ROCKLAND — The Community Speakers Series organized by the Pastoral Care Committee at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland is offering another program titled “Opening to Grace.”  The program will be Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. via Zoom. Presenters will be Rev. Abby Pettee and Dr. Kirsten Staples.

To describe the program, the presenters share this quote from Anne Lamott’s Travelling Mercies, Some Thoughts on Faith: “Grace meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.” Through conversational sharing and discussion we will consider how significant health events and grief can be a catalyst for opening to and receiving grace.

Rev. Pettee, ordained in the Episcopal tradition, has served for the past 10 years as lead chaplain, through the spiritual care services department at Pen Bay Medical Center. She is part of an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers, on behalf of holistic well-being. She values ecumenism and interfaith dialog on behalf of helping to cultivate safe and empowering opportunities for learning from one another, and partnering. Prior to healthcare chaplaincy, Rev. Pettee was an inner city mental health care provider and advocate. She has a passion for folks who find themselves on the margins of our society because of mental health difference, and stigmatization. She enjoyed studying recently at Boston College because of Jesuit values being deeply embedded into her coursework.  Service to others and care for the whole person was emphasized.

Staples, MD is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has practiced at Pen Bay Medical Center for 20 years. She earned her medical degree at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. She was drawn to the University of Rochester’s focus on the biopsychosocial model of caring for patients. After completing her internal medicine residency training, she and her husband moved to midcoast Maine. She had the privilege of caring for primary care patients here in Knox county for 18 years before transitioning to caring for patients in the hospital. She currently is a hospitalist at Pen Bay Medical Center and values working with interdisciplinary teams including spiritual care.    

There will be a time of open sharing followed by a short concluding discussion.

Future programs will cover end of life issues, family conversations, memory and cognitive decline. These topics surround difficult and sensitive issues that are important but often avoided in conversations even with close family members. Future dates in 2021 will be announced later.

The programs are free and open to the public. Please see the “Latest News” announcements at www.stpetersrockland.org to participate.