Penboscot Bay Press Compass Logo

Penobscot Bay Press
Community Information Services

News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Compass, March 13, 2014
Spiritual Life Conference to include internationally acclaimed speaker

Downeast Spiritual Life Conference names headline speaker

Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell, an ordained Church of Scotland minister and current Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Center in New Mexico headlines the Downeast Spiritual Life Conference, held in Castine, Maine in July, 2014.

Photo courtesy of St. Francis by the Sea

“This year’s Downeast Spiritual Life Conference will be headlined by one of the world’s most prominent spirituality teachers,” the Rev. Claudia Smith announced in a news release. “We are thrilled that Celtic scholar, peacemaker and poet John Philip Newell has accepted an invitation to speak at our July conference.”

The Rev. Smith is Rector at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church whose Spiritual Life and Learning Center sponsors ecumenical conferences on spiritual matters. The two-day 2014 conference is July 11-12 at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and titled: “Rebirthing the Divine with John Philip Newell: The Sprit, the Earth and the Human Soul.”

Newell is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for peace in the world and among the great wisdom traditions of humanity through ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, since 2006 he has been Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Center of Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in the high desert of New Mexico.

Acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality and its contemporary revival, Newell has authored over 15 books, including A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul, from which the conference takes its inspiration. For complete information about all the speakers and activities, or to register for the conference, go to