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A Time of Deepening, Changing, Expanding, & Refreshing  

Rebecca ParkerDear Starr King Friend,

     Fall brings the joy and excitement of new students to Starr King School and for me it brings the welcome beginning of a sabbatical season. I'll be back at my Starr King duties March 1, 2012. While I'm away for this period of rest, renewal, and study, our Provost Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé (ifarajaje@sksm.edu) will be serving as Acting President, with my great thanks. Keep your eyes open for President's Messages from guest writers such as Mr. Helio Fred Garcia, the new chair of Starr King's board of trustees, which will keep you in touch with news and reflections from Starr King's life and work. 

    Please join us for Return Again: Starr King School for the Ministry Convocation Week. This includes welcoming UUA President, Peter Morales (SKSM class of '99), for his visit to the school on September 28th. On Oct. 2, from 4pm-6pm at the school, Convocation Week continues with blessings for the new academic year and a re-dedication of the Starr King Round Chapel, as we launch "Reimagining Worship and Ritual 2.0", a special emphasis of our work this year, with leadership from Rev. Michelle Favreault (her bio). If you wish to attend either of these events, please RSVP no later than September 23, 2011 to Jamie Krovontka at: jkrovontka@sksm.edu. Refreshments will be provided, so please let us know if you will attend. 

    Expanding, deepening, changing, refreshing --- these words capture what this past summer has been like for Starr King School for the Ministry.

    Expanding -- In June we offered our first-ever "Immersion in Unitarian Universalist Polity" taught concurrently with the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Charlotte, NC, by Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, visiting professor of Unitarian Universalist Heritage and Ministry. The course was over-subscribed with enthusiastic students, including those pursuing our new Certificate in Unitarian Universalist Studies which expands our options for the study of Unitarian Universalist history, theology, and identity. This fall in Boston, Dr. Ritchie teaches "North American U.U. History: Boston Immersion", from November 18-21, 2011.  

    Deepening -- The Starr King's President's Lecture, delivered by Dr. Gabriella Lettini, Starr King's Director of Studies in Public Ministry and Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Professor of Theological Ethics, challenged and moved listeners at General Assembly. Dr. Lettini spoke of the connection between beauty and justice-making, and lifted up the moral struggles experienced by soldiers in war (read her lecture transcript). For more information on Dr. Lettini's work with the Soul Repair Project and the Truth Commission on Conscience in War, see Soul Repair brochure and www.conscienceinwar.org. For more information about our Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change, directed by Dr. Lettini, see MASC program at SKSM.   

    Changing -- In July, following the departure from our staff of Thomas Smith who served for many years as our Vice President for Finance and Administration, we re-structured our internal administration, promoting from within to care for our financial, administrative, and technological tasks in a new way. Ms. Anita Narang is now our Finance Director; Ms. Jamie Krovontka is now our Special Assistant to the President and Operations Director; Mr. Justin Waters is now our Special Assistant to the Provost and Educational Technologies Director; and Ms. Crystal H. Weston is now our Recruitment, Marketing and Communications Director. Additionally, Megan McLachlin has been added to the staff as the Assistant to the Directors of Finance and Operations. We are delighted to welcome these talented staff members to their new roles and responsibilities.

    Refreshing -- Splendid music filled Starr King's halls and wafted into the garden in August, during the Maftirim intensive taught by Provost Ibrahim Farajaj√©, Professor of Islamic and Cultural Studies. Students explored the intersections of Jewish and Muslim mystical traditions of sacred music (photos below). The week's intensive course culminated with class members leading the music for the Shabbat service at Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish-renewal congregation in Berkeley. The Maftirim course is one among an array of Starr King offerings that engage students in multi-religious study, exploring the intersections and interchanges among religious traditions. Dr. Farajaj√© directs our Certificate in Multi-Religious Studies and will be leading our third Rumi Immersion in Turkey this December 2011.

 Maftirim classMaftirim class

    As I embark on my sabbatical time, it is with abiding thanksgiving for Starr King's students, faculty, staff and supporters. "Ours is no caravan of despair!" May expanding, deepening, changing, and refreshing blessings be yours in the coming days.

 

In grace and gratitude,

 

Rebecca Parker

President and Professor of Theology  

 

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Starr King School for the Ministry
2441 Le Conte Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709-1209
Attn: Donor Relations

Educating Unitarian Universalist ministers and progressive religious leaders for society since 1904. 

 


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If you are interested in exploring a Starr King education, or know someone who is, visit www.sksm.edu/about/prospective_students.php and contact our Recruitment and Marketing Director, Crystal H. Weston, at recruitment@sksm.edu.
 
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