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January 15, 2023

Hi Everyone and Greetings in this New Year! 


It seems like forever since we last met and I, for one, miss our conversations. I am so excited that will be back together on Thursday, January 26th at 6:30 to reconnect. I look forward to learning what you have been thinking about, acting on, reading, hoping for….in these days of climate change. I know that Bob Spencer and Gere O’Donnell have been exploring a potential blog opportunity as a followup from our last conversation and I am sure there are other ideas floating around within you that we can share together. Above all, I am excited to continue the deepening connections we have begun and watching where it will lead us in the “work that reconnects”.


While these are challenging and even scary times, they are also moments that can energize us to bring about important and necessary change.


I look forward to seeing you on the 26th at the Wilkins House at 6:30 p.m.


With gratitude, 



November 4, 2022 

Dear Active Hope Friends: 


I am filled with gratitude that we have taken this journey through our book study together. The depth of sharing has been so enriching and encouraging. There is much we can do individually and collectively! I am eager to continue the journey with each of you. 


As I understood it, we spoke of two avenues forward. One, to continue meeting together as a group every 6 weeks of so (we’ll have to see where that lands us on holidays, etc) and second, broaden our reach to invite others into conversations with us about how we all can work together to make positive change a reality in our communities. Out of these ideas came the thought of a blog that could not only connect us, to the latest that is going on and ideas worth sharing, but also reach a wider audience. 


We talked about regathering as a group in January since there will be a program on December 13th from 6-7 p.m. in the Wilkins House about Efficiency Maine. I will share more about the program as I learn more in the next week or two and then hopefully you can help spread the word. Also, please look at your calendars about a date in January that would work to regather and let me know. I know there doodle polls that help in this process, but I don’t know how to set one up. So for the moment we can do it the old way via email and I will compile the results. :-) 


Joe, Aurelia, and Ginny H. we look forward to keeping you up to date on what is happening here in Maine and hope that you will continue to connect with us over the winter. Let us know what you are up to. 


Finally, here is the link for A Climate to Thrive that is happening on Mount Desert Island here in Maine. Their climate work is so inspiring and perhaps there is something they are doing that triggers thoughts for our group.  

A Climate to Thrive


Remember our spiral for the Work That Reconnects. No doubt we will find ourselves on occasion back and forth in the process, but last evening’s gathering gave me so much hope as we Go Forth to be and share.


Filled with gratitude and hope, 


October 31, 2022

Dear Active Hope Friends:

This week is the final session of our book study. It has been such a wonderful experience to share with each of you. We look forward to remaining in contact in the future.

At the end of our terrific discussion last week we asked you to do things before our next session. The first, was to do something small or large that helps to make positive change for our environment. The second, was to consider how you would like to see us stay connected.

Enjoy these beautiful days!

With gratitude,


October 21, 2023

Dear Active Hope Friends,

What terrific conversations we had last evening! Among them, we shared that seeing with new eyes, as Joanna Macy points out, allows us to move from powerlessness to discovering strength through power with one another. We are not alone in our work to address the climate crisis. That is so apparent in the very essence of our gathering as we share what we are feeling and what we can do to make a difference.

In this short time together there has been a wonderful openness and sharing that saying goodbye to Aurelia and Joe as they head to Rhode Island for the winter months, leaves an empty space in our gatherings. Similarly, as we look to complete our book study in just two more weeks, it is apparent that our conversations and work needs to go on in some fashion. In that light, we hope you will come with ideas about what might be meaningful for you in the days ahead that our working together and supporting one another does not come to an end. We need one another and more to join our work.

We look forward to next Thursday evening. It is such a blessing to be together in the great work before us.   

With gratitude,

Doretta, Paula and Sam

October 14, 2022

Dear Active Hope Friends,

We offer our gratitude for last evening’s session in which each of you added special significance to our gathering around what it means to honor our pain. Perhaps the word “honor” throws us off a bit. Essentially, it is about choosing not to turn away, but rather to face our grief, see it as it is, feel the hurt and through it begin to see with new eyes. It is not easy, but it is essential in moving forward. It is the work that reconnects us.

The last line of chapter 4 in Active Hope reads that moving through the pain of loss we discover “a wider sense of self, a different kind of power, a richer experience of community, and a larger view of time.” These are where our conversations will begin to lead us next week.

Our reading is chapters 7 & 8.

A reminder that the Community Potluck Supper will be at the Wilkins House on Thursday the 20th beginning at 6:00 if you would like to attend before our book study at 6:30 in the church.

With gratitude for your commitment to journey together,

Doretta, Paula, and Sam

Below is the article that captures what we spoke about regarding the loss of animal life since the 70’s. 


At WWF, we use science to better understand our natural world—and the impact humans are having on it—so that we can do our best to protect it.

We've just released our latest Living Planet Report, and it has some staggering news: on average, wildlife populations have plummeted by 69% since 1970. We need to take urgent action to reverse nature loss.

In its most comprehensive study to date, this year's Living Planet Report analyzes over 32,000 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians and measures how they are responding to pressures in their environment.

We invite you to discover why we are losing nature, where biodiversity loss is greatest, and what you can do to help.  

Explore the findings  ►

October 7, 2022

Dear Active Hope Friends, 


Last evening was yet another wonderful time of sharing as we connected with one another in deeper conversation. While there is much to weigh us down as we look at the heaviness of daily news and environmental realities, beginning with gratitude offers a powerful platform upon which we can build our strength, perseverance and commitment to positive change. Our hope is that from our time together we will work to strengthen our “gratitude muscles” and incorporate them into our daily practices. 


      "Gratitude opens us to joy, but also to tenderness as we become aware of the fragility of all that we love. Practicing gratitude also prepares us for the next stage of the spiral (“honoring our pain for the world”).  We stretch up, into the wonders of appreciation, in preparation for stretching down, into the depths of our feelings for life.  By stretching in these 2 directions, we are more fully inhabiting life.  We are, therefore, more ready to see things anew, and to act towards our hopes.”


      We look forward to seeing you next week for session 3 on Honoring our Pain for the World. Reading Chapters 5 & 6. Please note that we will be meeting at the church because of another event at the Wilkins House that evening. 


      Here are some thoughts to consider this week:


      When I think about the condition of our world, I would say things are getting….

      Some concerns I have include…

      Some feelings that come up when I think about these are…

      What I do with these feelings is…


     Have a fruitful week, 


     With gratitude, 

     Doretta, Paula and Sam


Below is the excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s poem that I read last evening – An Ode We Owe” 


“An Ode We Owe”
By Amanda Gorman

This is the most pressing truth:
That our people have only one planet to call home
And our planet has only one people to call its own.
We can either divide and be conquered by the few,
Or we can decide to conquer the future,
And say that today a new dawn we wrote,
Say that as long as we have humanity,
We will forever have hope.
Together, we won’t just be the generation
That tries but the generation that triumphs;
Let us see a legacy
Where tomorrow is not driven
By the human condition,
But by our human conviction.
And while hope alone can’t save us now,
With it we can brave the now,
Because our hardest change hinges
On our darkest challenges.
Thus may our crisis be our cry, our crossroad,
The oldest ode we owe each other.
We chime it, for the climate,
For our communities.
We shall respect and protect
Every part of this planet,
Hand it to every heart on this earth,
Until no one’s worth is rendered
By the race, gender, class, or identity
They were born. This morn let it be sworn
That we are one human kin,
Grounded not just by the griefs
We bear, but by the good we begin.
To anyone out there:
I only ask that you care before it’s too late,
That you live aware and awake,
That you lead with love in hours of hate.
I challenge you to heed this call,
I dare you to shape our fate.
Above all, I dare you to do good
So that the world might be great

September 30, 2022

Dear Active Hope Friends,

What a wonderful first evening we had together! The richness of sharing and thought were heartwarming as we began this journey together. The significance of connection was palpable as we expressed our common loves and worries, as well as touched on questions and wonderings that we seek to better understand.

We have committed to gather with open minds, generous listening, and respectful dialogue to name a few of our agreements in setting an atmosphere of learning with and from one another. As was so eloquently spoken in varying forms as we individually shared, the value of community, the strength of interconnection, and the appreciation for our natural world are the common threads that weave us together with purpose and hope for a better future for Earth and all of its inhabitants – human and nonhuman.

For those who were unable to be with us at our first evening together, we look forward to your joining us next week as we talk about what it means to face the challenges before us by beginning with gratitude. We start there because a posture of gratitude better prepares us in facing the disturbing realities of our world and motivates us to respond in meaningful ways to bring about change.

If you are still in search of the book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, you should be able to order it from our local bookstores – Bridgton Books or The Tribune in Norway. It can also be ordered new or used through Amazon or purchased as an e-book through Kindle.

With deep gratitude,

Doretta, Paula and Sam

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