Oranbega Retreat Center

Oranbega Retreat Center

For All Artists and Pilgrims

Calling all writers, visual artists, creative workers, and spiritual seekers!

Are you seeking a community of support and inspiration to nurture the growth of your art or the depth of your spiritual journey? Come to beautiful coastal Maine and devote a week or two of concentrated time to your creative or spiritual journey at the Oranbega Retreat Center! Here you will find the peaceful haven you need to bring your vision and your life into focus. Your creative journey is important; for many of you, so is your spiritual quest. Here at the Center we seek to nurture both as we offer our Residents and Guests renewal in mind and body, craft and spirit. While the current Residents have deep roots in Quaker and Episcopalian Christian tradition, the Retreat Center is non-denominational and interfaith. In fact, we have no faith expectations of our Guests. We invite you to explore our website and find answers to your questions about who we are and what we can do for you. Most of all we invite you to join us beside “the quiet waters between the rapids” (the meaning of "Oranbega") as together we seek healing and renewal in a welcoming and creative community of friends.

Welcome to Oranbega, to "the quiet water between the rapids."

The Oranbega Retreat Center and its website are both nearly finished and ready to go!  If you run into trouble navigating around the site, please feel free to email the webmaster at webmaster@oranbegacenter.com   

"The rapids" we are all faced with now include the serious situation of the continuing Covid-19 Pandemic. At the Oranbega Retreat Center we are dedicated to making sure that our "quiet waters" are absolutely safe. We follow the directives of the Governor and CDC of Maine as we prepare to welcome guests to stay with us for a week or more at a time or hold special events. We must all do what we can to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, and to protect the health and safety of our neighbors, our guests, and ourselves. Until further notice any retreat we schedule will be a "Social DIstancing Retreat" in which masks will be worn and distances kept between Residents and Guests.   We are convinced we can extend a true welcome and provide a delightful retreat experience for our guests even under these circumstances.

The Opening Ceremonies for Oranbega Retreat Center will take place on August 21, 2020 .  There will be a small in-person bring-your-own picnic and poetry reading in the afternoon, followed by a larger gathering by Zoom in the evening for a National Poets' Day Festival.  We are proud to announce that the former poet Laureate of Maine, Wesley McNair, will be one of the featured poets. The Festival will take place from 7-9 p.m. on the 21st. Register on this site to receive the Zoom invitation for it!  

While we have chosen National Poets' Day as a time to celebrate Oranbega Retreat Center's birth, we regret that we will not be open for retreats until full approval by our local Planning Board. We are in hope that we can begin scheduling overnight retreats by October 1,2020. To schedule a retreat in October, please see our application process and submit your application one month in advance.

So, dear artists and pilgrims all,  we need to all keep waiting and hoping. Meanwhile, please keep us in your heart as you paint, draw, sculpt, write and pray with abandon, and get ready to enjoy the inspiration and the support of building community with us here on the peaceful banks of the Narramissic River.  And please share this with your friends, colleagues and fellow pilgrims!

The Oranbega Mission

building a community of artists helping artists

To these rooms writers and artists come to have a safe, uninterrupted time with a project, to receive the support of other writers and artists, and to pursue their creative goals unencumbered by the need to make dinner, fend off salesmen, or worry about life’s annoying necessities. The Oranbega Center exists to aid these creative pursuits with the resources, staff, and environment to further genuine artistic achievement in an inclusive community.

Human creativity, we believe, is rooted and grounded in the nurture of the human spirit by the Spirit of God. Not all who come to our house will share that belief, and that is fine. We will have no expectation of religious affiliation or faith commitment on the part of those seeking the creative space. They can be of any faith or no faith. They must just be able to be open to and even to enjoy the order of prayer and work that will give the house its structure. The rhythms of prayer, ritual, and meditation of the community are intended to support the peace in which creativity can flower, like a trellis on which roses can bloom.

Discover Oranbega

Programs & Features

Inviting guest rooms. Open spaces. Workshops and Activities. A community and staff of artists with an appreciation for your journey so far. Oranbega Center has much to offer the creative sojourner.

Common Spaces
Well-appointed shared spaces for work or play.
Deep sleep feeds the imagination. Find the rest you need for the work you do in our comfortable rooms.
Events and Activities
Come join Oranbega Retreat Center's special events!

Opening Celebrations

You Are Cordially Invited

The Residents of Oranbega Retreat Center invite you to join us on National Poets' Day, August 21, for the Opening of the Center and a National Poets' Day Poetry Festival!

First Guest Week

We hope to welcome Guests beginning in October, 2020

Oranbega Retreat Center is awaiting Planning Board permission to open for Guests. We anticipate receiving this by October 1, 2020. Thank you for your patience as you seek to begin your retreat experience.

Oranbega Retreat Center
Oranbega Retreat Center
For All Artists and Pilgrims

Our Team

The Residents are the people you'll interact with before, during, and after your stay. Get to know us a little better!

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Reece, MDiv, PhD

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Reece, MDiv, PhD

Retreat Director and Coordinator of Literary Arts

Jenny is a novelist, poet and teacher, and a retired Episcopal priest. After more than 30 years of ministry she is following her dream of building a community of support for women and men dedicated to transforming the world through the arts. Her dream's fulfillment is the Oranbega Retreat Center, a place where writers, visual artists, and all creative workers can find peace, inspiration, and renewal.

Diane Phipps, BA

Diane Phipps, BA

Coordinator of Hospitality

A practicing poet, Diane brings her understanding of the artist’s life to her role as Coordinator of Hospitality for the Oranbega Retreat Center. With years of expertise in hospitality management, Diane facilitates the smooth operation of the Center, from organizing the nutritious and delicious meals to ensuring a clean and comfortable environment, and everything in-between.

Robert Phipps, MFA

Robert Phipps, MFA

Coordinator of Visual Arts & Aesthetics

Robert brings his lifetime of experience in multiple artistic endeavors and disciplines to his role as Coordinator of Visual Arts and Aesthetics. A lifelong Quaker with a commitment to sustainable living, Robert's sincerest pleasure is helping bring an aesthetically satisfying and enriching environment to the Oranbega Retreat Center.