October 26, 2023

Dear friends,

Last night, the city of Lewiston, Maine — just north of our home location of Portland — was the site of a mass shooting, the latest community to be targeted in what has become a pandemic of gun violence in this country. We are heartbroken for the loss of at least eighteen lives — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, friends — who were out enjoying time in spaces that should be safe for everyone. We are grieving for the loved ones they left behind, and for everyone — all of us — who find ourselves confronting yet another violent trauma.

These events are terrifying and heartbreaking, and many of us are filled with righteous anger, too, because as a society, it seems that we have decided that we love our guns more than we care about our children's well-being and more than we care about the common good. We know it does not have to be this way. We are committed to living and working in for a society that prioritizes the health, safety, and flourishing of all. Just a couple of nights ago, we hosted an event on Complicated Hope with author Margaret Wheatley. Today we are sitting with her question: Who do we choose to be? What kind of spiritual leadership are we being called to embody in this time?

Our friends at the Maine Council of Churches have issued a powerful statement on last night's events that we encourage you to read. They also are inviting people to participate in an online prayer vigil led by Maine faith leaders tonight at 5.30pm (Eastern). We will share more specific information on our Facebook page when we receive it.

For those of you seeking a space to bring your grief, we are hosting the first of our series of Lament with Earth events next Wednesday, November 1, at 7.00pm (Eastern). Though this event is organized around ecological grief, please know that you can bring all your lamentations, whatever their shape, and be held in this space.

We are praying with and for all of you,

The BTS Center Team

The BTS Center | 207.774.5212 | [email protected] | www.thebtscenter.org

 Our mission is to catalyze spiritual imagination with enduring wisdom for transformative faith leadership. We offer theologically grounded programs of continuing education and spiritual formation, including workshops and retreats, learning cohorts, public conversations, and projects of applied research.
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