International Poet, Peacemaker and Celtic Scholar to Visit CT During 2015 National Tour

Madison, CT, August 12, 2015 --( Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell, internationally recognized author, peace advocate and Celtic scholar, will be leading a weekend interfaith retreat at Mercy By The Sea Retreat and Conference Center, October 30-November 1.

His appearance is part of his 2015 United States tour and will offer presentations drawn from his most recent book, The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings.

Newell is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and is best-known as the former Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, an international site for retreats and pilgrimages. Building on his extensive work in the field of interfaith relationships, he engages with a wide variety of beliefs, ideas and experiences to consider, “what is trying to be born that requires a radical reorientation of our vision.”

“Western Christianity is experiencing change,” recognizes Newell, “that can only be described as seismic.” During the weekend, he will consider the contributions of international spiritual leaders, ecologists and nonviolent peace activists in helping to shape, “the new thing that is trying to emerge from deep within us.”

Central to his teaching is the need to unite around new efforts to care for the natural world. “We must usher in a radical rebirth of our relationship with the earth and its creatures if we are to thrive,” according to Newell.

Each year Newell divides his time writing and speaking between Edinburgh and the United States. He is Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Center of Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in the high desert of New Mexico, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver. In 2011 Newell launched the interfaith Praying for Peace Initiative in New Mexico to nurture greater relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He also helped to found Salva Terra: A Vision Towards Earth’s Healing ( In November 2011 the Shalem Institute (Washington, D.C.) presented him with the Contemplative Voices Award to recognize his work in spirituality and peacemaking. Newell has authored over 15 books, including Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, and A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul.

For more details and reservations, visit; or call (203) 245-0401. Limited scholarships are available particularly for students. Please inquire by phone.

Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center is located in Madison, CT, along the Long Island Sound. A sponsored work of the Sisters of Mercy of the Northeast, the Center’s programming is grounded in the community’s tradition of discerning and serving critical unmet needs of its particular time and place. Day and weekend programs include creative expressions of the Spirit, contemplative practices, sustainable co-creation, finding the sacred in the everydayness of life, and human development.

Contact: Claire Rusowicz;; (203)245-0401 ext.115
Mercy by the Sea
Darlene Ferris
Claire Rusowicz