First Congregational Church

Camden, Maine

An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Belovedness: Henri Nouwen on Heartful Living & the Soul of Community

A Morning Retreat with Robert Jonas

Saturday, April 2, 9am–1pm
at the First Congregational Church (UCC) of Camden and via Zoom

Training in CompassionThis morning retreat takes as its inspiration the teachings of Henri Nouwen (1932–1996), one of the most insightful and inspiring teachers of our times. A widely-respected teacher, Roman Catholic priest, counselor, and bestselling author, his writings explore Jesus’ message of "belovedness,” from the deepest wellsprings of our psyches to the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and on into the center of vibrant, healthy communities. Drawing on his close friendship with Nouwen, Dr. Robert Jonas, founder and director of the Empty Bell, a Christian-Buddhist sanctuary, will lead us as we reflect on Nouwen’s key teachings. Our time together will include presentations and stories about Nouwen’s spiritual vision and about Dr. Jonas's friendship with Nouwen. Along the way, we'll share silent meditation, prayer, dialogue, and a short video of Nouwen as he preached on the topic of our essential and ultimate belovedness.

Robert A. Jonas

About the Facilitator

Robert A. Jonas, M.T.S. Ed.D. is the author of The Essential Henri Nouwen, (Shambhala Publications), as well as Henri Nouwen (Orbis) and Rebecca (Crossroad). His new book, My Dear Far-Nearness (2022), explores the teaching on the trinity as three dimensions of awareness. Dr. Jonas is the director of The Empty Bell, a contemplative sanctuary in Northampton, MA, whose website ( ) is an extraordinary resource for contemplative Christians and for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Trained as a psychotherapist, Dr. Jonas is now a retreat leader, author, video artist, musician and environmental steward. Jonas is a past Board member of the Henri Nouwen Society and a member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies and the Eckhart Society. He works with land trusts in western MA to permanently protect wildlife habitats.

To Register: contact Becky Brace, church administrator, at, or call the church office at (207) 236-4821.

Kindly specify whether you are requesting a Zoom link to participate "virtually,” or intend to join the retreat at the church (depending on the church’s accessibility at the time of this event).

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