Sunday

Backpacks for School, 10:30 a.m., Next Level Church is offering a free giveaway of more than 300 backpacks to families in the Portland community who are in need of basic school supplies. The event will take place at the church at 1053 Forest Ave. Portland. Register at www.nlc.tv/freebackpacks.

Thursday

“21st Century Responsibilities: Being an American Citizen in These Politically Volatile Times,” 7 p.m., talk by Eliot Cutler, former independent Maine gubernatorial candidate. Free and open to the public. Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow St., Rockland. Call 594-4523 for details.

Friday

Taize worship, 7 p.m., service of reflection and meditation open to all. First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport, 141 North St., For details, call 967-3897 or visit www.firstchurchkennebunkport.com.

Saturday

“The Path of Compassion and Wisdom: Finding a Happy and Meaningful Life,” 2 to 3 p.m., talk by American Buddhist monk Kelsang Pawo. The program is free and will be held at One Longfellow Square, Portland. All are welcome. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call (508) 979-8277 or visit www.meditationinmaine.org.

Saturday and Sunday

Convocation Weekend will be held at the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, which is celebrating its 10th year of training and ordaining interfaith community ministers. The school offers an intensive two-year chaplaincy program and weekend sessions are held during the year and are open to the public. For more information, call Dean Angie Arndt at 347-6740.

Coming up

Financial Peace University, nine-week program created by Dave Ramsey begins Sept. 16. A free preview will held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at South Gorham Baptist Church, 53 County Road. The cost for the class is $95 per family and includes books, CDs and membership to Ramsey’s web resources. For more information, go to www.sogobap.com or call 839-3457.

Sharon (Mass.) Concert Band, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sept. 9, outdoor performance presented by First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport and held at the Consolidated School. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. The rain location will be in the school gym. Donations to the Wounded Warrior Project will be accepted as admission and active-duty military attend free. For more information, visit www.firstchurchkennebunkport.com.

Other

Ellen Schoepf has been ordained as associate pastor at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in Portland. She will lead the church’s Music Ministry, Worship and Children’s Ministry and head up a new Social Justice Ministry Team. She received her master of divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. She has more than 30 years of experience as an organist and lives in Gorham with her husband.