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|November 2016 - News & Events|
Special Message From the DeanIn 2017-18, ChI will be piloting some new practices and content. In addition to curriculum focused on eco-leadership and emerging vocations in eco-ministry, a handful of Interfaith Studies classes, currently happening live in a classroom, will launch in an online format.
Many of you have been asking for this for a long time!
ChI is excited to be in the right position now to make these ideas real, with your help. If you want to share ChI with a more diverse audience in places across the United States regardless of an individual's ability to travel to and from Berkeley, if you want ChI to provide a greater number of classes and resources that invite eco-action and earth ministry, then we want to hear from you! Your contributions of financial and volunteer support are equally needed as we continue to research, consult and prepare for these exciting and much-needed offerings.
With gratitude, Rev. Lauren Van Ham
►More information: Contact
ChI Announces New Board Member
Mary Nelson is President Emeritus of Bethel New Life, where she served for 26 years. Bethel pioneered in creative community based efforts to build healthier, sustainable and equitable communities on Chicago’s west side. She serves on the Boards of Sojourners, Christian Community Development Association, Good City and is past Board President of Woodstock Institute. Mary
was Interim Executive Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions for three years, and led it through the 2015 Parliament in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also has been on the World Bank Interfaith Committee working on the pledge to eliminate extreme poverty.
Mary has a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School, six honorary Ph.Ds and now consults, writes and teaches in faith-based community development. Mary seeks to be faithful to God’s call to work for justice and community. She lives, works and worships on the Westside of Chicago.
In this Issue
Spirituality and Politics
Following up on last month's meeting on the Spiritual Dimension of Politics held by the Berkeley, Emeryville, Alameda, Albany, and Richmond, California (BEAR) satellite group of ChI alumni, students and staff, Rev. Jacquelyn Sneed, a 2012 ChI graduate, ponders love vs. fear and the importance of deep listening in the context of this year's highly contentious Presidential election.
Contra Costa County, CA Satellite Meeting
The team spent much of its October meeting in deep sharing with Rev. Don Oyao, ChI transfer of ministerial standing alum, about his experience and insights of being homeless on the streets of San Francisco in service as a chaplain to that community. "It was very educational and sparked a discussion about our roles as givers vs. receivers and the difficult responsibility of both," says Rev. Margaret Northall, the group's chair. "It dug at the heart of housing and social justice issues, of how to resolve the problematic cycle of being two paychecks away from being homeless, and the mental health and complex issues that follow, including disparate challenges of who gets granted shelter beds for the night, or whether they remain homeless."
Margaret says the discussion closed inconclusively in some sense, but lives on with each one present asking themselves, "How shall we engage now?" and "What am I called to in this regard?"
Pictured above from left to right (back row): Mary Lee Dodd, Rev. Don Oyao, Sharon Campton, and Rev. Margaret Northall. Front Row: Rev. Doug Myers, Vicki Weiland, Rev. Maria Kivel, Rev. Jessica Shine, Rev. Jean Weiss, and Margaret Niles
Meet Rev. Felicia Parazaider, Revivalist in the New Paradigm
Spiritual Renewal Minister, Berkeley, CA
Felicia is a minister and visionary working in a new paradigm, within an old-fashioned "revival meeting" approach, providing spiritual renewal outreach to the broader community while based in a rooted local ministry. Her ministry, “Revolution of Love” arises from her desire to call people home to their truth, to a place of love and expansiveness.
Are you called to Interfaith ministry and chaplaincy but unsure how to fulfill your calling? ChI's Types of Interfaith 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, please email .
Animals on Reiki: Teachings on the Principles of Energy Healing
Rev. Nancy Schluntz, a ChI graduate, animal chaplain and animal communicator, has written a new book on the wisdom of animals and how they can help humans gain a deeper understanding of anger, humility, honesty and compassion. "Teacher animals from Bee to Owl, from Field Mouse to Mountain Lion, from Dolphin to Llama, and many others, offer answers," Nancy says.
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.
January 18-20, 2017 Catholicism & Orthodox Christianity Themed ModuleIn the month of January we explore Christianity through the lens of Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. In addition to introductory classes on Catholicism, students will explore the teachings of the women Christian mystics, the sacrament of communion, and the sacred scriptures of Christianity. They also will get an overview of the professional field of spiritual care, with a specific focus on tending to Roman Catholics. Social justice teaching will address the threads that make up a transformative worldview. For the arts element in January, students will explore connection and communion through Expressive Arts, as well as have a dream theater session with Rev. Tristy Taylor. For field learning experience, students will spend Sunday morning at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church.
►To register or enroll, in this single module immersion opportunity, contact: Mary Hicken, Admissions Manager, at 510-631-3066 or
You are Invited: Ordination Ceremony and CelebrationOn Saturday, November 19th six Interfaith Studies Certificate Program students will graduate and be ordained at ChI's Fall Ordination Ceremony and Celebration. They are:
The Fall Ordination will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Street parking only, so plan to arrive early.
The weekend of celebration will include a Kirtan at Christ Church on Friday, the night before the ordination. All are invited.
►Kirtan event details
►Ordination event details
►Make a gift in honor of an ordinand or graduate
Interfaith Ministry & Chaplaincy: An Introduction
Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 pm
Attend Our Monthly Labyrinth Service
November 25, 2016 - Interfaith Labyrinth Service
Awakening to Life in Transition
A Retreat with Ralph Steele and Alexandra Kennedy
This retreat is an opportunity and an invitation to awaken to life more fully in the moment and to trust life flowing through us with all of its challenges and gifts. Instead of reacting to these changes with anxiety and fear, we can discover at our source a deep sense of peace and well-being.
Year End Appeal for Support
Please watch your snail mail and email boxes within the next couple of weeks where you will find a request for financial support of ChI’s important mission. We rely on donations to fund our programs. The theme of this year’s campaign is Compassion.
► Donate Now!
We Need You!
Due to the very limited part time paid staff resources at ChI, we rely heavily on volunteers to come forward and bring their skills and talents to ChI to assist with various operations, If you have time to dedicate to ChI, we would love to have 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.