November 3, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, and Friends of the BTI Consortium,

Today is a very important day in the life of the United States: Election Day. We recognize that this day brings much stress, anxiety, anticipation, and maybe a little hope. We at the BTI Consortium want to implore you to exercise your civic duty and VOTE today! If you are not a U.S. Citizen or you are unable to vote, consider checking in with your friends to make sure they have voted! If you are feeling stressed or concerned consider checking to see if your school is offering election day resources or opportunities for conversation and reflection. Remember, if you need support, your greatest resources are one another.

This week there is one very important and relevant event coming up on Friday. The Religion and Conflict Transformation program will be offering their yearly Fall Retreat. The first of three sessions will take place this Friday and the topic is "Election Chaos and Protecting Democracy: Courageous Leadership in Religion and Conflict Transformation." This event is required for all students who hope to complete the Religion and Conflict Transformation Certificate granted by the BTI Consortium.

Finally, the first edition of our Spring 2021 Catalogue will be published to our website THIS FRIDAY. The Portal is not yet open, but please take a look and start dreaming up your Spring schedule. Schools will continue to be added to the catalogue until we receive all the available courses, so make sure to check back regularly for updates!

Take care of yourselves today! If you need information about Boston polling locations, identification requirements, or political candidates visit the Massachusetts Voting Site.


Chloe McLaughlin
Internal Projects Manager/Graduate Assistant

To submit events, resources, or job opportunities to be publicized in our newsletter or on our website, email information (including links and graphics) to Chloe at
Upcoming BTI Consortium Affiliated Events

RCT Retreat in 3 Parts. Fridays, Nov. 6, 13, and 20. This Retreat is REQUIRED for Students pursuing the RCT Certificate.
The topic of this year's Retreat is "Engaging Deep Divides- Courageous Leadership and Spiritual Care." Each session will cover a different topic in the area of leadership, division, dialogue, and spiritual care. All are welcome to attend one or all of the events, but each session requires separate registration. For more information about each session, check out the RCT website.

Join the BTI Consortium on December 10th for an Interreligious Musical Experience! We are teaming up with Devlyn Case and the musicians and theologians from Deus Ex Musica to host a night or music and learning. The event will be held via Zoom. More details will be available soon, but for now, check out the Deus Ex Musica website to learn more about what they do. More Information.
Upcoming ONLINE Events
Varying Resources and Events. Week of November 3rd. Sponsored by Boston University.
Boston University is hosting a series of events and experiences during election week to help students and faculty cope with and process election stress and anxiety. Some of the events are only open to BU students and faculty, but others are available to the broader community. Marsh Chapel is hosting election day meditations and there are a variety of opportunities for reflection. Check out everything that is on offer HERE.
Conversation. Thursday, November 5. 3:30-5:00PM. Sponsored by Boston University School of Theology.
As we approach Advent in this extraordinary year, you’re invited to a conversation in which we’ll explore creative liturgical practices with a special focus on prayer, congregational life, and music. A mix of STH faculty and alumni/ae will present in these areas and convene breakout groups for further discussion. Come ready to share and receive insights and ideas! Join the Zoom Here.
Annual Pyrne Lecture on Ministry with Persons with Disabilities, Thursday, November 5. 6:00-7:00PM. Hosted by Boston College. (ONLINE) At least 20% of young people are neurodivergent, diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disability such as autism or developmental dyslexia. While religion and spirituality are infused in cultures the world over, spiritual and religious development in this diverse population have been without substantive attention in research and practice. This talk brings together theology, social work, education, psychology, and neuroscience to extend our understanding of and attention to the spiritual and religious experiences of these young people and their families.
5 Week Virtual Book Retreat. Thursdays, Nov. 12, 19 and Dec. 3, 10, & 17. 4:00-5:30PM. Sponsored by the BTS Center. Using Christian scripture and theology through the lens of modern science, Creation’s Wisdom explores the concept of the Tibetan Five Wisdoms to address such questions as: What is a Christian spirituality that speaks to the needs of people in an era of climate change? What practices can guide us? What is a helpful perspective? Author Dan Wolpert uncovers that the answers lie in the elements of creation.
This five week book retreat will explore the nature of Creation’s Wisdom, how God speaks to us through creation, how we can connect to the wider creation in holistic and meaningful ways, and how we can become ambassadors for a path of healing in this time of climate crisis. The retreat will use a combination of discussion, teaching, and contemplative practice that will strengthen us for the challenging journey ahead. Registration is required and a $50 donation is suggested. Register Now.
Additional Events around the Consortium
Book Talk. Wednesday, November 4. 12:00-1:00PM. Sponsored by The Boston College Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. A virtual book event for "The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently" by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler.
Speaker Series. Thursday, November 5th. 7:00-8:15PM. Sponsored by The BTS Center at Bangor Theological Seminary. What does it look like to imagine a new way to be community in light of our failing political systems? Our current moment invites us to envision the future we want for our life as a people, not just the one that we fear. It also calls us to craft new hopeful stories for how we can relate to one another in ways that transcend and transform the painful limitations of our current systems. 
Two days after Election Day, take a deep breath and join us to envision new possibilities for democracy in local, national, and global contexts, with acclaimed authors Casper ter Kuile, co-founder of Sacred Design Lab, and co-host of the award-winning podcast, “Harry Potter And the Sacred Text,” and Erica Williams Simon, educator, entrepreneur, and author of You Deserve the Truth, which puts the power of story back into the hands of the people.
Virtual Lecture. Thursday, November 12th. 5:00-6:30PM. Sponsored by The Boston University School of Theology Faith and Ecological Justice Program. Carol J. Adams will present on relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating, interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory. Based on her 1990 book, this talk will discuss the hidden violence against animals and women in culture, as well as the relevance of the Sexual Politics of Meat to the pressing racial, political, and environmental issues of 2020.
Centering Prayer Group
The Grace Episcopal Church in Newton Centering Prayer Group meets Wednesdays from 7:00 - 8:15 pm on Zoom. Centering Prayer is a gentle form of Christian meditation that is easily learned and practiced. It is based on ancient traditions, yet has a modern relevance and can greatly enrich your personal life especially as we struggle with the pandemic of COVID-19. If you would like to learn about centering prayer prior to coming to the group on Wednesday, you can learn more here.

Even if you have not practiced centering prayer before, it is fine for you to just show up and learn with us. The group is open to all. All are welcome! We begin at 7:00 pm with a brief “check-in” to share what is happening in our lives. We then have 20 minutes of Centering Prayer. We conclude by discussing a few pages from “The Universal Christ” By Richard Rohr.
For more information, Contact Mary Malagodi.
Calls for Papers and Job Postings
Request for Papers for Presentation at an April 2021 Seminar Series sponsored by the Tom Porter Program on Religion and Conflict Transformation at Boston University. Papers are welcomed from both Students and Faculty in two separate categories. Abstracts due December 1, 2020.
Incidents of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have increased in the US over the course of the last five years, and continue to threaten individuals, communities of faith, and our democratic values of mutual respect and equality. Many argue that the rise of white supremacy and nationalism has been tolerated and even encouraged by the Trump administration, enabling a growing culture of hate and racism in the US.1 These two ideologies in part relate to, and in part constitute, aspects of a third ideology that remains rampant at the social and political level: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.

In this climate, two terms have emerged targeted not at the enactors of violence or violent rhetoric, but for “the rest of us”: bystander and upstander. A Bystander, the more common term, is a “nonparticipant, observer, spectator, eyewitness, witness, watcher, or gawker.” The term “upstander” was recently added to the Oxford Dictionary, defined as: “A person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.”2 The educational nonprofit, “Facing History and Ourselves’ has developed a program with these definitions in mind, training students to resist bystanding and engage in upstanding in order to “create a more humane, just and compassionate world.”

Bystander/Upstander programs have primarily focused on youth, resulting in few training opportunities for current and future faith community leaders, community activists, and concerned lay leaders of all faiths. Yet, it is these leaders who are uniquely positioned to engage with, and reverse attitudes in, our communities. An understanding of the current volatile context, as well as strategies and skills for interfaith “upstanding” are desperately needed.
Linden Ponds, a well known retirement community located in Hingham, is searching for a Pastoral Ministries Coordinator as a member of our Resident Life Team. This individual will plan, develop and implement programs which focus on the spiritual life of the community.
From the Job Description: "We are seeking a Ministerial Intern who would like to work closely with our Minister and our Director of Family Ministry. At FRS, we have cultivated a shared ministry model that encourages the creative input of all, with the focus on collaboration, innovation, and spiritual growth. The Intern will assist in planning worship with the Minister, the Director of Family Ministry, the Music Director, and our Worship Arts Committee, and will have an opportunity to be the worship leader approximately once a month. Besides worship and preaching, the internship offers exposure to the governance and administrative elements of church life, to pastoral care, to our youth programs, to our ministries within and beyond the church.

We are interested in meeting candidates who will come with an open heart and an open mind, who are willing to be influenced by and to influence the life of the church, who can share their gifts, admit their challenges, and are excited to offer their full selves to ministry.

We are an authentic, creative, and dedicated congregation always seeking new ways to love and understand the world and one another. We offer a two-year, part-time position, averaging 20 hours per week for 10 months, from September through June. We follow the UUA’s recommended intern salary guidelines for Geo Index 5, and additionally will supply a $1,000 professional-development fund to be used at the candidate’s discretion." Contact M.J. Lanum.
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