June 14, 2022

Dear friends,

Last week, we had the truly joyful experience of welcoming fifteen emerging spiritual leaders for an in-person retreat here in Portland, Maine. Co-facilitated by Aram Mitchell and Nicole Diroff from The BTS Center and Matt Deen and Dr. Keisha McKenzie from Auburn Seminary, the Spiritual Ecology for Spiritual Leaders Retreat spanned three days of deep connection, contemplative learning, and a lot of good fun!

We were blessed with the presence of many elders and guests who shared their wisdom, as well as the remarkable participants themselves, each bringing their own language and experience to the work of exploring spiritual ecology. The time together brought home why we at The BTS Center do what we do – offering the space and resources to foster ecological imagination and spiritual leadership that is truly needed in our climate-changed world.

In the weeks and months to come, we hope to update you on how these emerging spiritual leaders are integrating the discoveries of this time together into their work in their own contexts and communities. In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy a selection of photos from the retreat below!

Even if you weren't a part of this gathering, we have many options for you to join us coming up, from an in-person Wonder and Wander retreat this Friday, to our gathering for spiritual directors and our final Lament with Earth next week. We hope to see you, online or in person, very soon!

With best wishes,
The BTS Center Team
Summer bring new events and programs at The BTS Center! We hope you will join us for one or more of these offerings:

  • Summer Arts Series: Listening to the Edge of the World
  • Part One: Panel on Climate Change, Adaptation, and the Arts
  • Tuesday, July 26 • 7.00 - 8.15pm (Eastern) • Online
  • Part Two: Concert featuring Halcyon String Quartet and the Art of Jill Pelto
  • Thursday, July 28 • 7.00 - 8.15pm (Eastern) • Williston-Immanuel United Church • Portland, Maine
  • More info coming soon!
Meet Tyler Nelson
Summer Intern at The BTS Center

Tyler Mark Nelson is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School. Working at the intersection of religion and ecology, his research explores theologies of creation, eco-liturgical practices, and the ways in which attitudes and beliefs about creatureliness shape perceptions and ethics of human-nonhuman relationships. Tyler participates in roles of collaborative leadership within Common Ground (the YDS environmental student group), Yale’s Graduate Conference in Religion and Ecology 2023, and the eco-club at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven, CT. He received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Whitworth University.

Prior to his graduate studies, Tyler worked in horticulture for several years, which included roles in human resources and sales at a large-scale greenhouse, operations of a university vermiculture and compost program, and labor at an organic lavender farm. Outside of study and service, he can often be found carrying a backpack on the trail, working in the garden soil, or sharing meals and coffee with his wife Sara and their community.

We are so excited to welcome Tyler to The BTS Center community, where he will be helping us with events and programming throughout the summer. Look for a Wonder and Wander event organized by Tyler coming up in July!
Coming Soon! The BTS Center's very own Podcast:

At the end of June, we will launch The BTS Center's new podcast, Climate Changed. Hosted by Ben Yosua-Davis, Director of Applied Research, and Nicole Diroff, Program Director, and produced by Peterson Toscano, the podcast will offer intimate interviews and conversations around some of the most pressing questions about faith, life, and climate change. New episodes will premier monthly. Check out the video below for a taste of what is coming, and click here to find Climate Changed on your favorite listening platformsubscribe now so you can listen to new episodes as soon as they are available!
What we're reading, listening to, and engaging:

To Come Home to Yourself
by John O'Donohue

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.
The BTS Center | 207.774.5212 | info@thebtscenter.org | 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.