Our 2024 Report to the Community Is Here

We are excited to share with you our 2024 Report to the Community, bursting with stories and images that celebrate another year of imaginative, collaborative programs through which we seek to cultivate and nurture spiritual leadership for a climate-changed world.

When you have a little time, we invite you to find a comfortable spot (ideally outside!), grab a cup of coffee or tea or another favorite beverage, and flip through the pages of this Report. Read it cover to cover! Find your place within the ever-expanding community that we are convening. And receive our gratitude for all the ways you are helping to inform and shape this work that we are undertaking together.

Learn more …

 

Lilly Endowment Inc. Awards $1.25 Million Grant, “Compelling Preaching for a Climate-Changed World”

We celebrate that Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) has received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. for their project, “Compelling Preaching for a Climate-Changed World.” LTS will partner with The BTS Center and Creation Justice Ministries on the initiative that aims to equip preachers with training, resources, support networks, and research for addressing the urgency of the climate crisis and other environmental issues.

The effort is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully.

Learn more …

 

Convocation 2024

Hope in Small Places:
Becoming People of Refugia Faith

SAVE THE DATE!
Thursday & Friday, September 26-27, 2024
Begins at 10:00 am on Thursday • Ends at 3:00 pm on Friday

In person at Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell, Maine
+ Online Companions

REGISTRATION GOES LIVE ON JUNE 1, 2024

Join us for Convocation 2024. Over the course of two days — Thursday and Friday, September 26 and 27 — we will gather to learn and explore, to nurture a sense of community, and to seek respite and renewal. Guided by the wisdom of our sacred texts, nourished by spiritual practice, and committed to paths of honesty and vulnerability, together we will explore what it means to live, love, and lead in a climate-changed world.

Convocation 2024 will include music, poetry, and ritual; plenary sessions and small-group conversation; opportunities to engage with nature; and contemplative practice. We hope you will join us!

Alongside our in-person gathering in Hallowell, Maine, we are offering a robust Online Companions track, featuring a livestream of all plenary sessions and several unique online sessions designed to nurture community and facilitate meaningful engagement with the content of Convocation 2024. From wherever you are located geographically, we warmly welcome you to engage fully in Convocation 2024 through this Online Companions track.

 

Climate Changed

A Podcast from The BTS Center

The BTS Center's podcast, Climate Changedoffers intimate interviews and conversations around some of the most pressing questions about faith, life, and climate change. Hosted by Ben Yosua-Davis, Director of Applied Research, and Nicole Diroff, Program Director, and produced by Peterson Toscano, the upcoming second season, premiering on September 26, features acclaimed guests such as Margaret Wheatley, Susi Moser, Debra Rienstra, Ray Buckley, and many more, all exploring what collective honesty and complicated hope mean in a climate-changed world. New episodes will premiere monthly. You can click here to find Climate Changed on your favorite listening platform – subscribe now so you can listen to new episodes as soon as they are available!

 

Claiming Your Call for a Climate-Changed World

A Three-Day Retreat and Community of Practice
for teams from Northern New England congregations

The BTS Center invites you to recruit a team of four from your congregation, including the lead pastor (or functional equivalent), and to apply to participate in this three-day retreat and community of practice. Nine congregations will be selected.

Dates: Thursday, June 20, 2024 (11:00 am) through Saturday, June 22, 2024 (1:00 pm)
Location: Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, Maine

Apply to join us for this formational opportunity, offered at no cost to your congregation. “Claiming Your Call for a Climate-Changed World” begins with a three-day retreat at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park, Maine, where your congregational team will share deep conversation with theologians, scientists, and indigenous scholars about how climate change will impact the communities where you live and what a spiritually-grounded, justice-seeking response could look like for your church. It continues as you integrate what you’ve learned by undertaking  a “small experiment with radical intent” in the context of a supportive community of practice.

 

Introducing Climate + Faith: A Resource from SALT

A Leadership Commons Open House

Thursday, May 23 • 12.15 - 1.00pm (Eastern) • Online

This May, we are pleased to offer a mid-day gathering with Matthew Myer Boulton, Creative Director and Producer at SALT, who will join us to discuss “Climate + Faith: How We Can Help Meet the Greatest Challenge in Human History.” This seven-week, 40-day devotional developed by SALT takes a “love-and-act” approach (rather than “doom-and-gloom”), building on our love for our neighbors, near and far, and our love for God, Maker of heaven and earth.

This 40-day devotional can be used any time of year, including (but not limited to) the Season of Lent; each week includes references to classic biblical texts, including the Lenten passages from Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary — but since its themes are universal, this resource can be used fruitfully during any seven-week span, or adapted to a weekend or full-day retreat.

 

Research Collaborative Report Published

The BTS Center celebrates the publication of its Research Collaborative Final Report, entitled "Cultivating Earth-Shaped Leadership: Ecological Imagination in Organizational Life." In 2021, we invited seven organizations to join us for an 18-month journey of co-learning, exploring together the question "How would organizations act differently today if they embodied an ecological imagination?” Prepared by Ben Yosua-Davis, Director of Applied Research, this Report discusses the methodology we employed in this 18-month research undertaking, and then it details some of our key findings, some of the patterns that emerged as leaders attempted to integrate ecological imagination into their organizations, and a few lingering questions. Learn more.

Climate Conscious Chaplaincy

The BTS Center is pleased to offer a series of programs, an emerging network, and a growing collection of resources for chaplains serving in a variety of settings

The climate has changed, and is changing, disrupting lives in significant, life-altering ways. Acute, discrete events are now shaping a world characterized by continuous, unprecedented change. Individuals and communities will have increasing immediate, pragmatic, and emergent needs that must be met through adaptation in ways that are yet to be really understood.

The climate crisis is also a spiritual crisis. The BTS Center’s work explores the ways in which long-held practices, worldviews, and intertwining crises — materialism, colonialism, racism, and radical individualism, to name just a few — have given rise to a climate-changed world where humans, disconnected from the sources of Earth’s sacredness and generativity, have created the conditions for Earth’s desecration and destruction. But the climate crisis is also a spiritual crisis in the ways it is causing a loss of belief, spirit, meaning, purpose, and hope.

There is a need for responsive, skilled, compassionate spiritual care to address the short- and long-term needs of those who are, and will be, affected by the reality of conditions to which we must adapt, and of the changed landscape of which we must make sense.

 

Lament with Earth

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

Wednesdays  7:30 - 8.30pm (Eastern) • Online
November 2023 - June 2024

“We know and feel in our bones that something primal is amiss. Our extended home is being eroded. It is essential that we stop and recognize these losses...to respond with sorrow, outrage and apology at these places touched by so much loss.”
— Francis Weller

So many of us know this truth voiced by Francis Weller. And yet, we have so few opportunities to express our sorrow, fear, sadness and yes, even despair about a future of life in a climate-changed world. It takes courage to touch the places inside ourselves where these truths live — those thoughts and feelings that likely keep many of us up at night, but are too often held inside us, in a space both alone, and lonely.

To create space for these feelings, The BTS Center — together with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists — has created Lament with Earth — five seasonal events featuring original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture and videos to reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. These events are interactive, inviting you to pray and sing along. You are  invited to bring your own sense of loss and sadness. We lament together, and also share that which has been a balm to our grief, strengthening us for the work we know awaits us. 

 

Upwelling

Welcome to Upwelling, The BTS Center’s occasional print newsletter. We are delighted to connect with you in this way, and we hope that when you are finished reading, you might pass your copy along to someone else who might be interested.

Learn more …
 

 

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

 
  • We are delighted to share The BTS Center’s 2023 Report to the Community. Learn more.
  • Welcome to Upwelling, The BTS Center’s occasional print newsletter. Click here to read our recent issues.
  • We recently bid farewell to two members of our Board of Trustees, Rabbi Erica Asch and Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, who have completed their service to The BTS Center as they take on new responsibilities. Click here to learn more.
  • Introducing The BTS Center’s new podcast, Climate Changed. New episodes will premier monthly. Click here to learn more and to find Climate Changed on your favorite listening platform.
The BTS Center is a proud partner organization in the One Home One Future campaign. Learn more.