This event series is free, but contributions will be gratefully received to support The BTS Center's ongoing eco-grief programming.
“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.
The shattered water made a misty din.
Great waves looked over others coming in,
And thought of doing something to the shore
That water never did to land before.
— Robert Frost, Once by the Pacific
Spring in the northern hemisphere is filled with holidays that draw us into the forces of transformation: the resurrection of Easter, the liberation of Passover, and Beltane, the ancient springtime festival of optimism and fertility. In Matthew Fox's words, "these are the prophetic moments in our lives when we are called to use our talents and gifts with the hurting, fractured, dysfunctional aspects of our society." What better element to guide us through the themes of transformation than water, itself a shape-shifter? Water, in all its varied forms, stirs our imaginations even as it gives — and takes away — life. Water is intimately connected to our climate-changed world — as storm and drought, as acidification of the ocean and rain, as sea level rise and rising saline levels of fresh water sources. And, water moves turbines, grows food hydroponically, cools desert-like air, and bears life into the future.
Together, we lament, and celebrate, the transformative power of water, holding space for mourning and discovery, sorrow and inspiration.
The Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina (CCAWNC) is a network of people of faith and congregations who have united around a moral and spiritual call to preserve the integrity, beauty and health of God’s creation. They bring practical and hopeful solutions to congregations and broader secular communities by engaging hearts and minds through inspiration, education, service, and advocacy. Their work is an expression of love of God and God’s love for the earth and all life.
With roots dating back to 1814, The BTS Center is a private foundation in Portland, Maine, building on the legacy of the former Bangor Theological Seminary. Today The BTS Center seeks to catalyze spiritual imagination, with enduring wisdom, for transformative faith leadership by offering theologically grounded programs of continuing education and spiritual formation, including workshops and retreats, learning cohorts, public conversations, and projects of applied research, all focused around spiritual leadership in a climate-changed world.