August 2017 Newsletter

ChI joins URI Multiregion


The Chaplaincy Institute is one of the newest cooperation circles (CCs) to be added to the United Religions Initiative's Multiregion. ChI is now a part of a global network of local grassroots organizations at the heart of URI's mission to cultivate "peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world."

As an official URI Multiregion CC, ChI will continue its work to promote a just world that honors the sacred connection of all through spirituality, love, transformation, inclusion, and community. Most specifically, the ChI CC is focusing on the Environmental Network within URI and will be partnering with other CCs that wish to collaborate locally and globally.

If you are interested in joining ChI's CC, please contact  

Learn more about ChI's Cooperation Circle

ChI News & Events
August 2017

In this issue: 
Chi joins URI Multiregion
• Theravada Buddhism Themed Intensive 
• Spiritual Direction
• Spiritual Psychology Application Deadline
Meet our new ChI Staff & Board Member!
• 2017 Fall Ordination
• Deep Culture Retreat
• ​Interfaith Labyrinth Walk
Green Seminary Initiative
ChI in August 
Theravada Buddhism Themed Intensive
​​August 16-20, 2017

In this month's module, we focus on the tradition of Buddhism, specifically the Theravada lineage. Theravada is the dominant form of Buddhism in most of southeast Asia—Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It claims about 100 million adherents worldwide, and its doctrines are taken from the Pali Tipitaka or Pali Canon. Basic teachings from this practice will be taught by a Theravada Bhikkuni (Buddhist nun) and other members of the Bay Area Dharma community. This module also includes spiritual site visits and participation in religious services.

Read more

Spiritual Direction Module 1
August 21-25, 2017​

The application deadline for our Spiritual Direction module is Monday, August 7. This module is the first of four quarterly sessions in the 2017/18 program, and is designed to inspire, nurture and educate those who are called to serve as Spiritual Directors in an Interfaith capacity in our increasingly diverse world. Our innovative course features a combination of the study of world religions, an exploration of personal spirituality, and spiritual direction skills... all in a creatively infused context.
morning-2264051_1280 2
Virtual Intro Call for Spiritual Psychology 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 
— 4:30 p.m. PST

A virtual introductory call for those interested in learning more about Spiritual Psychology will be held at 4:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, August 29.  The application deadline for Spiritual Psychology has been extended to Tuesday, September 5. Our Spiritual Psychology 1 module takes place October 18-22, 2017​ and applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Capacity is limited in the classroom so we strongly encourage those interested in applying for our Spiritual Psychology program, to do so as soon as possible. Spiritual Psychology 1 is the first in a series of two modules that must be taken consecutively. The second module is offered December 13-17, 2017. The Interfaith Spiritual Psychology Program intensive provides 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.

Community Spotlight  
Meet new Board Member 
Rev. Jennifer Bernstein
 joins ChI as our Board representative on the ChI Cultural Competency Design Team (more to come in next newsletter!). Rev. Bernstein was ordained as an Interfaith Minister by The ChI Community in 2014, and received her certificate from ChI as a Spiritual Director in 2017. 

Read more about Rev. Jennifer Bernstein

Meet new Admissions Manager
Rev. Ineda Adesanya
, M.A., M.Div., DASD joins ChI as our new Admissions Manager. Rev. Ineda is an ordained American Baptist minister and spiritual director. Her divine call is to make the world better by using her spiritual gifts to help others live more abundantly and to experience truth, joy and justice by surrendering all to the Spirit. 

Read more about Rev. Ineda


Meet new Accounting Manager
Elly Oxman
 joins ChI as our new Accounting Manager. Elly began her career in accounting in the finance department of a startup in the late 1990s. She took a detour to become a journalist, a career path that allowed her to live all over the country. After 10 years as a photo editor with various major newspapers, Elly returned to accounting and brought her organizational skills and eye for detail to her own bookkeeping business. At ChI, she manages all things finance-related.
ChI Events 

ChI Ordination CeremonyChI Interfaith Community Ordination & Credentialing Ceremony
5 p.m.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 
Christ Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley CA

Join us as we celebrate with five ordinands, two spiritual direction interns, and a number of ChI Interfaith Clergy who will be renewing their vows together. There is no need to RSVP. This event is open to the public.

►Read more about ChI's Ordination Ceremony

bonding-1985863_1920Half-day Deep Culture Retreat
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Thank you to those who participated in the recent Doodle Poll to select the date for this special gathering.  The retreat will include coffee and tea in the morning, as well as lunch.   If you live outside of the Bay Area, or will be in a ChI module on this date, there will be other invitations for your participation soon! Berkeley location and retreat details will be shared with those already planning to attend.  To ask questions or to add your RSVP, please email ChI Seminary Dean Lauren Van Ham.

labryinthInterfaith Labyrinth Walk
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Christ Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley CA

Join us the last Friday of every month for an interfaith labyrinth service. We light 97 candles around the rim of the labyrinth, dim the lights, and a small band (cello, violin, piano, guitar, and mandolin) leads people in singing quiet, reflective chants from all the world's religions. During that time, people are free to meditate, pray, sing, read, walk or dance the labyrinth, however the Spirit moves them. Come be held in song, while you walk the labyrinth. 
Support ChI

buddha-2310665_1920Green Seminary Initiative at ChI

This has been an important year for ChI and our collaborations with Earth:
  • Our Eco-Ministry pilot in April was a success, and we are planning the 2018 intensive!
Are you called to Eco-Ministry?  Please come join us!

  • This month, ChI alum who are called to Eco-Ministry have formed a URI Cooperation Circle, and are in conversation about the project(s) we will be joining.  
  • And, thanks to the Green Seminaries Initiative (GSI), ChI has been invited to co-create and partner with West Coast Green Seminaries. 

We are one step closer to achieving our goal of making ChI an official "green seminary." In 2016, the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI) launched the Seminary Environmental Certification Program that works with seminaries, divinity schools and schools of theology to strengthen their capacity to integrate environmental care into their education, liturgy, ritual, worship, community life, and public leadership. 

Certification for the program requires up to three years of environmental assessments, energy audits, and action planning, but it will cost ChI a total of $1,500 to register. 

Thanks to the generosity of one ChI community member, we have the ability to match gifts up to $750 to underwrite the $1,500 cost of this important GSI certification. 

Let ChI know how important this work is to you by providing a gift to help us become a green seminary.  Every dollar donated up to $750 will be matched by our generous donor. Please make your donation by Friday, September 1 and mark it as, "ChI-GSI."  

If you would like more information about the Green Seminary Initiative at ChI, please contact Seminary Dean, Rev. Lauren Van Ham at

Donate to support ChI's Green Seminary Initiative
More about Eco-Ministry 2018
The Chaplaincy Institute 
An Interfaith Seminary & Community

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Berkeley, CA 94709
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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