The Starr King community is deeply saddened by the death of Barry McCauley at age 38 on Tuesday, July 12. He was a first-year M.Div. student at Starr King, studying from his home in Portland, Oregon.
Barry was known and loved for his thoughtful and lively presence and his generous spirit. He was a passionate activist and advocate for anti-racism awareness within Unitarian Universalism and the wider commuinity.
Mr. McCauley had checked into a hospital in Portland on the prior Sunday due to back pain. He passed away early on Tuesday morning, July 12, at the hospital.
A memorial service was planned in either North Carolina where he grew up, or in Florida where he has family. Members of the Starr King staff and faculty plan to attend the service.
Ibrahim Farajajé Appointed to Editorial Board
Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé, Starr King's Provost and Professor of Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies, accepted an invitation to join the editorial board of the Abhishiktananda Desk for Interreligious Dialogue (Delhi Brotherhood Society) that is preparing new and revised editions of all the books of Swami Abhishiktananda. Samata Books, a Hindu Publisher based in Chennai, has accepted to publish the titles Guru and Disciple, The Secret of Arunachala, and The Further Shore, among others.
Rev. Marilyn Sewell, SKSM Grad, Focus of New Film
Screenings in New York City June 24 - 30, 2011
The film, “Raw Faith,” about Rev Marilyn Sewell's transition out of ministry and falling in love mid-life is opening at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village on Friday, June 24, and will continue to screen 5 times a day all that week. Director Peter Wiedensmith and Rev. Marilyn Sewell will be there to do a Q&A on Friday evening and at all 5 screenings Saturday and Sunday. If you have friends in NY who would be interested in the film, please encourage them to go! This is the “test” screening in NY, which will determine a lot about future distribution of the film nationally. The trailer, plus the song written for the film by Sheryl Crow, can be found on www.rawfaith.com Tickets to the theater can be purchased on line at www.MOVIETICKETS.com or call 777-FILM, #636. The address of the theater is 34 West 13th St.
Provost Ibrahim Farajajé featured at ALEPH Kallah 2011
Ibrahim Farajajé, Starr King's Provost and Professor of Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies, will conduct a workshop on mystical Islam and Judaism at the Alliance for Jewish Renewal ALEPH Kallah 2011 conference. The conference takes place June 27 - July 3 on the beautiful campus of University of Redlands in Southern California.
from the conference brochure: Uri, Ori!/Awaken, My Light!
Nur ala nur: Light upon Light! Ibrahim Farajajé and Rabbi Debra Kolodny
Join us in a journey that pierces the heart and
drinks from the radiant well of mystical Islam and
Judaism. Read Qur’an and Torah texts on Avraham
avinu/Ibrahim khalilullah (intimate Friend of
HaShem) and explore Sufi, Zoharic and Hassidic
commentaries. Soar on the wings of dhikr and
Hebrew chant to embody our shared story/reality.
Lift your soul, ascending to dvekut/merging/sufiyyat
with the Divine Beloved through merkava and mi’raj
meditations. Sample medieval teachings reflecting
profound spiritual exploration across our traditions. Leave
inspired to activate the Or Chadash/Nur ala nur we’ve tasted
for inner and global peace, reconciliation and celebration.
SKSM Participates in UUA/UUSC Service Trip to Haiti
A joint venture of the UU Service Committee (UUSC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association, with participation from the leadership of the two UU theological schools, "allows participants to be part of the UUSC's unique model of work — eye-to-eye partnerships — through a hands-on building project that will provide new homes for 40 Haitian families" (article). Thomas Smith, Starr King School’s VP for Finance and Administration and Glenn Farley, SKSM M.Div. 2010 and SKSM Trustee, represented Starr King School on the trip.
Haiti trip participants and UUSC's partner Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) workers, laying the foundation for the eco-village.
Starr King School for the Ministry mourns the death of Bruce Cowan. Mr. Cowan was a long-serving trustee of the school, greatly respected for his plain-speaking, his wise counsel, and his commitment to the school's well being. He served pro bono as the school's attorney for many decades. "One could not ask for a person of greater integrity," Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker commented, "I trusted and cherished his friendship and support; I will miss him tremendously, and am profoundly grateful for all he gave to us at Starr King and beyond."
A private graveside service was held May 13, 2011, officiated by Dr. Parker. A public memorial celebration will be held Sunday, August 7, 2011 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. Gifts in Mr. Cowan's honor can be given to the Bruce Cowan Memorial Fund which will support causes he cared about, including Starr King School for the Ministry. More information is available at www.brucemorriscowan.com.
Donations in honor of Bruce Cowan can be made to the William and Alice Hinckley Fund, earmarked for the new Bruce M. Cowan Fund, and are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Donations can be mailed to: 1187 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109-6813. For further information, please call: (415) 591-2930 or email Linda Enger, Hinckley Board member and trustee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full obituary for Mr. Cowan is posted at this page: Bruce Cowan.
Esin Celebi Bayru in Berkeley May 22
Starr King School for the Ministry
invites everyone to celebrate a special Bay Area visit by:
The public and press are warmly invited to these events.
Free of charge!
"Come, come whoever you are: Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. Ours is no caravan of despair; Come, yet again come!"
MESHK: Music, Singing, Whirling, Dhikr and Teaching by Dr. Esin Celebi Bayru, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi's 22nd generation grand-daughter.
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011 2:00-5:00 PM at CHOCHMAT HALEV
2215 Prince Street | Berkeley, CA | 94705.
Esin Celebi Bayru
Please join us at Chochmat haLev (on Sunday, May 22 from 2pm-5pm) for an afternoon of singing, chanting, teaching, and whirling under the blessing and guidance of Rumi's 22nd generation grand-daugther, Dr. Esin Celebi Bayru.
The Celebi is in the Bay Area to receive an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union. To be in her presence is to experience the sweetness and tenderness of Rumi.
Immersion Course in Boston: North American UU History
Starr King is pleased to announce a new course offering, "North American U.U. History: Boston Immersion", to be held from November 18 – November 21, 2011 in Boston, MA.
Taught by Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, the Boston immersion course will include the traditional content of a North American UU history classes in a dynamic setting. We will explore the Unitarian engagement with the Civil War alongside a trip to the Shaw memorial on Boston Common; discuss Emerson's Divinity School Address from the very hall in which it was delivered. We will grapple with the profound issues of the Black Empowerment movement from the floor of the Arlington Street Church, where the delegates disappointed by the actions of that General Assembly gathered. And much more!
Students will be given the opportunity, if desired, to room at Pickett & Eliot House, the bed and breakfast facility of the UUA, where room sharing may be available.
Class begins Friday, 11/18/11, at 8:30am, and runs through Monday, 11/21/11. Meeting to start at the Pickett & Eliot House, 7 Mount Vernon Place, Boston, MA.
The Curriculum Committee at Starr King School for the Ministry is now accepting course applications for its 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 course offerings. The committee decides the Adjunct Faculty courses to be offered and awards student teaching fellowships each year.
The deadline for submitting proposals for the 2012-2013 year is June 6, 2011. Submissions completed by this time will be considered on June 13 with final decisions for the 2012-2013 year on October 3, 2011. The committee is willing to receive course proposals for 2013-2015 at any time and will keep them on file for future consideration periods.
The Starr King Student Blog - studio.sksm.edu - is now live. The blog started as a seed idea from student Jodi Tharan who started a Facebook group to help new students 'navigate our new home at SKSM'. Since then the blog metamorphosed into a multi-faceted guide for new students, particularly those recently established in high residency in Berkeley. First-year student Dakotta Alex (website) designed and developed the blog site, with technical help from staff member Justin Waters.
Explore the blog and discover:
Residence Experience - Videos of students talking about their experience of high and low residency study.
UC Berkeley How To's - Library
Campus Maps (GTU and Cal)
Housing (GTU and Cal)
Student Sermons (please send one if you presented one here at SKSM)
Things To Do
Transportation (from airport / around berkeley / parking)
Where things are (groceries / post office / hardware store / furniture)
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, president of Starr King School for the Ministry, is coming to the Denver area May 6-8, 2011, to speak, teach and preach. This highly-regarded theologian and educator, experienced parish minister, and accomplished musician has published numerous articles and books, including her newest book, with John Buehrens, A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century.
Female Homosexuality in Medieval Arabo-Islamic Literature
May 12, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Lecture with SAMAR HABIB
This presentation will be a
survey reading and discussion
of instances in Muslim
histories, cultures and societies
where religiosity was playful,
not punitive; where the sexual
body was inscribed with
markers of pleasure and not
those of perdition. By exploring
instances within the vast
Arabian Islamic Empire that
negate impressions about
Muslim cultures as eternally
monolithic, conservative and
orthodox, we can come to a
better and more nuanced
complexities of former and
May 12, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Starr King School
for the Ministry
2441 Le Conte Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Moral Courage and
Community Service in Perilous Times
A Presentation by Charles A. Garfield, Ph.D.
Starr King School for the Ministry
Monday, May 2, 2011,
Starr King School for the
2441 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley, CA
The Fireside Room Free and Open to the Public.
Charles Garfield, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychology, Department of
Psychiatry; University of California Medical School; Founder, Shanti and Shanti National Training Institute; Instructor, C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco; founding
faculty, Metta Institute End of Life Counseling program; mathematician, Apollo Eleven first lunar landing; ten books published including Sometimes My Heart Goes Numb:
Love and Caregiving in a Time of AIDS (with C. Spring); WISDOM CIRCLES: A
Guide to Self Discovery and Community Building in Small Groups (with C. Spring), the
PEAK PERFORMANCE trilogy.
Dr. Gabriella Lettini has recently completed her curation of the Dictionary of Feminist Theology in Italian. We will be honoring Dr. Lettini’s work at the Board of Trustees’ All-School Dessert Reception on April 27, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in Easton Hall. RSVPs for the reception can be made to Jamie Krovontka at: email@example.com or 510.549.4712
Dr. Lettini's work is on display on the Starr King altar in the lobby.
Rabi'a Mirhadian on ABC7 News - Muslims Organize Japan Relief
Starr King School first-year student Rabi'a Mirhadian was interviewed on ABC7 News as a representative of the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) to discuss the efforts by Muslims in the Bay Area to organize a special day of prayers and charitable donations to support Japanese relief efforts.
"This interview was about Muslims calling for a day of solidarity with Japanese, and asking mosques to collect money for the tsunami victims", said Mirhadian. "The Japanese have been very supportive of Muslims and we feel that this is an appropriate gesture at this time."
(Interview is within the first 60 seconds of the news segment of video)
Creative, new intellectual work is vitally important for Unitarian Universalism to advance in relevance and effectiveness. This is why part of the mission of Starr King School is to inspire and support emerging scholars.
Starr King School for the Ministry is pleased to host the second “Conference of Unitarian Universalist Emerging Scholars”, April 7-10, 2011 in Berkeley. Co-sponsored with Harvard Divinity School, Meadville-Lombard Theological School and the Panel on Theological Education of the UUA, the conference will bring together twenty UU Ph.D.students from schools across the country (Harvard, Yale, Emory, University of Chicago, Princeton, the Graduate Theological Union and more) to present their papers, dissertation chapters, syllabi and other works in progress. Responses will be provided by Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje’ (Starr King), Dr. Daniel McKanan (Harvard Divinity School), Dr. Michael Hogue (Meadville Lombard), Dr. Rebecca Parker, (Starr King) and other members of the academic community. Presentations and discussions will be open to the public.
For more information, including the complete schedule, please contact Jamie Krovontka at:
jkrovontka @ sksm.edu or 510.549.4712.
In Memoriam: C. Conrad Wright
The Starr King community is saddened by the death of Conrad Wright at the age of 94. Mr. Wright was a leading historian of American Unitarianism and the recipient of an honorary doctorate Litterarum Humanarum Doctor from Starr King School in 2004.
President Rebecca Parker said of Mr. Wright:
“I will forever see Conrad Wright in my mind’s eye, dapper hat, umbrella in hand, walking across the Harvard Campus. My talks with him over the years never failed to illuminate my understanding of Unitarian Universalism. There was often a twinkle in his eye when he’d correct me, or suggest I take a different angle on my question. A scholar, teacher, and delightful conversationalist, he was a bright spirit who lit the way for many. I will miss him. “
Wright led a movement in the reinterpretation of Unitarian history that influenced both American historians and literary scholars. He stressed the indigenous origins of the American Unitarian movements, locating them in the Arminian theology of 18th-century New England. Wright is the author of The Liberal Christians (1979), Three Prophets of Religious Liberalism: Channing, Emerson, Parker (1986), and the co-author of A Stream of Light: A Sesquicentennial History of American Unitarianism (1975).
Liberal Religion is Not a Compromise say Revs. Parker, Buehrens
It is a misconception that liberal religion is "just a flimsy accommodation to secularism and modernity rather than a deep faith that is both intellectually responsible and emotionally alive", according to SKSM president Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker and Rev. Dr. John Buehrens. Parker and Buehrens are co-authors of a new book "A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century", published by Beacon Press.
“Looking to the future, we see the tide of progressive religion rising. It will fill the vacuum created by the failure of the religious right to adequately address the issues of our day: global warming, torture and terrorism, religious prejudice, and the growing gap between the rich and the poor. In order for this tide to rise, progressive people need a renewed awareness that progressive religion has powerful theological alternatives that have inspired social justice causes from women’s rights and the abolition of slavery to present-day struggles for marriage equality and ecological stewardship. Additionally, progressive people need a renewed commitment to building and sustaining communities of faith—houses of hope—that can nourish our values and empower us for the long-haul change needed to establish a just and sustainable society.”
In Memoriam: Ann Jordan
The Starr King community is saddened by the passing of Ann Jordan. Ann graduated from Starr King in 1989. She lived a full life challenged with disabilities, yet her remarkable intellect and undying devotion to goodness in the world always moved her forward. She was loved and we will miss her sorely.
A memorial service for Ann Jordan is planned for January 27, 2011, at All Souls Episcopal Parish on Cedar Street in Berkeley.
Starr King Profs in The Washington Post - “Moral Injuries of War”
Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics, and Dr. Rita Nakashmi Brock, Visiting Scholar, were published in the Faith section of the Washington Post, writing on the moral injuries of war:
Every day brings us new stories of soldiers affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which the VA posits as affecting one in five soldiers. What is less known is that in December 2009 a group of VA clinical psychologists, led by Dr. Brett Litz, identified moral injury as a wound of war, distinct from PTSD, that is rarely addressed. (cont...)
Lettini and Brock are co-chairs of the Truth Commission on Conscience in War (www.conscienceinwar.org), which recently released a groundbreaking report on the “moral injuries” suffered in war by service members. Their report was released at a Veterans Day service honoring moral conscience in the military.
The New York Times today published a letter by Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini concerning the hidden trauma of war suffered by our veterans, on the NY Times Op-Ed page. The letter by Dr. Lettini (bio), Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Starr King School, was in response to a piece by NY Times columnist Bob Herbert, titled "The Way We Treat Our Troops".
Dr. Lettini's letter published in the NY Times:
“In 2009 V.A. clinical psychologists published the first in-depth description of a rarely addressed hidden trauma of war called “moral injury.” Moral injury may be accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is not the same thing: it derives from witnessing, perpetrating or failing to prevent acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs. The long-term effect can harm soldiers at the emotional, psychological, behavioral, spiritual and social level.
As it is so tragically evident in the veteran suicide rates described by Bob Herbert, the effect of moral injury can foster internal conflict and self-condemnation that become intolerable. American society has the responsibility not to leave its veterans alone in this struggle.
The Truth Commission on Conscience in War addresses these issues, involving veterans, scholars, religious and community leaders, psychologists, lawyers, educators, veteran families and military chaplains. Its report will be officially released on Veterans Day.”
SKSM Grad, Gay Rights Pioneer, Memorialized in NY Times
Starr King School graduate Rev. James Stoll, who died in 1994, was the subject of a recent New York Times tribute in the Beliefs section of the newspaper. The article noted Rev. Stoll's pioneering work for acceptance of gays and lesbians in the church:
"In the world of religion, one of the great neglected actors, a man who had a marquee moment but then fell into obscurity, is the Rev. James Stoll, a Unitarian Universalist who died in 1994. Mr. Stoll, one of the first openly gay ministers in America, had a difficult life, and his demons seemed to follow him to an early grave.
But he was hugely responsible for introducing American churchgoers to gay rights. For those who support gay rights, he ought to be a hero ...
Mr. Stoll was a minister of an established denomination — a liberal one, often so diverse as to seem post-Christian, but nonetheless one with Christian roots. As such, he brought gay rights to the heterosexual Christian world."
SKSM Student Shams Cohen in the News: Calls for Tolerance
Starr King fourth-year student Shams Cohen is featured in a recent television news segment and online article by the CBS News affiliate in Dallas, Texas. Shams was covered for her participation in a press conference of faith leaders in support of religious tolerance. Shams is quoted in the article:
"The threat to peace and harmony in America is not from Islam, but rather from the extreme members of any group who insist that their way is the only way," explains Shams Cohen with the First Unitarian Church of Dallas.
Shams credits her effectiveness in public ministry to her training in Starr King's course Media Skills in Public Ministry: Preaching Beyond the Pulpit. The course, taught by Starr King adjunct faculty member, trustee, and professional marketing consultant, Helio Fred Garcia, will be offered during the Intersession term in January 2011.
Rita Brock on Huffington Post: "Sacred Acts of 9/12/2001"
Starr King Visiting Scholar, Dr. Rita Nakshima Brock, reflects on the political opportunism surrounding the proposed Islamic Center at Ground Zero, on The Huffington Post:
In attacking Park51, the Cordoba Initiative's Islamic cultural center, the Geller-Palin-Gingrich-Beck-FOX syndicate has suddenly hallowed an old Burlington Coat Factory that lies two blocks from Ground Zero. Yet it appears that Ground Zero itself is suffering their neglect. They've failed to condemn the tacky souvenir stand and Burger King across the street from it, or the porn shops closer than Park51. Of course, this sudden reverence for one spot near Ground Zero is crass political opportunism. But there are things worth hallowing that the syndicate won't mention because these things don't serve their nefarious purposes.
Rebecca Parker on Oil Spill, End Times: Washington Post
“If we are going to end our addiction to oil, a spiritual awakening is needed” writes Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, President of Starr King School, in The Washington Post. Dr. Parker's commentary on the gulf oil spill and the theology of end times appears in the 'On Faith' section of the capitol paper's online edition.
Dr. Parker calls on religious traditions to provide “spiritual resources that can sustain us through the arduous task of re-orienting our economic system and changing our way of life” to counter the anti-environmentalist affects of popular apocalyptic theology on public policy.
Read Dr. Parker's column online at the Washington Post website:
The School is pleased to offer two Graduate Level Certificates, in UU Studies and Multi-Religious Studies, through entirely low-residency study. These certificate programs are designed for people exploring the possibility of entering Unitarian Universalist ministry, seminarians at non-UU theological schools, and interested lay people. For details about these exciting new programs, contact Crystal H. Weston, Recruitment and Marketing Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.