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Message from Starr King Acting President, Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé

Ibrahim Farajaje

Dear Starr King Friend,

Continually invited to be inclusive, beloved community and continually invited to engage in the work of building just and sustainable communities, as a school for counter-oppressive, Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious thea/ological education, we have found ourselves immersed in the work of witness and presence in Occupy Oakland, San Francisco, and other Occupy locales. Some of us have been physically present; some of us have been arrested while doing civil disobedience.

Others have been showing our solidarity and support in a multiplicity of ways. Starr King School for the Ministry, wherever its representatives may be, has shown that this is not only Oakland, this is not only Berkeley: this is about healing the world, wherever healing is needed. This moment in history is deeply related to our work as a Unitarian Universalist/multi-religious institution of thea/ological education and the values that we hold dear and we will continue to support it.

Rumi Immersion 3

In the midst of all that is going on all over the world, some of us are preparing to gather in Istanbul, Turkey in a few weeks for the 3rd Starr King Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi Immersion (see course details). Students, faculty, religious leaders, religious artists and scholars travel and live together for two weeks, experiencing the multi-religious history and life of Turkey. After a week in Istanbul, where we experience the city’s Jewish, Eastern Christian and Muslim histories, we travel by night train to the Central Anatolian region of Turkey, to Konya, the city where Mevlana Rumi lived, taught and is buried. Our group of Starr King pilgrims will learn to chant sacred texts, whirl in the tradition of Mevlana, and experience making multi-religious community.

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SKSM Rumi Immersion 2009

With the world yearning for deeper and broader justice for all, Rumi’s words invite us to see that it is time for old things to be said anew and for new things to take shape and come into the world. This represents so much of our work. As we are called to join the Caravan of Life, so we, too, invite others to join us in tending to the fire in the soul and nurturing the Revolution of the Spirit. The words of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi ring true in the depths of our heart:

NOW is the time to say something NEW.

b’shlama/with peace and in deepest gratitude,


Prof. Dr. M. Ibrahim A. Farajajé
Acting President
Provost and Professor of Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies

President Rebecca Parker is currently on sabbatical and returns to Starr King in March of 2012. 


SKSM Convocation 2011

See photos and read about Starr King’s Opening Convocation, “Return Again 2011”, in Dr. Farajajé’s column on

Neal Anderson, M.Div. student

SKSM Students, Standing on the Side of Love at Occupy Interfaith Rally.
Among SKSM students pictured: Millie Phillips, Caitlin Cotter, Suzi Spangenberg, Jo Green.

Neal Anderson, M.Div. student

SKSM Student Rabi’a Mirhadian, Interfaith March for Occupy – 99%, Oakland







(Photo of Rumi Immersion courtesy of Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje and Rumi Pilgrims 2009. Photos of Occupy courtesy of Suzi Spangenberg.)  


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