offer both practical skills for preventing and resolving conflicts, as well as time to connect with deeper spiritual growth. What have you learned during the dark time of Pandemic to guide you as you look toward the light of Spring? An advance selection of readings will be provided.





Hello and welcome to a remote experience of a Forest Bathing Retreat. I’m your facilitator, Linda Buckmaster, and am a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, which is sponsoring this program. I will be using materials from the book, Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees by Hannah Fries. 


Here is a definition of “forest bathing” written by Robin Wall Kimmerer in the “Forward.” (Some of you will know of Kimmerer as the author of Braiding Sweetgrass.} She says:

The name “forest bathing” arose from an understanding of the deep therapeutic benefits, both physical and spiritual, of being in the company of trees. It is a translation of the Japanese term shinrin-yoku, coined in the 1980s as a form of forest therapy to treat the many ailments which arise from urban life, calendars full of stress, and pavement beneath our feet.”


Fries writes:

“(Forest Bathing) does not involve water (unless you feel inclined to dip yourself in a stream or pond, in which case, by all means!), and it does not require strenuous exercise . . . Think, rather, of a slow, leisurely stroll, a pace that gives you time to notice small things, like a caterpillar crawling across a leaf or the unique scent of a pine forest – time to open your senses to the world around you. ‘Attention is the beginning of devotion,’ wrote Mary Oliver. . . . And as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote ‘In the woods, we return to reason and to faith.’”


This forest bathing experience is a bit of an experiment since it would be difficult to do this in a group on a narrow woods path during this social distancing time. The experiment is to do it remotely. Here’s how it will work: I will record a session for each of three weeks starting Friday, October 9. It will be posted by 4 p.m. each Friday. If you listen to a session straight through, it will take about 15 minutes, and listening to it at home would be a guided visualization.


The idea, though, is that you have the audio on your phone or other device and take it into the woods of your choice at a time during the week that works for you. At various points in the recording, I will invite you to stop the recoding and just absorb the activity until you are ready to start again. I am imagining that the experience might take 45 minutes or so. But who knows – It’s an experiment!


The last session on October 30 will be a zoom session to talk about our experiences. You may come to any or all of the sessions, and they will stay posted for a while. If you have any questions, get in touch with me at Registration is not required.


I’m looking forward to walking with you.

Intro Session:

Session 1:

Session 2:

Forest BathingLinda Buckmaster
00:00 / 03:14
Forest Bathing session 1Linda Buckmaster
00:00 / 14:06
Forest Bathing session 2Linda Buckmaster
00:00 / 13:33

Minister: Rev. Amy Fiorilli


Phone: 207-930-0007


Collaborative Ministerial Intern:

Bettina Lehovec

Office Administrator: Cayla Miller


Phone: 207-338-4482

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