Current Year

The 2018 Nevola Symposium on Spirituality and Health will be held Tuesday, June 19,  at Colby College in Waterville ME.

This year’s theme is Civil discourse: The outward and inward work of bridging divides and finding peace in the face of differences.

We will present this year’s symposium in collaboration with the National Institute for Civil Discourse, and our keynote presenter will be the NICD Executive Director, Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, PhD.

The Symposium

We live in a time when the everyday differences and occasional woundedness and estrangement among people has been magnified by a toxic environment of polarization.  Given the pivotal importance of meaningful and harmonious relationships to health and well-being, we see this separateness and estrangement as a significant spiritual and public health issue.  So, how do we…

  • best engage difficult conversations with other people?
  • relate to people… patients, and anyone else… who have very different values?
  • balance compassionate understanding and forthrightness?
  • orchestrate or support reconciliation among estranged people?
  • find peace within ourselves as we experience powerful feelings about differences… and, perhaps, allow those feelings to energize meaningful action?

We will feature large-group sessions, 15 interactive workshops, and our customary good food, music, exhibits, and book sales.  As always, a great opportunity for meaningful personal experiences, networking and personal refreshment!  Workshop details and registration form may be found in the  Nevola 2018 Brochure. To register, please download the form in the brochure and send it in as described.

About NICD

The National Institute for Civil Discourse (, is a nonpartisan center, based at the University of Arizona, that engages conversation, research, and advocacy about constructive dialogue in public and private arenas.  It was begun as a collaborative effort in the Tucson community in the wake of the Gabby Giffords shootings.  Along with Ms. Giffords, its board of directors and advisors include Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor, Colin Powell, Robert Reich, Olympia Snowe, Scott Simon, and a remarkable collection of other people from government, business and charitable organizations.

NICD has developed a number of initiatives to promote civil dialogue and constructive discourse.  An especially creative example is an automated text-messaging training program that helps to structure dialogue among friends or neighbors who hold divergent positions about important issues.  Another of their initiatives is a website that provides specific tools, discussion guides, and resources that anyone can download, that have been created to support communities that want to revive civility.  See  Notably, Maine is one of four states nationally in which NICD has focused their community initiatives.  More details to come.

Dr. Lukensmeyer is a nationally-prominent leader in the work of bringing people together for thoughtful and honorable dialogue.  She previously served as Founder and President of AmericaSpeaks, an award-winning nonprofit organization that promoted nonpartisan initiatives to engage citizens and leaders through the development of innovative public policy tools and strategies. During her tenure, AmericaSpeaks engaged more than 165,000 people and hosted events across all 50 states and throughout the world. Dr. Lukensmeyer formerly served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from 1993-94 and on the National Performance Review where she steered internal management and oversaw government-wide reforms. She was the Chief of Staff to Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste from 1986-91, becoming the first woman to serve in this capacity. She earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

Hope to see you at the 2018 Nevola Symposium!

Best regards,



Frederic C. Craigie, Jr., PhD
Psychologist/Consulting Faculty, Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency
Visiting Associate Professor, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine, Giesel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

[updated 4-10-2018]