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

A Book Study
For parents, grandparents, religious educators & allies of future generations

May - June 2024

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

Registration for this book study is closed.
Contact Program Director Nicole Diroff at if you have any questions.

As we navigate our lives through times of increased uncertainty and climate chaos, those of us who parent, or who are invested in the lives of young people, are grappling with the future that our children will inherit — and how to guide and encourage in ways which will lead toward life, connection, and meaning. We long for a safe, healed, healthy world in which all children may grow into centered and joyful adults. And yet, with so much instability on our planet, how do we offer children the foundation upon which to build a life of wholeness?

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.


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

Tuesdays: 7.30 - 9.00 pm (Eastern):

  • May 7
  • May 14
  • May 28
  • June 4
  • June 11

Thursdays: 11.30 am - 1.00 pm (Eastern):

  • May 9
  • May 16
  • May 30
  • June 6
  • June 13

Note: While the book is framed within the Christian tradition, participants from all cultures and traditions are welcome in this conversation. Diverse perspectives are appreciated and celebrated.

Read more about the book here.

Questions? Contact Program Director, Nicole Diroff, at

Praise for Singing the Psalms with My Son:

“What an exemplary book by an amazing scholar who is also — at the very same time — an incredible parent, a spiritually centered person, and an activist for earth care and social justice. T. Wilson Dickinson tackles head-on an angst that plagues every parent today — what does it mean to bring children into a world of climate catastrophes? His answer joins sage discernment about life priorities with concrete wisdom for daily living, giving readers a wealth of insight, encouragement, and hope.”

— Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, professor emerita of religion, psychology, and culture, Vanderbilt University

“In this book, T. Wilson Dickinson holds not only his son’s hand but ours too. With the richness of the Psalms, he guides us now and into the future through times unknown and spaces growing in loss and destruction. This book is like the mask we hear about in the airplanes. We put it first on ourselves, so we are able to help our kids. Dickinson teaches us to read the Psalms and offer healing to the world.”

— Cláudio Carvalhaes, professor of worship, Union Theological Seminary

“T. Wilson Dickinson’s beautiful reflections on the Psalms may break your heart open, but will heal it as well. His love for his son stunningly translates for the love all of us have for our sons and daughters, and our hopes that they may live a healthy and spirited future in a world full of challenges. He has done all of us a great service as a father, a poetic writer and a man of faith.”

— Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Jesus for Farmers and Fishers

Meet Author, Wilson Dickinson

Wilson Dickinson, author, is a theologian, minister, and organizer whose work takes place at the intersection of constructive theology, environmental justice, and social change. He lives in his hometown in Central Kentucky with his wife and his son, in a multi-family household.

He teaches theology and is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Programs at Lexington Theological Seminary. He is a pastor in the Disciples of Christ. He is author of Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet; The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life; and Exercises in New Creation from Paul to Kierkegaard. He is the chair of the Christ Seminar with the Westar Institute, and is currently writing a book on Christ and the Commons.

Meet Our Facilitators

Phoebe Morad has been drawn to the intersection of faith and environment since college, where she had an open-minded, agnostic poli-sci professor challenge her to explore how spirit-led movements could make an impact in civic debates around eco-justice. She got to work with a citizen-science research organization (Earthwatch) and then got to help communities build homes with their neighbors (South Shore Habitat for Humanity), until 2010 when she was introduced to Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC). This grassroots movement in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) led by clergy, lay people, campus ministers, outdoor camp staff, and seminary professors, offers a support system to connect, empower, and equip one another. In 2017, this network became an official non-profit with a vision to promote the integration of creation care into the full life of the church. Now, as Director of LRC, Phoebe gets to lift up stories from across the ELCA and help leverage the assets of our affiliate organizations. She also facilitates a global, virtual certificate course at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary which encourages faith-based action as part of the Center for Climate Justice and Faith. When she's not on Zoom meetings, she's either walking her dog, petting a cat, carting her busy kids around, or watching a comedy with her husband. She lives just outside of Boston, where the Massachusetts people originally and continually care for the land.

Elizabeth Bechard is Senior Policy Analyst for Moms Clean Air Force and leads the organization’s work on climate change and mental health. She is author of Parenting in a Changing Climate: Tools for Cultivating Resilience, Taking Action, and Practicing Hope in the Face of Climate Change. Elizabeth also holds a Master’s of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where her thesis research focused on climate change and parents’ mental health.

Before coming to Moms Clean Air Force, she worked as a health coach and clinical research coordinator, contributing to several academic publications. Her work with Moms Clean Air Force has been featured by U.S. News & World Report, Good Morning America, Reader's Digest, Forbes, the Washington Post, Grist, WCAX, the Charlotte Observer, The Cool Down and Yahoo! Lifestyle. Elizabeth is a member of the Early Years Climate Action Task Force and lives in Vermont with her husband and twins.

Rev. Nicole Diroff is ordained in the United Church of Christ and serves as Program Director at The BTS Center, where she coordinates the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Center’s programmatic offerings. She holds expertise in facilitation, data management, and strategic planning. Nicole is a certified Maine Master Naturalist, serves as Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee at Williston-Immanuel United Church and Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee for the Scarborough Public School District. She lives with her family in Scarborough, Maine.

Prior to her work with The BTS Center, Nicole served as the Associate Director at Interfaith Philadelphia, where she coordinated the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia and directed the creation and expansion of the organization’s many Dare to Understand initiatives.

Nicole is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Ohio Wesleyan University. When she’s not leading programs or facilitating meetings, she can be found exploring tide pools with her son, hiking with her dogs, or reading a memoir at a local coffee shop.

Rev. Dr. Allen Ewing-Merrill joined The BTS Center as its Executive Director in July 2019, following 20 years of local church ministry. Ordained in the Methodist tradition, Allen served for 12 years as co-pastor (with his wife, Rev. Sara Ewing-Merrill) of HopeGateWay in Portland, Maine. 
A graduate of the University of Maine (1992) and of Boston University School of Theology (M.Div. 2000), Allen recently earned a Doctor of Ministry degree through Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC in collaboration with Wesley House, Cambridge UK. He previously served as pastor of First United Methodist Church of Hudson, MA; as founding Executive Director of Hope Acts, a Portland nonprofit focusing on housing asylum seekers and helping immigrants succeed; and as founder and former convener of Moral Movement Maine, a network of multifaith leaders and people of conscience that advocates for justice and equity throughout the state. For 11 years he served on the Board of Directors of the Maine Council of Churches, as well as six years on the Board of the United Methodist Foundation of New England
Allen has extensive experience in advocacy, direct action, and faith-based organizing around issues of justice and equity. In addition, he frequently preaches and teaches about faithful responses to the climate crisis. Allen lives in Portland with his spouse, Sara, and they are the parents of three daughters.

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