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 …


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.


Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet

A Book Study

May - June 2024

5 Weekly Online Sessions
Two days and times available each week — attend whichever works for you week by week

This spring, The BTS Center is pleased to collaborate with Moms Clean Air Force and Lutherans Restoring Creation to offer this 5-week book study of Wilson Dickinson’s book, Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet. In seeking a path of parenting which will focus on transformation and hope, Dickinson turns to the Psalms, finding in these ancient texts the language and practice for lament, for joy, and for navigating the complexities of a world of constant change.

The book study will take place over five sessions, with each session being offered at two different times each week (come to either at your convenience) and two facilitators guiding each conversation. Author Wilson Dickinson will join both sessions during the final week.


Spiritual Caregiving and Ecological Grief

Perspectives and Practices for Chaplains

Tuesday, May 14 • 12.00 - 1.00 pm (Eastern) • Online

As the world we know continues to change, quickly and irrevocably, due to climate change, and as the losses from the changing climate continue to grow, many of us are experiencing profound grief — a normal and complex response to the magnitude of these crises. As more and more people understand their experiences as stemming from climate grief and climate anxiety, chaplains are encountering the spiritual challenge of responding to the myriad losses of living in a climate-changed world. 

Though chaplains have always accompanied those who are grieving, the ambiguous losses and anticipatory grief brought on by climate change require new postures and practices. There is no doubt that the climate crises offer emerging possibilities and challenges for spiritual care, asking chaplains to transform and adapt old models of service and to allow their own climate grief to inform the care they offer. As chaplains and spiritual caregivers, how do we accompany those in our circles of care while also tending to our own ecological grief? How do we cultivate our own steadiness to offer space to those we accompany?

Please join us — chaplains, care givers, and faith leaders — as we explore these questions and offer practices for personal and community resilience in a climate-changed world. 


Green Teams Gathering

An in-person gathering of members and friends of congregational Green Teams, Earth Care Teams, and Climate Action Teams from around Southern Maine and beyond

Sunday, May 19, 2024 • 2.00 - 5.00 pm (Eastern)

This spring, The BTS Center is pleased to offer a gathering opportunity for members and friends of congregational Green Teams, Earth Care Teams, Climate Action Teams, and other congregational teams (by any name!) that are exploring the impacts of climate change, pursuing sustainable practices, embracing ecological understandings, or organizing collective action in this time of planetary upheaval. 

Over the course of a Sunday afternoon, we will meet in Southern Maine to learn and connect with one another — to share what work our Green Teams are doing and to imagine collectively how they may evolve to meet the challenges of these times. 


Collective Honesty and Complicated Hope

An Evening with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist

Wednesday, May 22 • 7.00 - 8.30pm Eastern • Online

Join us for a special evening event with renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, author of Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Call for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, and a leading voice in connecting the data of climate change with faithful and meaningful responses. Dr. Hayhoe will be joined by a panel of wise conversationalists who will engage with one another around how we face with honesty what is happening, how we hold faith and climate science in conversation with one another, and how we embody complicated hope as we respond to the intersecting crises of our day.


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 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. 



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



  • 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.