The BTS Center
97 India Street • Portland, ME 04101



March 8, 2021

Dear friends:

Having an older sister, a mother, and having known both of my grandmothers and a great-grandmother who picked blueberries in the field up the hill from her house well into her nineties, it has always been clear to me that women are awesome. It feels natural to celebrate that fact today, on International Women’s Day.

The aim of this day, however, is about more than a sentiment. It’s about a world changing persuasion. It’s about a life changing posture. To be decidedly feminist influences our desires for the world. It impacts our convictions about power, about personhood, about God, and about the very earth itself. 

There is a line written by feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson that, perhaps more than anything else, propelled me to seminary. It is this: “The symbol of God functions.” I remember casually brushing across that insight in a library in Indianapolis in my early 20’s and thinking to myself, huh. Yeah. It does. And finding ways to coax that symbol to function better than it often has… that’s a worthy pursuit. That pursuit could take over a person’s whole life.

In seminary I immersed myself in feminist, ecofeminist, and womanist thought, resulting in an education from which I don’t plan to ever recover. As a cis-gendered, white man it was an education that I needed, and one that I wish the world required of all men. It was for me the beginning of what Catherine Keller calls “a provisional sense of identification with women that functions as an apprenticeship in relation."

An apprenticeship in relation is rooted in believing the experience and heeding the wisdom of all woman-identified people. That’s the sort of thing that is necessary to shift the dominating culture, which continues to stubbornly reward and reinforce characteristically masculine approaches to the problems we face. These are approaches that often precede and perpetuate our most pressing problems — of climate devastation, racism, economic inequality, transphobia, and xenophobia in its many forms.

More than persuasive policies and increased productivity, many of us individually need an apprenticeship in relation. And all of us, collectively, need to regularly renew our commitment to real solutions based in the fabric of relationship. We need solutions that are candid, courageous, and communal.

That’s why we’re inviting all of you to join us in April as we explore All We Can Save, an anthology of “provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward." The BTS Center is partnering with Montreal City Mission to host a four-week, virtual book Circle, crossing borders to draw together our communities in Maine and Montreal. See below for more information about this offering and to register.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to learn, grow, and apprentice together.
Aram Mitchell
Director of Partners & Formation
All We Can Save: Book Circle

Four Thursdays in April:
  • April 8, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:30pm (Eastern)
  • April 15, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern) 
  • April 22, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern) 
  • April 29, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern) 

All sessions offered on Zoom

Registration:
Cost: $20 (USD)/person covers all four sessions. 

Participation scholarships and book scholarships are available as needed. Contact Aram Mitchell at aram@thebtscenter.org to request a scholarship.
This April you are invited to join with a community across borders to explore All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. The BTS Center is partnering with Montreal City Mission to host this virtual Book Circle, drawing together our communities in Maine, in Montreal, and beyond.

Together we will engage select portions of the book over the course of four weekly sessions. Each session will be grounded in spiritual curiosity, centered around small-group conversation, and designed to compel hopeful responses to difficult realities.

During these four weeks participants are not required to read the entire book. Our aim is to spark connection with the book as a resource of insight and inspiration for the continual task of weaving active care for the earth into our lives and our work.


About the book:

All We Can Save is a collection of essays, poems, and artwork amplifying feminist voices that help grapple with the existential threats of climate devastation. It highlights a host of women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. It is candid, insistent, inspiring, and rooted in the conviction that everyone has a part to play. More about the book at: www.allwecansave.earth/book. Order the book in advance here.

Book Circle facilitators:

Wendy Evans is Chair of the Board for Montreal City Mission and an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada. She has served in global justice contexts for many years and was a delegate at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2019. Wendy is passionate about the ‘heart work’ of relationship building in the climate justice movement and her favorite place to feel connected is in the forest.

Aram Mitchell is the Director of Partnerships and Formation at The BTS Center. He is a Registered Maine Guide with a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Chicago Theological Seminary. He lives on a little plot of land in Maine with his spouse, two dogs, a cat, and several chickens.




About the host organizations:
Montreal City Mission is a downtown community organization in Montreal Quebec that has been finding long-term solutions to problems of poverty and social exclusion since 1910. 

“At Montreal City Mission, we are delighted about our promising partnership with The BTS Center, as we join networks and put care of creation at the center of our ministries.”
—Rev. Paula Kline, Director of Montreal City Mission
The BTS Center, based in Portland Maine, develops programs and convenes conversations that catalyze spiritual imagination with enduring wisdom for transformative faith leadership. 
"We at The BTS Center are inspired by the vision of human hearts renewed, justice established, and creation restored. We are so grateful to partner with Montreal City Mission in this way, and we hope you'll join us."
—Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, Executive Director of The BTS Center
The BTS Center | 207.774.5212 | info@thebtscenter.org | www.thebtscenter.org
Allen Ewing-Merrill
Executive Director
Kay Ahmed
Office Manager


Lorraine Glowczak
Office Assistant
Nicole Diroff
Program Director
Aram Mitchell
Director of Partnerships & Formation

Ben Yosua-Davis
Director of Applied Research
 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.