Symposium 2013: “Loving Our Earth”


Announcing Starr King Symposium 2013: “Loving Our Earth”

Dear Starr King Friend,

I’m delighted to announce that Starr King’s second annual Symposium will be held August 28-29, 2013: “Loving Our Earth: Symposium 2013”. Starr King graduates, donors and friends are warmly invited to join us in Oakland, California. This urban retreat, open to all, is convened by our school’s Dean of Faculty Dr. Gabriella Lettini and is an integral component of our Emergent Educational Design: an annual gathering of our entire student body, faculty, staff and trustees for two days of learning, ritual, celebration, food, music, and community-building. We ask that all participants register by August 9. Please register online: Grads at Symposium Registration for Graduates and friends and the general public at Symposium Registration – General Public.


Joanna Macy


Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, PhD is our honored guest teacher for the Symposium. Dr. Macy is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. Dr. Macy is a Research Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry.


With leadership from Starr King’s core faculty, the Symposium will engage participants in a multi-religious exploration of synergies between the arts, spiritual practice, ritual, and activism for social justice celebrating the Earth and sustainable living.

Symposium Program Highlights:

  • Starr King’s adjunct professor Sofia Betancourt, of the Department of African American Studies at Yale University, will lead us in a workshop “Ecowomanist Approaches“.
  • Sonya Sukalski, Director of Faith Community Engagement at Specialty Studios and past director of Spiritual Activists Leadership Training at UU Legislative Ministry CA, will host a screening of the documentary film “A Call of Life” on the growing threat to earth’s life support systems.
  • We will spend time with Gopal Dayaneni, of Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, in his workshop “The Politics of Home“.
  • On Wednesday evening we celebrate together at the Party for the Earth featuring music, poetry, storytelling, teaching, and dancing. Joanna Macy will read her captivating translations of Rilke’s poetry and I will accompany her on cello.


Starr King Certificate Students, Special Students, and Degree Students take the Symposium for 1.5 units of credit.  Financial support to assist with travel costs is available for Starr King incoming and continuing Degree Students and Certificate Students who register and apply for aid by July 21st. Home hospitality is available for Starr King students as well. See the lower portion of the registration form to indicate need. Note: Degree students must also register for the course through WebAdvisor. Special students who wish to take Symposium as a course for credit should register on special student registration form.

Are you considering applying to Starr King’s M.Div. or M.A. in Social Change?  I extend a special invitation to you to join us for the Symposium as our guest. 

Starr King is grateful for the generous support from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to make this Symposium possible.

If you can’t be present but would like to provide financial aid to help a student be able to attend, or to support the Symposium with a gift of any kind, please visit our donation page.

Your support for this important gathering –by your prayers, your presence, your gifts and/or your service– is greatly appreciated.

With grace and gratitude,
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker  President and Professor of Theology