Interfaith Chaplaincy

Forum on Civil Discourse Fills Talbot Hall

On Thursday evening, September 20th, nearly 200 people filled the Talbot Auditorium to hear and discuss ideas around civil discourse among people of faith who disagree. The maine Council of Churches sponsored the event, whose immediate focus was on this November's ballot iniative to permit same sex couples to receive marriage licenses, but the far-reaching issue of civil and fruitful discussion across disagreement will remain critical.  Participants were invited to consider signing a Covenant for Civil Discourse which commits the signer "to act respectfully toward others, including those who oppose me in public debate, adn to attempt to understand others' points of view... to refrain from personal attacks, while maintaining the right to vigorously disagree, to refrain from making statements which characterize my opponents as evil, to refuse to make untrue statement in defense of my own position, to value honesty, trusth, and civility while striving to find workable solutions, and to expect any person, party, campaign, or organization working on my behalf, or to whom Icontribute money, to meet these same standards for civil discouse."  The Maine Council of Churches, sponsor of Thursday's event, has asked all candidates for elected office in Maine to sign the Covenant for Civil Discourse.  For more information:

Religious and Spiritual Life Updates - Fall 2013

Religious and Spiritual Life Updates - Fall 2013


With the recent retirement of Andrea Thompson McCall, there have been some changes with USM's Religious and Spiritual Life program (previously known as the Interfaith Chaplaincy).

Previously located in the historic Deering Farmhouse at 23 Brighton Ave, the program is now housed within Portland Student Life in the Woodbury Campus Center.  The chaplains and advisors have formed the Religious and Spiritual Life Council, chaired by Rabbi Hillel Katzir and Rev. Rus Willette.  Sarah Holmes, Assistant Director for Student Life and Diversity, will be serving as the administrative liaison for the Council.

Additionally, there is a new meditation and interfaith prayer room in Portland Student Life, that students, faculty, and staff may access during regular business hours.

Any help that you could provide in helping students connect with our programs in our new home, would be greatly appreciated.


Sarah Holmes, Administrative Liasion

Rabbi Hillel Katzir and Rev. Rus Willette, Council Co-Chairs