The BTS Center
97 India Street • Portland, ME 04102

July 1, 2020

Dear friends,

As we enter the month of July, I am reflecting on the programming we offered over the course of the past several months to support, connect and equip religious leaders during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. 

If you attended any of our Zoom meetups in May and June, we thank you for participating in the offerings of The BTS Center and are requesting your input, please complete the brief survey so we can reflect on whether this past season of programming was effective and work to map out future offerings.

During our most recent Zoom meetup with Kenda Creasy Dean and Paul Nixon on 'The Future of Faith Communities After Covid-19', Kenda said, 

"If we (the Church) are not dealing with matters of life and death, then we are wasting our time... I think we are a little unmoored from our governing story right now, and in a lot of ways the pandemic is calling us back to that, especially because we have a double pandemic in front of us - the pandemic of illness and the pandemic of racism."

She and Paul invited faith leaders to allow the disruption of these days to draw us back to our core, to find a future in those things worth dying for.

This summer, we are embarking on a seven-week study of the book, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis. In the final chapter, Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says,

"Surely as a species we are on a fast track to death, laying waste to the living world around us as if there were no tomorrow... We might as well be saying off the branch on which we sit on the tree of life. We may look like we're alive, but in fact we are only marginally present. Caught in the feverish grip of addiction, we're ignoring and overruling the Earth's needs... Will we finally choose the path of life?"

Margaret and several other authors from the book will be joining us as part of the book study. Please consider joining us as we commit to expanding our spiritual imaginations and envisioning an earth-honoring future together.

Summer blessings,
Rev. Nicole Diroff
Program Director, The BTS Center
Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis
Online Book Study Group 

Thursdays, July 16 – August 27, 2020
4:00-5:15pm (Eastern) • via Zoom

Registration deadline: July 13
Suggested donation, which will go towards presenter honoraria: $25 per person
This summer you’re invited to join a group of friends and colleagues to read and discuss  Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis . We’ll be exploring the seven sections of the book together over the course of seven weekly sessions with each session including a presentation by an author, small group conversation, and an invitation into spiritual practice.

The BTS Center is hosting this book study group in partnership with  Renewal in the Wilderness  and the group will be co-facilitated by  Rev. Nicole Diroff, BTS Center Program Director, and  Aram Mitchell, Renewal in the Wilderness Executive Director.

Participating authors include:
The Future of Faith Communities After COVID-19
A Zoom Meetup for Spiritual Leaders
with guests Kenda Creasy Dean and Paul Nixon
In the midst of transitioning to online worship, providing community care, and wrestling with a thousand other urgent questions, many faith leaders are asking: when will everything finally return to normal?

The truth is, our faith communities will never return to normal. The pandemic and the wave of protests against police violence are generational events that will forever change how we gather; the shape of our ministry and advocacy, and the challenges that each faith community needs to face in order to thrive in a new reality.

If that’s our inescapable reality, then the question is: What will our post-pandemic church look like?

Watch the frank and hopeful discussion about all the opportunities and challenges that face our pandemic-shaped faith communities with  Kenda Creasy Dean , Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological School, and  Paul Nixon , founder of the Epicenter Group and author of  I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church.
This conversation was moderated by  Ben Yosua-Davis and recorded on June 11, 2020.

Watch recordings of previous Zoom meetups

Visit this page to check out recordings of all of our recent Zoom meetups, including:
The BTS Center | 207.774.5212 | |
Allen Ewing-Merrill
Executive Director
Nicole Diroff
Program Director
Kay Ahmed
Office Manager
Thank you for your gift to  The BTS Center , the mission successor to Bangor Theological Seminary. 
Our mission is to catalyze spiritual imagination with enduring wisdom for transformative faith leadership.
We equip and support faith leaders for theologically grounded and effective 21st-century ministries.