Eco Grief Circle

Offered collaboratively with the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

Seven Mondays, starting February 7, 2022, 7:00 - 8:15 pm ET

We know from experience the power of gathering in small groups, and so we are co-offering Eco Grief Circles in collaboration with our friends at the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. This series of seven weekly, facilitated online groups are designed to offer time and space for the ecological and climate losses we are all experiencing, but not necessarily expressing. We do this so we may have company in our grief, share rituals and practices that help us to move through these feelings — and so rededicate ourselves to the work of planetary healing and health.  
 
Eco Grief Circles are designed to offer mutual support, healing, insight, and love, though are not intended to be therapy. Participants have expressed profound gratitude for being among people who could talk honestly about grief, suffering, and the ecological and social challenges of our time. The leadership team and facilitators include counselors, pastors, and environmental advocates. Each session includes a brief teaching, opportunities for individual reflection and meditation, conversation in small groups, and rituals for self-care. 
 

Lament with Earth

Five seasonal events honoring the pain of loss through the liturgical year

Thursday, February 10 • 7:30-8:30 pm (Eastern) • Online

Heart of Winter Event: Via Creativa, with the Element of Earth
 
In the winter, even as the natural world looks so lifeless, there is also the reality that creative things are going on which we cannot see.  Sap is rising in the trees which look dead, and bulbs and seeds are swelling under the ground which looks barren.  We, too, are invited to seek, in the words of Matthew Fox, "the fertile moments in our lives when we find creative expression, and put words to our joy and suffering of our existence. Freeing creativity helps us to move beyond our sorrow or stagnation." Right now, the climate crisis certainly looks bleak - the damage which has been done is “baked in” to the future - this is true. And yet, there is an extraordinary amount of creativity, and life force, alive and working to save what can be saved, and to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures, sea level rise, massive migrations, and other profound effects of the climate crisis.  
 
To create space for these feelings, The BTS Center has teamed up with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists to create Lament with Earth — five seasonal events which will include original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture and videos to reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. These events will be interactive, inviting you to pray and sing along. You are invited to bring your own sense of loss and sadness. We will lament together, and also share that which has been a balm to our grief, strengthening us for the work we know awaits us.  
 

Spiritual Leadership for a Climate-Changed World

Spring 2022
A Joint Course Offering from The BTS Center and the Maine School of Ministry

Climate change is no longer the science community’s prediction for the future — we are now living in a climate-changed world. This reality raises provocative questions, challenges, and responsibilities, especially for people whose worldview has been formed by a Western perspective, and in particular for spiritual leaders. We are pleased to be offering this course in partnership with the Maine School of Ministry as an opportunity for spiritual leaders in the Global North to engage those questions, navigate those challenges, and embrace those responsibilities in their particular contexts. 

Over the course of four months, students will engage assigned readings and other multimedia resources, form and share personal reflections, participate in four day-long facilitated sessions featuring guest presenters, and complete a final project. This course is designed for self-directed students whose learning needs are related to their professional roles as ministers — ordained and non-ordained, clergy and laypersons, leaders of traditional religious communities and other communities of practice. 

 

Research Collaborative

The BTS Center Research Collaborative will convene a cross-sector group of leaders from organizations across northern New England to explore the question, “How would organizations act differently today if they embodied an ecological imagination?
We believe that climate devastation is not merely a problem for scientists and activists, but a symptom of the foundational cultural and spiritual structures of our society. If systems like consumer capitalism, industrial modernity, and colonial domination are the root causes of our current crisis,  then every organization has something important to offer in this moment. We are gathering organizational partners who share our hope for a new way of embodying the best version of ourselves in response to our planet’s deep need and who reflect the earth’s wisdom in their day-to-day life and work.
 

Introducing our new LEADERSHIP COMMONS

Welcome to The BTS Center's new Leadership Commons, a space where we are developing new content, and gathering materials adapted from past programs, to help equip faith leaders in the work of guiding communities of spiritual practice through the uncertainties of life on a changing planet. Our Director of Partnerships & Formation, Aram Mitchell, invites you to share your feedback, learnings, and success stories along the way.
 

 

Would you believe me if I told you we were the forerunners a great spiritual renewal? What if I said this renewal would change our global culture at the end of this century? That it will see the emergence of a new mysticism in contrast to technology and a strong social conscience of sustainability and justice. We are at the very beginning of this movement. We will not all live to see its first moments of birth, but we will have the joy of knowing that we were the shoulders on which others stood to make it a reality. History will show that what we did today to lift up an open-minded spirituality, welcoming to all people, made a difference. Our choice to stand together, to advocate for justice, and to heal this planet will be recognized as the breakthrough. Because we did not give up, they excelled. Would you believe me if I told you that?
 
— Bishop Steven Charleston, retired Bishop of the Episcopal
Diocese of Alaska and elder in the Choctaw Nation

 


Announcements

 
  • The BTS Center is pleased to welcome Rev. Ash Temin to its staff team, serving in the role of Communications Manager. Ash has been collaborating with The BTS Center over the past several weeks as a program consultant, assisting with some fall programming, and she officially assumes this new role effective October 25. Learn more …
  • If you attended Convocation 2021, you’ll remember some really sacred moments as our Convocation music leader, Pax Ressler, shared their original song, “The Soil,” commissioned by The BTS Center especially for this year’s Convocation — “We Are God’s Soil: Spiritual Leadership in a Climate-Changed World.”
    Several of you have asked for sheet music, and with special thanks to Pax, now it’s available — and not only sheet music, but a lead sheet, a lyrics sheet, and an mp3 recording — all free for download here.
  • We are delighted to announce the six recipients of From What Is to What If Micro-Grants. Each of these grants will help a community of faith try something new, lay the groundwork for further innovation, and help to fire the imaginations of others. Learn more …
  • Learn more about our Research Collaborative program!
  • Introducing our new LEADERSHIP COMMONS: Welcome to The BTS Center’s new Leadership Commons, a space where we are developing new content, and gathering materials adapted from past programs, to help equip faith leaders in the work of guiding communities of spiritual practice through the uncertainties of life on a changing planet.

Twitter

Join us today at 12:15 pm ET for a public reading of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” We hope to see you there.
Details at https://thebtscenter.org/committed-to-listen-2022/

Join us one week from today, when we host our second annual Committed to Listen event for MLK Day, in collaboration with the Maine Council of Churches and @AtlanticBlckBx. For more information and to register: https://thebtscenter.org/committed-to-listen-2022/

There is still time to register for our Wildness and Spirituality Course which starts January 15th! Taught by our very own Director of Partnerships and Formation, Aram Mitchell, in collaboration with the School of Global Citizenry. Find more info here: https://thebtscenter.org/wildness-and-spirituality-for-the-common-good/