August 2016 Newsletter

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August 2016 - News & Events

ChI News

LGBTQ Community Spiritual Care

Learn What You Can Do

Molly Johnson"For some in the LGBTQ Community religion hasn't always provided the expected solace intended. In fact, many have been treated so negatively that they have become anti-religious or atheist," Molly Johnson says. But spiritual care can help. "It's amazing what a little bit of witnessing and being there can do," Molly, a ChI Interfaith Studies Certificate Program student, said at a presentation last month on Spiritual Care for the LGBTQ Community. The ChI Interfaith Community event, offered by ChI's Berkeley-El Cerrito-Albany-Richmond Satellite Community, drew more than a dozen participants. ChI student, Elizabeth Hutchins, an event organizer, called the presentation "superb and highly informative." The event launched the satellite community's new incubator series, which includes talks, panels, and workshops on topics of interest presented at its monthly meetings at the ChI office in North Berkeley. "We are hoping to tap members of our diverse, local ChI community so that we may hear about the wide varieties of ministry in our midst," Elizabeth says. Next month's meeting will feature a presentation on dreaming by ChI graduate, Laura Prickett. 

►Interested in learning more about Molly's presentation? Check out this video from the event or visit Molly's website

►For upcoming ChI Satellite Community events contact Elizabeth at eohutchins(at)


Welcome New ChI Clergy

Please join with us in welcoming Rev. Mary Jane Ryan-Connelly to The ChI Interfaith Community.Mary Jane Ryan Connelly 2

Mary Jane recently completed the requirements to transfer her ministerial standing to ChI. She was honored during a special ceremony held at last month's Gospel Zikr in Berkeley. Next month, 11 Interfaith Studies Certificate Program students will be ordained at ChI's 2016 September Ordination Ceremony and Celebration. That event will also include a special ceremony for 10 recent graduates of ChI's Interfaith Spiritual Direction Program. 

Event Details


In this Issue





ChI Events

Other Events




Community Spotlight

ChI Graduate Writes About Healing Past Wounds

Reverend-Jacob-WatsonIn "Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit," ChI ordained clergy Rev. Jacob Watson shares stories of his personal and spiritual evolution growing up in a New England family. Part memoir and part practical manual, Jacob describes in detail the emotional path to healing past wounds, and how this path leads naturally into spiritual realms.

Click here to order through Amazon Smile and benefit ChI

Click here to visit Jacob's website


The Dark Side of the Golden Rule and Other 'Universals'

Don FrewIn this article, Elder Don Frew writes about the topics of inclusion and exclusion in interfaith. "I think I bring an unusual perspective to the topic of the Golden Rule. On the one hand … I’m about as much of an interfaith movement 'insider' as one can be...On the other, I'm a Witch. That's about as much  of an 'outsider' as one can be."

Read more

ChI Community Care Team Offering

"May love rule your heart
  enthroned in mercy and peacelove
May it bring joy to your soul
  speaking gently to uncertainty
May it transform fear by the power of
  its cleansing embrace
May it radiate through you, resounding in the cosmos"

The ChI Community Care Team can be present with you during life's transitions, support you as you ponder life's choices and rejoice with you when you are engulfed in happiness. E-mail us at CareTeam(at), and we will be in touch.


Spiritual Psychology Course Deadline Fast Approaching

The deadline to register for the ChI's upcoming Spiritual Psychology Course is September 30, 2016 (if you aren't an Interfaith Studies Certificate Program student). The course begins on October 19, 2016.

Megan WagnerLed by ChI faculty member, Rev. Megan Wagner, Ph.D., this program meets in 2 five-day modules providing students with a holistic model of psycho-spiritual development that can be used for personal growth and for work with individuals, couples, families and organizations. The training integrates wisdom from various spiritual traditions, Kabbalah with Jungian, Developmental and Archetypal Psychology, Family Systems and Psychodynamic perspectives, as well as Astrology and Alchemy. 
Watch Introductory Video
Read more about this program 
Apply Now

Are you called to interfaith ministry and chaplaincy but unsure how to fulfill your calling? ChI's Types of Ministries page can help. The purpose of this page is to educate potential students on the many ways there are to be of interfaith service and how training at ChI can manifest in the world.

The other goal of the page is to celebrate the good works of our clergy. If you are a ChI graduate interested in writing a few paragraphs about your work and how you use your ChI education there, please email us.

Visit a Module

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 an Interfaith Studies Certificate Program module as our guest. 

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



Judaism Themed Module

September 21-25, 2016

JudaismOur September module of the Interfaith Studies Certificate Program will focus on the teachings and practices of Judaism, from the traditional perspective. Students will explore the sacred texts, and aspects of spiritual care particular to this faith identity, as well as join Friday evening Shabbat services at Temple Sinai in Oakland. Other areas of study in the module include: researching perspectives on spiritual care; officiating at weddings; and learning about spirituality and aging. The arts curriculum thread in September will explore Bibliodrama as a way to experience scripture, and the social justice thread will examine social change theory as a tool for justice. As always, students will have an immersion into one faith tradition as well as opportunities for explore diverse aspects of interfaith ministry.

► More info
► To register or enroll, in this single module immersion opportunity, contact: Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager, at 510-631-3066 or mary(at)

ChI Events

Interfaith Ministry & Chaplaincy: An Introduction

10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. 
Saturday, September 24, 2016

An interfaith perspective is one of mutual respect and harmonious living among people of all faith traditions. It provides a roadmap for navigating the boundaries between people, religions, and cultures and helps to bridge the religious schisms that divide our world. What is interfaith? Am I a spiritual leader? What is ministry? What is chaplaincy? 

Join us for a 2-hour introductory session where we will consider these questions together. Through brief presentations by faculty and alumni, you will learn more about interfaith theology, the interfaith movement, and vocational opportunities calling you to serve and grow as a spiritual leader, chaplain or interfaith minister. Information about The Chaplaincy Institute’s Interfaith Studies, Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate, Spiritual Psychology and Transfer/Dual Ministerial Standing programs will be provided. Following a break for lunch, those in attendance are warmly invited to attend The ChI Interfaith Community’s Ordination Ceremony beginning at 2:30 pm. Come meet our Community and celebrate with us as we confer a cohort of ChI graduates as interfaith ministers!

Location of Intro Event: ChI office: 1400 Shattuck Avenue, #14, Second Floor, Berkeley, CA
Fee: By Donation (Suggested $25, but no one turned away for lack of funds)
Registration necessary, as space is limited:
Call 510.631.3066 or mary(at)


Save the Dates

2016 Ordination Ceremonies and Celebrations 

  • 2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24, All Souls Church, 2220 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 
  • 5:00 p.m. Saturday, November 19, Christ Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA
​► Event Details

Attend Our Monthly Labyrinth Service

August 30, 2016 - Interfaith Labyrinth Service

Other Events

Interfaith Meeting of Prayer for Peace

peaceMercy: the Heart of Peace will continue the movement that has inspired many men and women of religion to gather together to pray for peace since the first meeting, called by Pope John Paul II, in Assisi in 1986. Thirty years after the first meeting, the Spirit of Assisi reaches the West Coast of the United States in the Diocese of Oakland. The Meeting will embody the message that peace lies at the heart of religion, and that believers are called to be peacemakers and instruments of mercy.

When: Tuesday, September 8, 2016
Where: The Cathedral of Christ the Light Event Center, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland

Learn more

Starr King School for the Ministry's 2016 Symposium  

When: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 
Where: First Unitarian Church of Oakland 
685 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Time: Doors open @ 9:00 a.m.

Rosemary and Ysaye
This year's symposium, "Our Songs Know Who We Are - An Urban Retreat," will feature honored teacher, Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D., MSPH, (shown here on the left with SKSM President, Rev. Rosemary McNatt). A commissioned composer, arranger, author, vocalist, and actress, Dr. Barnwell recently appeared in the UU World and President Obama intends to nominate her to the National Council on the Arts.  

This annual gathering is open to the public for learning, ritual, celebration, food, music, community-building, and service. It is convened by Dean, Dr. Gabriella Lettini, in collaboration with other SKSM faculty and community leaders.
 ► Learn more
Support ChI

Why I Give to ChI

"You may not know it, but it is organizations like The Chaplaincy Institute that will be in high demand in the near future. While the world appears to be "coming undone," and things will probably get worse before they get better, this will ultimately trigger a wave of aspiration for the "higher human potential" that many have had contact with. As Sri Aurobindo states in the first sentence of his book The Mother, "There are two powers that alone can effect in their conjunction the great and difficult thing which is the aim of our endeavor, a fixed and unfailing aspiration that calls from below and a Supreme Grace that answers from above." This is a spiritual law of the universe, just as dependable as the physical laws we know of. But, in this case the aspiration will be on the collective scale, and therefore, the response will also be on the collective scale.  This descent of Grace or cosmic energy will awaken millions who will then turn to institutions like yours that offer a universal vision of spirituality and truth.  This is why I support ChI."
David Mitchell
President, Divine Mission
Reno, Nevada

The recent donation that I made to The Chaplaincy Institute is an expression of my gratitude for all that ChI has given to me these past almost two years. I have grown so much in many ways and have found my life's purpose as a chaplain and soon-to-be-ordained minister.

What I have experienced at ChI has been so rich and beautiful and sometimes challenging in a good way. My last module was in June, and I feel sad to be leaving the ChI classroom, but know that I will always remain connected to ChI. What ChI offers is unique and precious and so needed in the world!"
Pat Kleinberg
ChI Interfaith Studies Certificate Program Student

Thank you David and Pat!

Join David and Pat and make a tax deductible recurring gift to ChI today!

Go to 

► A gift of $42 a month allows you to join a Giving Circle at ChI! Learn More
► More about what increased funding would mean to ChI
► Donate Now
► More Information: vicki(at) or 925-588-6189


​We Need You!

As you know, ChI relies heavily on volunteers to assist the staff with a variety of projects related to our work as an Interfaith Seminary and Community. Volunteers can help in many different areas including:

If you have particular skills that you would like to offer as a volunteer, or if you would like to participate as an intern in exchange for student credit, please let us know by calling our office at 510-843-1422. We will work with you to match your interests to our needs whether it’s virtually or from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thank you!


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: 


Category: News

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