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A World on the MoveQueering FaithIgniting Change

Immersion Blogs


Welcome from the MarComm Team!

By | Weekly E-news | No Comments

Pacific School of Religion 150th AnniversaryWelcome to Pacific School of Religion! Whether you’re a new or returning student, we’re thrilled to have you be part of PSR’s 150th year. Bookmark psr.edu/current-students/ to find a portal to WebAdvisor, Tech Support, and Community Life.

We welcome any suggestions you have to improve communications, and invite you to stop by Holbrook 207 and 208 to say hello!

-Trust and Erin, PSR’s Marketing and Communications Team

Upcoming Community Meeting with Mather Lifeways

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Tuesday, August 23
6pm, Mudd 100

This Tuesday, Mather LifeWays will be hosting a meeting to share with the broader neighborhood the proposed plans for building a residential community on portions of our campus. The presentation will provide updates on the design that was shared with the PSR community in the spring. While no changes will happen on campus for a few years, it is exciting to share the vision Mather LifeWays has developed. We encourage students, faculty, and staff to attend.

Mather LifeWays, a partner of PSR, plans are to build a community residence (“Life Plan Community”) for people aged 60 and older. Mather LifeWays is soon submitting plans to the city of Berkeley. PSR will share green spaces, assembly/classroom space, and informal dining facilities with Mather LifeWays.

For more information, check out psr.edu/future or contact Erin Burns at 510/849-8222, eburns@psr.edu.

Orientation Immersion

By | Weekly E-news | No Comments

Friday, September 2

Join our Orientation Immersion at the Oakland Museum of California. Enjoy curbside cuisine from gourmet food trucks, live music, and dance lessons. Friday Nights @ Oakland Museum of California with Off the Grid food trucks, music, and more! Returning students, families, faculty, and staff are invited to join in!

A special exhibition on gentrification will be part of our PSR experience: Oakland, I want you to know…

RSVP here

Pacific School of Religion celebrates election of alumna Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto as the United Methodist Church’s first openly gay Bishop

By | Alumni/ae, Main News, Queering Faith | No Comments

This Friday, the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church elected the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto to the office of Bishop. This marks an historic moment in the history of the United Methodist Church since the denomination forbids ordaining “practicing, self-avowed homosexuals.”

Rev. Dr. Oliveto has long-standing ties to Pacific School of Religion, beginning with earning her Master of Divinity at the seminary in 1980. She has since served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as an adjunct faculty member in the area of United Methodist Studies. PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion honored Rev. Dr. Oliveto with a Leading Voice award this May.

Rev. Dr. Oliveto currently serves as senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. She was recently a lead author of the #CalledOut letter, in which more than one hundred United Methodist clergy came out as LGBTQ.

Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, President of Pacific School of Religion, noted: “We are delighted by the news of the election of the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto to serve as a Bishop in the United Methodist Church. Having had the opportunity to be instrumental in her preparation for ministry and to partner with her in the formation of leaders for the United Methodist Church, the PSR community celebrates this moment of hopefulness for the church. The Rev. Dr. Oliveto brings to the office of Bishop the leadership, vision, and courage that are critical to this moment for our world and our church. Our prayers are with her, the community at Glide where she has served faithfully, and with the broader church as she responds to a call that will also demand much from her. We pray also for wisdom and God’s guidance for the church in the days ahead, that we may be able to celebrate the calling of someone whose gifts are so evident and needed.”

Building on a long tradition of boldness, PSR is committed to the preparation of leaders for the church and to resourcing congregations as they faithfully engage the world.   Explore our website to learn more about our work and explore the resources of PSR’s Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion.

Reflections from the American Church in Paris

By | A World on the Move, Immersions, Paris Immersion | No Comments

Immersion participants will be blogging here throughout their course, “Immigration/Refugee Crisis, Religion, Globalization and the Post-Colonial State,” sponsored by Pacific School of Religion, UC Berkeley Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP), and Zaytuna College. Today’s post is from Joel Wildermuth, an MDiv student at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. 

As we are quickly learning, the study of human migration is deeply complex. It requires thorough care in attending to the layers of identity that are bound up in conversations around the on-going global migration crisis.

As a group of learners from diverse backgrounds, we continue to encounter the challenge of conversations in which religious, ethnic, and social identity are significant factors. What we are learning to embrace is the discomforting nature of these kinds of conversations, and the fact that they demand honest, intentional, and respectful engagement from us if we are to adequately make sense of what we are seeing around us and how we might respond to it. In this way, discomfort is good. Discomfort summons us—particularly those of us who come from positions of privilege—to see the narratives of injustice and oppression that we have been blind to, and further demands that we see (and hear!) these narratives with humility and compassion. Staying with one another through these conversations is part of the necessary work that needs to be done as people join together in justice work.

On a more personal level, I would like to share a thought that came to me as we listened to the migration stories of six members of the American Church in Paris – a congregation in which 40-50 nationalities are represented. In each story it was evident that legal matters played a significant role. Who is allowed in? Who is not allowed in? How long can they stay? What are they allowed to do? How long does it take to obtain legal papers? And how does one’s identity factor in to these questions? The only thing I could think of as I listened to these stories was: Why is it that legally belonging somewhere is such a big deal, and why have we allowed the legality/illegality of migration to preclude the moral prerogative we have to help our fellow human beings seeking safety, opportunity, a place of belonging, and a place to flourish? I yearn for a world in which national boundaries no longer deprive people of these things.