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 …

 

Summer Fiction Book Club

Revealing present realities and imagining possible futures

Tuesday, June 25 • Tuesday, July 23 • Tuesday, August 27 
12.00 - 1.15 pm (Eastern) • Online

The BTS Center is excited to offer our second annual Summer Fiction Book Club! During June, July, and August, we will immerse ourselves in the creative world of fiction, while daring to explore challenging topics related to climate change. 

Each month, participants will read a selected novel on their own, and then we will gather virtually to discuss as a group. In addition to small group discussion, a guest conversation partner will join us to offer some reflections on the book and share about its impact in their life. 

You are welcome to join us for one, two, or all three sessions!

 

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.

 

Navigating Climate Spiritual Care

A Learning Community for chaplains, preachers, pastors, lay leaders, and spiritual seekers

October 2024 – March 2025
Monday evenings  • 7:00 - 8:30 pm (Eastern)

Spiritual care in this time of climate change — with so many social, emotional, and spiritual consequences resulting from such instability — is both deeply necessary and, in many ways, uncharted territory. As chaplains, preachers, pastors, lay leaders, and spiritual seekers who are unaffiliated religiously, we hold resources from our own traditions and our own spiritual formation that can help us face the climate emergency. Yet those resources can feel difficult to access or utilize when so much is unknown.

The BTS Center is pleased to offer this learning community, originally developed in an asynchronous format by our friends Jessica Morthorpe and Blair Nelsen, and offered by our partner Waterspirit. We will engage Waterspirit’s materials together as a learning community, guided by two  hosts and facilitators, meeting twice each month to deepen our understanding of the physical, emotional, mental health, and spiritual impacts of the climate crisis, and to explore how to address these impacts through the practice of spiritual care.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.