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|February 2017 - News & Events|
Still Time to Apply for New Eco-Ministry ModuleIf you are at all concerned about the world's growing climate challenges, especially in light of recent denials about global warming, then now is the time to sign up for ChI's new Eco-Ministry for Life on Earth module.
Offered in April for the first time by ChI, the purpose of this module is to "equip individuals for the furthering of innovative, life-sustaining and healing practices for Earth and humanity," says Rev. Lauren Van Ham, ChI's Seminary Dean. Hear more from Lauren about this module and our new Eco-Ministry Intensive. Click here for specifics about the April module. The application deadline is February 28th.
►Request an Application or contact Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager, at 510-631-3066
Honoring the Life of Sobonfu Somé
"There is a deep longing among people in the West to connect with something bigger — with community and spirit. People know there is something missing in their lives, and believe that the rituals and ancient ways of the village offer some answers."These are the words of author, teacher, activist and ChI Guest Faculty member Sobonfu Somé, who passed away in January. We are grateful to Sobonfu
for being a member of our guest faculty teaching the Earth Based Traditions' module and for sharing her wisdom.
To honor her life and work, a gathering has been set for 1pm Monday, February 20th, at the Humanist Hall, 411 - 28th Street, Oakland, California. Participants are encouraged to bring pictures, stories and an open heart. Tears are welcome. Admission is free but donations are needed to help pay for this event.
Recognized by the village elders as possessing special gifts from birth, Sobonfu's destiny was foretold before her birth, as is the custom of the Dagara Tribe of Burkina Faso. She was fostered by early education in ritual and initiation in preparation for her life's work. It was Sobonfu’s reliance on spirit, community and ritual that allowed her personal and professional path to become one. Since the beginning of her journey in the West, Sobonfu traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe, conducting workshops on spirituality, ritual, the sacred and intimacy. Her work moved African spiritual practices from the realm of anthropology, to a place alongside the world's great spiritual tradition, with a message of profound significance and practical application in the lives of Westerners.
"Sobonfu made an indelible mark on my soul for the better, " says ChI Clergy Rev. Aida Merriweather, one of many who feel this loss. "May your brightness shine forever."
►Support February 20th gathering
►Donate to Wisdom Spring, Inc., Sobonfu's nonprofit helping bring water and education to African children.
In this Issue
New Leadership Roles for ChI ClergyInterfaith ministers, Rev. Lilliana "Lily" Saganich, ordained by ChI in 2011, and, Rev. Katie LeCount in 2014, have been named President and Vice President respectively of the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation. Based in Walnut Creek, California, CSCPF is a relatively young international organization that educates, certifies and supports chaplains, pastoral counselors and spiritual care providers. It was established as a nonprofit organization in 2014, and Lily is only its second President. Previously, she served as its Treasurer. As its President, Lily says she looks forward to strengthening the community foundation and to helping chart a course for the organization's continued growth and development.
Formerly a client accountant in the advertising industry for more than a decade, Lily was called to interfaith ministry through her work with the dying while volunteering with the Zen Hospice Project. Currently she works as a spiritual counselor at Silverado Hospice in Brisbane, California.
Katie joined CSCPF in March of 2014 and immediately became active in program and community governance. She has worked as a pastoral counselor and spiritual care provider in the Bay Area for nearly 10 years.
►Learn more about CSCPF
Interspiritual Perspective on WisdomBy Dr. Ed Bastian, ChI Guest Faculty member
Generally speaking, the word wisdom often connotes a holistic knowingness harvested from the totality of one’s life experience, including knowledge gained through intellectual conceptualization and empirical observation. From a spiritual perspective however, Wisdom (note the capital “W”) is generally said to be the result of a transcendent insight that surpasses, informs, and then guides our everyday thoughts, perceptions, and mental projections of reality.
2017-18 Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate Cohort Now Forming
Are you eager to be a part of something special? Do you want to get to know perfect strangers so well that they become lifelong friends? Are you curious (and open-minded) about other (different) faith traditions/religions? Do you long to better understand and cherish your spirit and your relationship with the Divine?
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.
March 15-19, 2017
Explore the Zen (Mahayana) and Tibetan (Vajrayana) faces of Buddhist lineage in this Interfaith Studies Certificate Program module. Led by experts in their fields, participants will be invited to explore the skillful teachings within this tradition, particularly regarding being-ness, death and dying, and cultivating a wise and compassionate heart. As always, classroom experience blends lecture with interactive work, and opportunities to integrate with theme-appropriate art, music and/or movement. A site visit to a nearby Tibetan Center provides participants with an opportunity to engage and practice with Tibetans in the Bay Area.
Interfaith Labyrinth Walk
This is a free-form service, with few words spoken, and lots of freedom as we invite people to pray, sing, meditate, or walk the labyrinth.
Interfaith Ministry & Chaplaincy: An IntroductionFeeling called to serve and grow as a spiritual leader, chaplain or Interfaith minister but unsure of your next steps? We can help! Attend this two-hour session and learn how.
When: 10:30am-12:30pm, Saturday, March 18, 2017
Where: ChI Office, 1400 Shattuck Ave. Suite 14, Berkeley, California.
Spring 2017 Ordination Ceremony & Celebration
Join us as we ordain and welcome as new ministers to The ChI Interfaith Community the following six students:
When: Saturday, March 18, 2017, Doors open at 2pm. Service begins at 2:30pm
Spiritual Practices for Social Justice Work
The Marin Interfaith Council is holding a day-long retreat providing the spiritual resources and wisdom needed for faith leaders increasingly facing social justice issues arising amid our rapidly changing political environment. Rabbi Chai Levy, a current student in ChI's Spiritual Direction Certificate Program, will be a retreat leader along with Rev. Ted Scott from Westminster Presbyterian.
Women Building Bridges of Interfaith Unity
Explore and use the power of Interfaith collaboration to spur positive community change at this first-ever Interfaith Women's Conference. For women of all faiths throughout the Puget Sound.
2017 SDI Conference
Seeking Connection - April 20-28
Donate to ChI, Receive This Angel
As you may know, ChI relies upon one time and monthly recurring gifts to operate and to fulfill our goals and mission. But did you also know that these donations fund nearly 40 percent of our annual operating budget and 100 percent of future growth initiatives, like our new Eco-Ministry Intensive. Contribute today, and receive as a gift an angel like the one pictured produced by recently ordained ChI Clergy, Rev. Jen Miller.►Donate Now
►Visit Jen's website
We Need You!There are many ways you can support our work at ChI.
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.