April 2017 Newsletter


April 2017 - News & Events

ChI News

ChI Ordains and Credentials New Interfaith Ministers

 March 2017 Ordination photo

Photo by Chris Woodrow
(From left, back row: Rev. Kat Kowalski, Rev. Ann Wizer and Rev. Robert Drake. (From left front row) Rev. Tina Perricone, Rev. Elizabeth Grainger, Rev. Louise DiMattio and Rev. Cynthia Davis

Last month, The ChI Interfaith Community welcomed six new Interfaith Ministers at The Chaplaincy Institute’s Spring 2017 Ordination and Credentialing Ceremony held at Christ Church in Berkeley, CA.

ChI also honored Rev. Robert Drake for completing the requirements to transfer his ministerial standing to The ChI Interfaith Community.  Congratulations to all!
Read more about event, ordinands' bios and homilies
Watch the Video from the event
Learn more about the Interfaith Studies Certificate Program
Learn more about the Transfer or Dual Ministerial Standing Program

ChI Receives Largest Ever Donation

ChI Founder Rev. Gina Rose Halpern, left, holds $80,000 donation from Interfaith Studies' student Mary Lee Dodd, center, with ChI Executive Director Vicki Weiland at the Spring 2017 Ordination and Credentialing CeremonyInterfaith Studies' student Mary Lee Dodd presented an $80,000 contribution — the largest donation The Chaplaincy Institute has ever received — at last month's Spring 2017 Ordination and Credentialing Ceremony. Explaining how she came to ChI transformed from a microbiologist to a volunteer providing spiritual care to the ill and elderly Mary Lee says, the financial needs of The Chaplaincy "tug at my heart. My errand is to continue to support The Chaplaincy Institute." ChI Executive Director,  Vicki Weiland, thanked Mary Lee saying, “It is time that ChI is financially abundant…and that we are allowed to thrive based on the investment, the heart, the generosity and the courage of people like Mary Lee Dodd.”

Read Mary Lee's speech
Donate Now!

ChI Welcomes New Board Member

Lynda Carre 2Rev. Lynda Carré was ordained by ChI in 2015. She will serve as the Board's Marketing and Communications Chair, and has already hit the ground running. She is partnering with Executive Director, Vicki Weiland to develop a long term business strategic plan and is helping to create a formal branding and communications plan for ChI. 
Lynda has been a chaplain, teacher, counselor and artist for nearly 30 years. She recently began a private practice as an Interfaith Palliative and Hospice Chaplain, Thanadoula and Community Minister in Hudson Valley, New York. She also has served for 20 years as a communications and marketing director.  Join us in welcoming Lynda to our Board.
Read more
Visit Lynda's website
Learn more about ChI's Board

ChI is Hiring

In an effort to bring greater stability and efficiency to ChI, we have decided to do some restructuring within the organization and rely less on part time staff positions and more on full time roles, as appropriate.

We feel this will allow us to better serve our students and members over time. To this end, we are eliminating two existing part-time positions and adding two new full-time job opportunities as follows: 

Communications Manager
Oversees all aspects of marketing and communications to exceed the goals of the organization to enroll more students, provide quality programming, increase funding, and help build community. Also serves as office receptionist, manages database and assists in admissions.

Accounting Manager
Provides effective, dependable and efficient infrastructure from which to deliver our products and services to fulfill our mission. Duties include bookkeeping, financial management and reporting, HR administration, and office management.

Please click on the titles above to see the complete job descriptions.If you or anyone you know might have an interest, please send cover letter, with salary history and requirements, and resume to vicki(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Thank you so much.

In this Issue





ChI Events

Other Events

Support ChI


Community Spotlight

Meet Rev. Mark Estes

Storyteller Chaplain

rev_mark_estesWe are all storytellers, whether we realize it or not," says Mark, a ChI-ordained, Interfaith hospice chaplain working at Gentiva Hospice in Northern California. Mark also serves as a volunteer educator/storyteller with Compassion and Choices where he educates and ministers to patients and their families who are considering medical aid in dying as set forth in the new California End of Life Option Act that became law in California on June 9, 2016. "I believe that consciously choosing our perspective is a spiritual practice. And I recognize the power that lies in being mindful of how we all create meaning t"hrough the stories we choose to tell ourselves. Thus, as a chaplain, I step into the role of being a professional story-listener in the delivery of spiritual care, where my intention is to pull up alongside individuals and meet them where they are."

Read more

Are you called to Interfaith ministry and chaplaincy but unsure how to fulfill your calling?

Take a look at the Types of Interfaith Ministries page of the ChI website. There we list the many ways there are to be of Interfaith service and how training at ChI can manifest in the world.

If you are a ChI graduate who is providing unique spiritual care in your community,  please share your story with us and help others heed the call to Interfaith service.

Still Time to Apply

2017-18 Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate Program

Application deadline is  July 31st.
Course Schedule is August 2017 - March 2018
Download the Application

This program is designed for those who feel called to a private practice in personal, one-on-one spiritual direction, and who anticipate working with clients from a variety of faith traditions. It is also well-suited for those who intend to do group spiritual direction, and for those of other helping professions who want to add a spiritual guidance perspective to their current work (such as psychotherapists, social workers, health practitioners, ministers and chaplains). Upon successful completion of the program, participants are qualified to provide spiritual direction in the context of their choosing.

Read more
►More info: Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager,  510-631-3066 or mary(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Mystical Islam (Sufism) Themed Module

May 10-14, 2017, Berkeley, California

sufismThis module will focus on Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Students will dive into the spiritual teachings of Sufism, a path of “intimacy with the Divine” which uses music, dance, and chanting as worship practice. Participants will also explore how Sufi teachings inform spiritual care for the interfaith chaplain. Other elements in the module include: creative improvisation as a spiritual practice; faith styles and stages of faith; comparative theology; peacemaking circles and restorative justice. To embody the teachings, students will be led in Dances of Universal Peace as well as an evening Zikr, a celebration of the Divine Beloved through chanting, poetry, and sacred movement. 

►To register contact Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager,  510-631-3066 or mary(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Join a ChI Module as a Student

Our modules are designed to inspire, nurture and educate those who are called to serve in an Interfaith capacity in our increasingly diverse world or for those who are interested in learning more about a specific faith tradition. Our innovative programs focus on a combination of the study of world's religions, an exploration of mystical paths and teachings, and spiritual care and ministry skills...all in a creatively infused context.  You can take a single module or up to 3 modules total. If you are interested in more, the Interfaith Studies Certificate Program prepares students for spiritual service to people of all faiths & paths.

Module Calendar
►More info: Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager,  510-631-3066 or mary(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Attend Visitor’s Day as Our Guest

If you are interested in learning more about our seminary programs and potentially becoming a student, we invite you to visit the first day of the Interfaith Studies Certificate Program module as our guest. 

► To schedule a visit, contact Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager, at 510-631-3066 or mary@chaplaincyinstitute
ChI Events

Represent ChI at a People's Climate March Near You

peoples climate marchMembers of The ChI Interfaith Community are invited to stand together with ChI Eco-Ministry participants, ChI Seminary Dean, Rev. Lauren Van Ham, and thousands across the nation who will gather, rally and march in defense of justice, jobs, peace and the planet on Saturday April 29th. Bay Area ChI members are encouraged to attend the Oakland event at Lake Merritt (see details below). Bring  your stoles and receive a ChI button at the event RSVP to chioffice(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org for specifics about where to meet up with The ChI Community in Oakland.

ChI Community members throughout the United States are encouraged to attend nearby People's Climate Marches to join in solidarity on behalf of ChI's new Eco-Ministry Program and our renewed emphasis on the health and wellbeing of Earth in pursuit of a world that honors the sacred connection of all. 

Details on the Oakland event
RSVP for Oakland event
Find a nearby march


Sufi Batini & Zikr with Pir Issa Chisthi

When: 4pm,  Thursday May 11
Where: Parish Hall, All Soul's Church, 2220 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA

Pir Issa ChishtiJoin us with Pir Issa Chishti, the son and successor of the late Pir Dr. Ibrahim Baba Chishti (Prof. Ibrahim Farajajé) in the Ajmeri Chishti Sufi lineage, for an evening of Sufi practice: Batini (contemplative Qur’anic practice), Sohbet (literal translation, “conversation”), and Dhikr (also spelled as “Zikr,” meaning remembrance and devotion through repetition).  Please bring friends and loved ones to pray, participate and celebrate with our extended Sufi family. (Head covering strongly recommended).

► More information

Interfaith Labyrinth Walk

labryinthThis is a contemplative service, with few words spoken, and lots of freedom as we invite people to pray, sing, meditate, or walk the labyrinth.

When:  6pm - 7pm., Friday, May 26, 2017
Where:  Christ Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA

More information

Other Events

SDI conferenceSpiritual Directors International Conference

Seeking Connection
April 20-28, 2017 - Toronto, Canada

Fragmentation characterizes much of our global experience. Political and religious ideologies divide. Separation from nature threatens human survival on our planet. Lack of a spiritual center leaves many living a divided existence. During the 2017 Seeking Connection events, we will acknowledge the powerful healing potential of recognizing and celebrating our interdependence with community, creation, and Spirit. Together, we will explore ways in which spiritual direction supports the formation of these healing and transforming connections.

More information

acpe logAssociation of Pastoral Clinical Education Conference

What We Need is Here
May 3-6, 2017 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Parker Palmer and Carrie Newcomer will join together in a special performance and presentation as keynote speakers. The Rev. Dr. Gregory Ellison and Matthew Sanford will also offer presentations on moving together, moving ahead.

More information

Embrace Festival 1Embrace Festival

Sacred Community and Social Transformation
May 4-6, 2017 - Portland, Oregon

This three day, international, sacred community and social transformation event is not an academic conference, but rather a fun celebration, with an emphasis on music, art, ceremony, learning, networking, and community. Participants will be exposed to new music, new liturgies, and new ideas that inspire hopefulness about the future. Presenters will include ChI Seminary Dean, Rev. Lauren Van Ham, M.A., who will discuss Eco-Ministry, one of ChI's newest offerings, and ChI ordained clergy, John Robinson, Ph.D., D.Min. who will discuss Conscious Aging. Deshna Ubeda, ChI student and Associate Director of ProgressiveChristianity.org, is an  event producer. ChI community members and students are eligible for a 15% discount off the admission's price. Get discount code

Attention ChI Attendess: You are invited to a "ChI Meet Up" during the 5:30 pm reception on Saturday,  May 6th, at the event venue, the Portland First Congregational Church.

More information

2017 APC Annual ConferenceAssociation of Professional Chaplains Annual Conference

The Powerful Voice of Chaplaincy
June 22-25, 2017 - Houston, Texas

The conference goals are: Empowering Leadership—where can we hone our voice of influence; Championing Diversity—where can we assert our roles as cultural experts; and, Claiming our Story—where can we seek to unite our distinct contributions. The conference features a number of educational sessions that explore cutting edge research and technology as it relates to chaplaincy, and many opportunities for participants to collaborate and share best practices with fellow chaplains from the United States and abroad.

Attention Attendees: When you register, be sure to sign up for the Interfaith Breakfast Friday, June 23rd.

More information

NAIN Harmony

North America Interfaith Network Conference

August 6-10, 2017
San Diego, California

NAIN's annual 4-day conference this year will feature a Bridge for Peace Ceremony, City Proclamations for Interfaith Awareness Week, and an interfaith choir and serenading by Karl Anthony to name a few highlights. Keynote speakers include author Azim KhamisaMonsignor Dennis MikulanisImam Taha Hassane and a surprise guest. More than 12 workshops will complement tours of local religious sites and historic Old Town San Diego.

NAIN is offering a Young Adult Scholarship, open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 who is currently involved in some form of interfaith or other social justice work. Scholarship recipients receive a $500 stipend to attend the conference. Application deadline is April 5th. 

More informatkion
Scholarship application

Help Promote ChI at These Events

Donate to ChI today and help us have a presence at these conferences. Your donation will help us reserve a booth, and provide flyers and other participant materials to raise awareness for our programs.

Donate Now!

If you plan to attend any of these events and are willing to help man/woman a ChI booth, or if you have an event you would like us to publicize, please contact Communications Manager, Shawn Masten at shawn(at)chaplaincyinstitute.org

Thank you!
Support ChI

Special Thanks to our Generous Supporters

Giving Circles
The Chaplaincy Institute's Annual Giving Circles was created in 2011 to recognize and acknowledge our donors for your contributions, as well as to show our appreciation for your generosity to ChI each year. The circles of giving and receiving allow for the energetic flow of gratitude, love, and care to continue between us. We so deeply thank you for your support.

Visit our 2016 Annual Giving Circle Members page


We Want You!

volunteerDue to the very limited resource of having only a part time staff at ChI, we rely heavily on volunteers to bring their skills and talents to ChI to assist with various functions If you have time to dedicate to ChI, we would love to have you locally or virtually. Click on the link below for a list of opportunities.

Volunteer with The Chaplaincy Institute

Thank you in advance for your support!


The Chaplaincy Institute's mission is to educate and empower people for new models of Interfaith service and spiritual care to heal and transform our world. 

The Chaplaincy Institute is a nonprofit organization. 
Tax ID #94-3334108

Join us: 



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